Understanding and responding to the developing learning needs of young children
This chapter considers a range of biological, psychological and cognitive neuroscientific understandings of the learning and development of young children that are crucial to the thinking about what might constitute difficulties in learning or barriers to progress that are significant enough to warrant special educational, or additional, support. It discusses potential conflicts between developmental understandings and formal curriculum requirements in the early years. The chapter outlines the nature of early human development, and then reflects on the place of play in early childhood development and learning, and the kinds of play in which young children engage. It also discusses the role of language in conceptual development and learning. A child who is interested in deconstruction which results in knocking down towers that another child has built needs to be provided with space and opportunities to engage in that type of activity without inflicting distress on other children.