Professor Aline Wendy Dunlop was the third presenter at a seminar on readiness for learning held on the 6th May at the McSense centre in Mayfield, Dalkeith.
Professor Aline-Wendy Dunlop is a Chair of Childhood and Primary Studies; responsibilities include providing leadership in applied educational research and teaching and learning. She is also Lead Director of the National Centre of Autism Studies which houses the Scottish Autism Service Network.
In a fascinating presentation Professor Dunlop spoke on the theme of :-
What does study of early years transitions tell us about readiness for learning?
A key learning point for me was thinking about ‘transition’ in terms of opportunities for parental engagement. Transition from home to nursery or nursery to school can create anxiety for both parent and child; but it can also be a time when parents are particularly amenable to engagement with agencies who they perceive as being able to support them in that transition.
How well do services support parents in these transitions? Do we ptovide enough information early enough? Do we make the best use of these periods to both support parents but also engage them with service agendas?
Professor Dunlop closed her presentation with a slide on attunement – which refers to a concept within ‘attachment theory’ that examines how adult parental figures attune their responses to that of their child – she uses the idea of a dance where the partners movements are attuned to each others. How well attuned are services to the needs of parents and children during these transition – or do we just make them dance to our own steps?