Studying Childhood and Early Childhood - A Guide for Students

Series Second Edition
Author(s) Kay Sambell, Mel Gibson and Sue Miller
Publisher SAGE Publications Limited
Published 2010
Pages 160
Price £19.99
ISBN 9781849201353
Reviewed by Dr Ruth Hewston
University of Worcester
Review published 25 October 2010

Studying Childhood and Early Childhood: A Guide for Students is part of the wider SAGE Study Skills Series. The excellent first edition was published in 2005; however this new revised edition extends the breadth of topic discussed. It includes a new chapter on placements and more thoroughly considers the role and place of multi-agency working. The key themes of the book focus on the development of skills and techniques required for students to make informed judgements based on sound theoretical and professional evidence. It covers many of the core challenges faced by Early Childhood students as they progress through their course, and although at times the depth is brief, overall it provides an excellent companion to see students through their undergraduate studies. Another key theme is that throughout the book there are a number of case studies and opportunities where students are encouraged to develop their critical reflection skills both for study but also for their wider professional development.

Chapter 1, in particular, helpfully focuses on the various frameworks and considerations in starting Early Childhood studies. While many of the questions may have been addressed prior to university application it is helpful to see them reviewed in the first stages of the student experience. Chapter 3 addresses strategies needed to write good assignments, and while this information could be found in much more detail elsewhere, it does contain a useful section on interpreting tutor feedback. Chapter 4 is particularly useful and provides an excellent discussion on making informed judgements in professional practice. While there are some chapters weaker than others, one of the strengths of the book is that throughout, worked examples are provided for students to consider independently.

Overall the book is comprehensive in its coverage of core skills and is very accessible for students. It captures the challenges faced by Early Childhood students well and emphasises the importance of making and justifying professional decisions. There is also a comprehensive list of further reading and resources which will undoubtedly be useful for both new and final year students.