The Child's Curriculum: Working With the Natural Values of Young Children

Colwyn Trevarthen (Editor), Jonathan Delafield-Butt (Editor), Aline-Wendy Dunlop (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


All children are born with emotional talent. But if left untended, those talents can wane during the first five years of life. Children are sensitive and social beings from birth, exhibiting an innate enthusiasm for communication that must be satisfied for healthy development. If their feelings, agency, and motivations are met with affection, if they are respected and nurtured, then children will respond creatively and that inherent desire for companionship will flourish.
However, with the recent changes in political and educational systems, early years education has seen a decline in focus on the emotional wellbeing of children and the development of their creativity. Those systems need to adapt if educators are to bring out the best in our future generations. By nurturing creativity and emotional wellbeing in the first five years of life, long term social benefits can be wrought.
The book focusses on children's readiness for learning. It addresses the natural joy explicit in children's early conversations and engagement with music and their development through play with both adults and other children. This kind of education allows children to develop their bodies and skills, accept and understand their feelings, build relationships, and progress both their imagination and their problem solving skills. In this way, play with others drives development.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages352
ISBN (Print)9780198747109
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2018


  • children
  • education
  • policy


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