As parents and educators, we all wish to assist with the best learning experiences and outcomes for young children. It is our responsibility to help them grow, flourish and to reach their full potential.
An excellent way to achieve this is through child empowerment which if introduced and encouraged at an early age helps to build self-esteem, confidence, resilience, and independence. An independent, confident child has the best chance of becoming an effective learner and planning a fantastic future for themselves. By empowering children, we can guide them to feel valued, capable and to understand and believe they can be or achieve anything they wish, in their own lives.
This is what inspired Dr Natalie Canning to develop the Children’s Empowerment Framework
Empowering children in an early year’s setting and closely observing a child’s interaction with their peers during play, can provide invaluable child development feedback for educators. A child centred pedagogy combined with your chosen curricula, and the Children’s Empowerment Framework, will provide an exceptional teaching and learning experience for both educators and young children.
With the Interactive Learning Diary system, implementation of the Empowerment Framework is very easy and straightforward. You will already use the ILD Pro 2 app to record video evidence of curriculum-based observations and assessments. In a busy early years setting, it can be extremely difficult to observe and assess child interaction in real time as it happens. Simply record a video clip of child initiated social group play and review at a convenient date using the framework for behavioural indicators and guidance relating to the Participation, Ownership and Voice super themes. Any empowerment-based observations can then be recorded in your Pupil Timeline to assist with your child development tracking. If a child requires additional assistance or support, this can be monitored by using the Flag for Focus function.
Children’s Empowerment in Play (CEiP) Empowerment Framework
The Empowerment Framework image below positions the three main child empowerment themes – Participation, Ownership and Voice (Super Themes) as interdependent. They all have the potential to be present in children’s play and/or activities simultaneously, or for just one or two to be present. Although it does not matter if one, two or all of the themes are identifiable in children’s play, at least one is needed for a child to be viewed as having an empowering experience. In the clearest examples of children’s empowerment, all three themes are present during play. The Sub Themes of Motivation, Coordination, Imagination, Problem Solving and Empathy categorise recurring instances and actions in children’s play which support the development of Participation, Ownership, and Voice.