Simplistic Beginnings? the invisibility of sustained shared thinking in Ofsted advice documents

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    In December 2017, a highly critical report entitled Bald Beginnings was prepared by the early years association TACTYC in response to Bold Beginnings, Ofsted's latest (2017) bulletin on early years practice. In a subsequent meeting with early years leaders, Ofsted proposed that Bold Beginnings should be seen as one component in a set of complementary reports. This article undertakes a review of all four reports to consider the overview of early childhood practice that they provide, specifically with reference to the concept of 'sustained shared thinking' which emerged from nearly a century of research in developmental psychology and which was considered to bear the relevant level of importance for specific identification in the Early Years Teacher Standards. The conclusion drawn from this review of the relevant 'suite' of Ofsted reports is that sustained shared thinking is not referred to by name in any of the documents, nor is any implicit indication given that the authors had any effective understanding of the concept. It is also proposed that Bold Beginnings is in fact very different in tone to the previous documents and suggests an underlying policy shift in Ofsted's orientation to early years education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages10
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


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