Every now and then, a major piece of research is published which is so important that we should stop just 'doing what we do' and pause to reflect and review.
For example, over the past two decades the reports from the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) project have influenced almost every aspect of early years practice, from pedagogy, planning and assessment, to leadership, resourcing and buildings, all the way up to local and national government policy.
The New Zealand government's seminal review of research into provision for children up to the age of two, written by Carmen Dalli and others, prompted many of us to rethink the conventional view that the focus for children up to two should be solely on care, leaving early education until later. It strengthened too arguments against the view that lower-skilled and lower-paid practitioners might be suitable to work in baby rooms.
Now to give us pause for thought is 'Children's cognitive development and learning', a research paper from Professor Usha Goswami, director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education. Published earlier this year, the paper is part of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust research survey, and is highly significant. Here, I will focus on just a few of the important areas of research that Goswami covers and consider the implications for early years practice.