Aistear, The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework
What is Aistear?
Aistear is an Irish early years curriculum designed specifically for childcare practitioners planning learning experiences for children aged from birth to 6 years of age. It is designed for use in all early childhood care and education settings including the home, crèche, nursery, play-schools, pre-schools (for example Eclectic, High-Scope, Montessori or Froebel approaches), Naíonraí and Junior Infant classes.
What is Aistear made up of?
The 2 main parts of Aistear are The Prinicples and Themes and Guidelines for Good Practice. Other elements to Aistear include The User Guide and Key Messages from the Research Papers
The Principles and Themes:
Aistear is based on 12 principles presented in 3 groups which are crucial to and underpin early learning and development. They are:
1: Children and their Lives in Early Childhood
2. Children’s Connections with Others
3. How Children Learn and Develop
Early learning and development is presented in 4 inter-connected themes in Aistear:
It moves away from the compartmentalised view of early learning such as Physical, Intellectual, Emotional development etc and approaches learning from a more holistic way. The themes describe what children develop and learn such as dispositions, attitudes, values, skills, knowledge and understanding.
The 4 themes are broken into 4 aims which are further broken into 6 Learning Goals. All 4 themes contain a section which outlines sample Learning Opportunities according to 3 wide age groups: babies, toddlers and young children.
Don’t forget to check out the NCCA’s online Aistear Toolkit
Guidelines for Good Practice
The 4 sets of guidelines describe how the adult can support early learning and development across the themes and outline a wide variety of sample learning experiences within the themes and guidelines.
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