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Transitions in the early years : a learning opportunity [whole issue]

November 2006

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This issue of Early Childhood Matters presents a number of perspectives around children's transition from home environments to primary schooling and includes practical examples of initiatives in a number of countries, including the US, India, Uganda, Guatemala, Poland, Brazil and Israel. Articles look at transition and school readiness as a challenge and a learning opportunity rather than as a problem. In different contexts the emphasis of related early childhood programmes varies. The 'Parques Infantis' in Brazil focuses on children's rights, while in Guatemala and Uganda programmes reflect a need to promote local culture and support children learning the mainstream language. The Mississippi Delta Children's Partnership encourages interaction between pre-schools, primary schools and parents as a means to facilitate transition and supports school readiness through after-school programmes

Critical thinking [whole issue]

June 2004

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Critical thinking is considered to be part of the holistic development of young children as it is a key ability for children to guide their way through dilemmas, decisions and choices they make in life. This issue includes a review of strategies and teaching methods, and a discussion of the extent to which the youngest children can be considered capable of critical thinking. Fostering critical thinking as an aim of education is then argued for, using the instruments that have been developed to support the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The concept of ‘Philosophy for Children’ is examined followed by an exploration of a programmed centred on philosophy for children in Iceland. A programme in the Andes in Argentina looks at the links between philosophy for children and resilience. The Insights From the Field section features the work of Mobile Creches Projects and of the links between critical thinking skills and HIV/AIDS in Mozambique

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