Literature Review to Support the Updating of Aistear

NCCA is updating Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. To support the process, Dublin City University was commissioned to carry out a review of literature on the four themes of Aistear. The review provides an extensive overview of contemporary literature and policy pertaining to the early years.

01 March, 2023

As highlighted in a previous info@ncca newsletter, NCCA is updating Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. Key to this is an extensive and systematic review of national and international literature on Aistear's themes of Wellbeing; Identity and Belonging; Communicating; and Exploring and Thinking. Carried out by a team in Dublin City University, the Literature Review is underpinned by an understanding of early childhood education as foundational for babies, toddlers and young children’s development. However, the findings from the review indicated a lack of visibility of babies and toddlers in the available literature so in addressing this, a specific chapter is dedicated to this younger age group to respond to this gap in research both nationally and internationally. This may be of particular interest to students, educators and researchers in identifying areas in need of further research in early childhood.

Key messages from the Literature Review include the importance of nurturing relationships, compassion, empathy, adventurous play, inclusion, sustainability, and children’s agency through social justice. The review's findings affirm the role of educators in providing quality curriculum experiences which are challenging, authentic and meaningful. The review's findings point to the ongoing relevance of Aistear's Aims and Learning Goals and, in addition, provide suggestions for further enhancing some of this learning for babies, toddlers and young children.  

You can read the report here.

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