Understanding Behaviour in the Early Years Cover

Understanding Behaviour in the Early Years

A practical guide for supporting each child's behaviour in the early years setting

This book offers essential guidance on promoting positive behaviour and recognising the complexities of understanding behaviour and the impact it has on children's social development. It helps educators build positive partnerships with parents to develop a shared confidence in interpreting children's behaviour. It also gives advice on enabling children's learning about their own and thinking in the context of their social connections, plus ideas for building on existing effective practice and creating an environment that supports children's emotional wellbeing.

Ages: 0-8 | Pages: 72 | Code: TS0246 | ISBN: 9781921613692

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Kay Mathieson

Dr Kay Mathieson has worked in Early Years and primary settings for many years. This has included supporting children with additional needs, especially behaviour, and their families. She completed her PhD research into the development of social competence in young children at Sussex University. She worked part time with the National Strategies as an Early Years Regional Adviser until 2011 when she became a Director of Linden Learning, an ethical educational training and consultancy business.
Picture of Bridie Raban

Bridie Raban

Bridie Raban was the Foundation Mooroolbeek Professor of Early Childhood Studies at the University of Melbourne. She is currently an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and in 2021, she was awarded an Honorary University Fellowship by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). Her past research has focused on language and literacy development, teacher change and development, curriculum and assessment for the early childhood years and quality provision. She was the first Professor of Early Childhood Education in Victoria and the second in Australia, and before this she was Professor of Primary Education (Early Years) at the University of Warwick and President of the UK Reading Association.




Early years and behavioural learning4
How to use this book5
Thinking about behaviour as an area of learning6
Early intervention6
Each child’s view7
Engaging with families8
Principles and values9
First conversations9
Families’ views11
Building families’ confidence, building educators’ understanding11
Creating a context for family members to help each other12
Positively engaging families13
Example: Tuning into individuals14
Research and theories about behaviour17
Approaches to behaviour19
Cultural considerations21
Developing a setting approach to behaviour22
Brain development22
The human brain23
Scientific research24
During pregnancy25
Example: Really engaging with families26
After birth27
Emotional development28
Psychology and neuroscience29
Conditions for growth30
Developing social understanding and empathy32
Thinking about social learning35
Social competence36
Example: Mediating children’s interactions38
Thinking about emotional learning41
Communicating emotions41
Regulating emotions43
Example: Finding out about emotions44
Thinking about behavioural learning46
Policy and practice46
Influences on behaviour47
Example: Thinking about influences on behaviour50
Using observation and analysis53
Interpreting observations53
Identifying the learning55
Pretend play55
Using ‘can do’ statements57
Professional learning Additional needs60
Example: Purposeful use of observations59
Finding help and support64
Additional sources of information66