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on 2 March 2009
As an early years practioner this book is invaluable - it is brilliant for giving an accessible and no-nonsense approach to child development and an excellent base for recent research. I read it prior to an interview and found Julia Fisher's writing informative and stimulating. It is relevant, thought-provoking and very useful. The best book of it's type I have encountered - I have recommended it to everyone on my team!
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on 2 August 2011
I'm writing this review to provide some form of balance to the 'rave' reviews I've read about this book.

This book was on my course reading list. Having already spent large amounts of money on other books on this list I decided to get this one out of a library. I'm glad I did. I don't have a great deal of time to do this so will keep it short and sweet:

First things first - If you have children, or have worked with them, or even know any, you are going to find this book painful to read. The children in this book are merely specimens to be studied. The sheer number of studies referred to throughout the book (overwhelming numbers of them, sometimes for pretty much every point the author makes) give the impression that the author has only ever learned about children from a book. This is in total contrast to so many other books I've read, and very noticeable. It surprised me that the back cover states that she was a head teacher. There is no warmth towards the children in this book. For example, apparently some children wake up "irritatingly cheerfully". And yes that is a direct quote.

Secondly the author has a alarming tendency to "state the bleedin' obvious". You will be given fascinating insights into child development such as "children learn through playing ('x' et al. 1964)" and "children learn through talking ('y' et al 1988)". Honestly I was laughing out loud at some of the tripe that is stated in this book as if it is somehow clever because a scientist has said it.

Overall, I would say that this book has been written for academics, by an academic. To me, it's a prime example of academia for the sake of it. I can't believe any grounded person is going to derive anything from this book that will actually affect their day to day practice as a teacher. The only use I can think of for it would be as an almanac of teaching and child psychology studies if you were asked to produce a piece of written work for the uni part of your course.
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on 17 October 2010
I purchased this book to help me learn more about the early years before my placement in a nursery. This book has all the information I could ever have needed, is well laid out and written in a style that doesn't send you to sleep (unlike many other uni books). I would recommend it to anyone working with early years children as I certainly found it very helpful.
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on 5 May 2010
As a Teacher new to the Early Years it has been really informative and useful read. Lots of ideas which I now feel confident carrying out in my own setting. An excellent buy.
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on 21 February 2011
I'm completing a Degree in early childhood and education and this book has been a fantastic resource for all of the assignments! Really well written and easy to understand. Links to the Foundation Stage but even if you're based in Wales following the Foundation Phase it's still an extremely useful book with so much relevant inforamtion and ideas etc. Would definitely recommend you to buy this book.
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on 19 February 2011
Julie Fisher's book is on my essential reading list. Its titile is perfect as the entire book puts all its focus on the child. It is well writtern and can easily be dipped in an out of to ensure reinforcement of learning . I would recommend it to all student studying early years.
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