Of Chickens, eggs and onions…by Dr Sue Allingham

6th September 2017

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I’m really looking forward to speaking at Childcare Expo Midlands  – it was such a positive and entertaining experience when I spoke at the London event.

I’ll be talking again about one of my favourite subjects – teaching and learning.  Or is that learning and teaching.  That’s exactly the point – which does come first?  Is it that simple?  The chicken or the egg?

Around ten years ago there was a trend – certainly in Early Years work and maybe beyond – to talk about ‘learning and teaching’ and it became frowned upon to use the more familiar phrase of ‘teaching and learning’.  I found this intriguing.   When I reflected on it I realised that even turning the phrase round didn’t really define clearly what an Early Years provision – or any setting, class or school – has potential to offer. So I came up with what I call the ‘onion approach’.  As we go through the hour we will unpeel the onion of our work and break the eggs of our thinking to deconstruct and reflect on what we mean when we talk about ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’.  By the end of the hour, I have these aims for my audience.  I hope they will have –

  • Had fun
  • Been frustrated
  • Felt uncomfortable
  • Looked at things differently
  • Challenged assumptions
  • Reflected (a lot)
  • Made actions

But – perhaps most importantly –

  • Learnt something

This event will take place at the beginning of the academic year which is always a good time to reflect on our practice.  And there has possibly never been a more important time to really think about what we understand to be Early Years pedagogy.

Sue will be hosting her seminar ‘The Onion Approach – An examination of teaching and learning” on Saturday 30th September in the Discovery Hub. Book your seats today.

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