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Professor Julie Fisher on Interacting or Interfering?

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Professor Julie Fisher on Interacting or Interfering?


Professor Julie Fisher explains the – often subtle – differences between interacting and interfering when communicating with young children.

Professor Julie Fisher is an independent Early Years Adviser and visiting Professor of Early Childhood Education at Oxford Brookes University. She was a lecturer in early childhood education at the University of Reading and was then an Early Years Adviser in Oxfordshire for 11 years. She has taught children from 3 to 12 years of age and has been headteacher of two urban, multi-cultural schools.

Her latest book – ‘Interacting or Interfering?’ – draws on research into effective interactions between practitioners and children aged six months to six years. In this video, we discuss some top tips and strategies for practitioners and educators that emerged from this research; the role of the environment in stimulating interactions; the role of the practitioner during interactions with children; how we ‘tune into’ children; techniques for ‘questioning’ children.

You can find Professor Fisher’s book on Amazon here

 As well as writing books, Julie is also an author of a number of articles on early childhood education. You can find her latest series of four articles in Nursery World magazine here: https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk

For a taster of the Nursery World articles, there is an extract below from the first article entitled The Adult Role.

You can also register for a free seven-day trial of Nursery World, during which you can access all the gated content on nurseryworld.co.uk. Simply click this link and complete the form: https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/register#


THE IDEAL COMBINATION by Professor Julie Fisher

From the moment a baby is born, they are compelled to make sense of the world around them. Their curiosity drives them to explore, to investigate, to try out, to question. Using all their senses, they grasp, smell, watch and taste the world into which they have been propelled, in a never-ending personal quest for mastery and inclusion. But the fortunate baby is also picked up. Loving and attentive adults say, ‘look’, ‘see here’, ‘try this’ as they open up a wider range of opportunities and possibilities than the baby could ever experience alone.

In this way, the fortunate baby is empowered to learn and to develop in two key ways:

Through their own self-initiated exploration.
Through the support and provocation of others.

This combination is clearly highly effective for, in their infant years, young children develop an extraordinary range of skills, knowledge and understanding at a rate that will never again be repeated in their lives.

It would seem logical, therefore, that professional educators would build on and replicate the strategies that have been so successful from birth; that settings and schools would offer children an appropriate mix of opportunities to follow their own self-initiated interests and to be inspired by the interests and opportunities initiated by others.

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Kathy Brodie

Kathy Brodie