Themes and Strands

Theme

On the hundredth anniversary of the birth struggles of the Irish nation, which resulted in a Constitution (Bunreacht na hEireann) which resolved to pursue the happiness of the whole nation with a further commitment to "cherishing all the children of the nation equally”, it is fitting that Ireland has been chosen as the host country of the 26th ECCERA Conference. The theme of the 2016 conference is ‘Happiness, Relationships, Emotion & Deep Level Learning’ and focuses on exploring the links between the cognitive and the socio-emotional aspects of early childhood development.

It is now well established that children are innately driven to explore and construct meaning with the support of significant people in their lives. These relationships are core to children’s learning and can enhance or hinder their progress. In the same way, children’s natural drive to relate and connect to community has consequences for their learning and development.

Questions therefore arise about how and in what ways the capabilities involved in relating and connecting - attachment, bonding, belonging, emotional regulation, empathy and well-being - are linked to life-long and deep level learning.

This raises many further questions: What capabilities are most important? Why do they matter? How can adults nurture them? How can professionals recognise, describe and assess them? Are professionals and parents accountable for a child's socio-emotional development? Moreover, is the 'pursuit of happiness' an inalienable right for all? Is it a universal drive in all children? How does happiness impact on the child as a learner?

Children's restless drive to explore and construct meanings is often accompanied by the interventions of significant relationships in a child's life which impede or enhance that process. In the societies we live in, in 2016, how do the 'toxicities' of current childhoods enhance or impede emotional wellbeing and learning?

Strands

Those who submit papers to the scrutiny of the Conference Scientific Committee will be asked to locate their work in one strand, as outlined below:

1. VALUES AND VALUE EDUCATION

2. CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND SOCIETY

3. ECEC CONTEXTS, TRANSITION & PRACTICES

4. CHILDERN’S RIGHTS, DEMOCRACY & PARTICIPATION

5. PLAY & LEARNING

6. DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

7. INNOVATIVE/ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES

8. LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

9. PROFESSIONALISM & TEACHERS’ ROLE

10. LEADERSHIP & QUALITY

11. CURRICULUM & ASSESSMENT

12. PARADIGMS, THEORIES & METHODOLOGIES

13. INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH IN ECEC

Latest News