Professor dr. Ferre Laevers
We are proud to work with many of the leading thinkers in early childhood education and this year are privileged to be associated with Professor dr. Ferre Laevers, whose work has influenced practive across the world.
He joins us to share his important and influential thinking and has given us exclusive access to the distribution of his highly informative books and DVDs.
In Search of Quality
When asked the question ‘What constitutes ‘quality’ in care and education?’ how do we formulate an answer? Do we rely on our knowledge of best practice and talk about the quality of our provision or simply refer to the outcomes sought by Ofsted?
It is here that we can draw on Professor dr. Ferre Laevers whose work offers the most important contribution to exactly this question. His research has identified clear indicators for measuring quality that help us understand whether what we are doing (the context) is leading to somewhere (the outcome).
Well-being & Involvement
The basic hypothesis is that the most economic and conclusive way to assess the quality of any educational setting is to focus on two dimensions: the degree of ‘emotional well-being’ and the level of ‘involvement’.
When we want to know how each of our children is doing he asserts that we must first explore the degree in which children feel at ease, can be spontaneous and are satisfied in their social and emotional needs.
This criterion expresses a concern for their well-being which is a crucial component of emotional intelligence and mental health.
The second criterion is linked
to the developmental process and urges the adult to set up a challenging environment favouring involvement. Deep levels of involvement indicate that there is intense mental activity, that a person is functioning at the very limits of his or her capabilities.
Achieving Best Practice
Good schools succeed at both tasks – paying attention to emotional well-being as well as enhancing the environment to maximise involvement. It is clear from the research that children make the most progress, most rapidly, when both these conditions – well-being and involvement – are fulfilled.