Leading educational speaker delivers insight into pioneering psychological research

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Students, staff, alumni and representatives from the local authority were invited to a special event to learn about the impact of including SchemaPlay in practice for young children, and how it can help their development and boost outcomes.

Professor John Siraj-Blatchford, a leading expert in the field and SchemaPlay.org representative, gave an insightful seminar focusing on his current research. The research looks at how educators can use schemes and schemas to extend children's learning through different strategies and the underpinning theory.

SchemaPlay focuses on theoretical ideas of cognitive development with a renewed understanding of the connection between the mental representation and the physical actions undertaken by children. Based on the work of world renowned psychologists such as Jean Piaget, Len Vygotsky and Chris Athey, SchemaPlay recognises the role of practitioners and peers and how, through play, children can be fully supported to develop broader and deeper concepts and skills.

Professor Siraj-Blatchford's research has found that using strategies that adhere to their theoretical approach have resulted in practitioners seeing greater improvement in children's development. Various Government documents and policies are focused on closing the gap in education and the gap in social mobility and all claim that early intervention whilst children are young is the best method to support this. His conclusion was that if we can understand and apply his suggestions we have the potential to improve the prospects of children across Dorset.

Programme Leader and Lecturer for FdA Early Years Services and Early Childhood Studies Helen Kettley, was overwhelmed by the interest of the visit. She said: “Professor Siraj-Blatchford’s talk was truly fascinating and captivated the whole audience. It really highlighted the great potential of SchemaPlay for our Early Years Services students, and the impact it can make locally and nationally.”

Students were also fascinated by the talk, with many commenting that it was both thought provoking and inspiring. One student commented: “It included so much significant information, child-centred play, emergence, scaffolding, modelling, sustained shared thinking and interdependence. I can’t wait for more talks.”

Visit our Care page to find out more about our Early Years Services and childcare courses.