Although there is not one formula that leads to ‘good’ planning in the early years – since plans necessarily need to take account of individuals and their unique contexts – there are core principles that can support the process. First, planning should start with the child. If we make the most of the close partnership between planning and formative assessment it is possible to understand a child’s sense of agency – their way of being, seeing and responding to the world (Edwards 2001) – so ensuring that the effective facilitation of learning can take place. While Chapter 5 on documenting children’s learning provides guidance on approaches to formative assessment within science and technology contexts, it is helpful in our planning to see it as grounded in social constructivist learning theory (Black and Wiliam 2009). This theory recognises that:
C H A P T E R
n the process of linking ‘old’ and ‘new’ knowledge is continuous and active (or constructivist);
n the construction of knowledge involves experience and interaction with knowledgeable others;
n learning is facilitated by language and communication (inner speech) – talk drives learning.