The revised UK Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) now places a stronger emphasis on personal, social and emotional development (PSED) as one of its three prime areas. PSED has three characteristics of learning: active learning, creating and thinking critically, and playing and exploring. These aspects of the revised EYFS closely align with the Every child matters: Change for children (2004) agenda and can provide an important pathway to develop active citizenship. This article discusses why it is crucial to develop active citizenship in the early years and comments on the key factors that allow it to thrive. It then provides theoretical and research-based principles and practices for supporting active citizenship development in early childhood classrooms by fostering the components of active citizenship: membership, obligation and participation. These are then engendered through the goals of PSED and underpinned by characteristics of effective learning: playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically.
- active citizenship
- characteristics of learning
- personal, social and emotional development
- revised early years foundation stage curriculum
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology