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Events > Summer Institute 2019

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The 16th Annual Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development

Accounting for Quality in the Early Childhood Workforce

June 17, 2019
George Brown College, Waterfront Campus, 51 Dockside Drive, Toronto, ON


Prof. Iram Siraj OBE

Professor Iram Siraj

Iram is Professor of Child Development and Education at Department for Education, University of Oxford (SRF at Jesus College) and Research Professor at the University of Wollongong in Australia (till 2018). She is also on the Technical Advisory Group for the lead Australian Council for Educational Research group which won the OECD IELS pilot study tender and has advised on the measures to be used within the study.

Iram has a strong background in ECEC and an international reputation for her longitudinal research and policy expertise. She has co-directed a number of  influential studies, including the Effective Provision of Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE, DfE, 1997-2014) study, the transformative Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years (REPEY, DfE, 2002) study, and the associated Effective Leadership in the Early Years Sector (ELEYS) Study. She has also studied Effective Early Educational Experiences in Australia (E4Kids, Australian Research Council and Victoria and Queensland Governments. 2009-2015).

Her current studies include cluster randomised controlled trials of interventions looking at the impact of evidence-based professional development in 90 centres in New South Wales Fostering Effective Early Learning; Researching Effective Environments for Learning in 70 centres in Victoria; and Using Research tools to Promote Language in the Early Years in 120 schools in England. She has been a Principal Investigator on research grants of over £20 million.

Iram recently completed reviews of the Welsh Foundation Phase (2014) and of the Scottish early years workforce (2015). She led two C4EO reviews of what families and integrated working contribute to child outcomes for under-fives. Amongst her many published works she has authored award-winning books including: Social Class and Educational Inequality the Role of Parents and Schools (2015) and Effective and Caring Leadership in the Early Years (2014). She has over 250 publications including three widely-used rating scales which measure the quality of environments and pedagogy in ECEC and promote child outcomes in the cognitive (ECERS-E 4th Ed. 2010), social-emotional (SSTEW, 2015) and physical (MOVERS, 2017) domains.

Iram’s policy work has included being on the Ministerial Advisory Group for the Welsh Government (2006-2016) advising four previous ministers; on the Victorian Government Early Education Advisory Group; the Nuffield Council for Bio-ethics and acting as specialist advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee inquiry on Children’s Centres. She has provided advice to UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, OECD, Bernard van Leer and Aga Khan Foundations and given one-off support to governments in many other regions including Chile, Federal Government of Australia, New Zealand and Portugal.

Iram has worked as an early years and primary teacher and advisory teacher, and for the last 30 years as a researcher and academic with the Universities of Warwick, London and Wollongong. She has held many visiting professorships including Melbourne, Wales, Wolverhampton, Swansea, Hong Kong and Beijing. She gained her doctorate in 1995 from Warwick University and has two honorary doctorates. Iram was awarded an OBE for her services to ECEC in 2015.


Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL)

Governments often promote quality in ECEC through framework documents, standards and accreditation, dissemination of research and information, technical support, raising the training and status of staff, encouraging self-evaluation and action-practitioner research and establishing a rigorous inspection system. Successful implementation of frameworks requires investment in staff support, including in-service training, pedagogical guidance and favourable structural conditions.

The Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) study involved designing and developing an evidence-based, cutting-edge, PD program - and then evaluating its direct impact on early childhood educators in 45 intervention centres and its indirect impact on 1346 children. The study measured centre quality and child outcomes in 90 centres. Centre quality was captured by the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Extension (ECERS-E 2010), and the Sustained, Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being (SSTEW 2015) scale. Child-level outcomes comprised measures of language development, early numeracy development, and social-behavioural development.

This mixed method study shows improvements in both quality and child outcomes through our bespoke PD program for ECEC staff and will be of great interest to academics, policy-makers, ECEC trainers, practitioners and parents.

  • View Presentation HERE



Developing the whole child through movement play: Using the MOVERS to improve quality of physical well-being

The workshop will introduce the MOVERS scale and show how movement play and physical development can improve child learning and well-being by connecting to the whole child and to whole learning through physical activity and play. The workshop will show how the tool can be used to enhance practice and improve our understanding of how the physical is connected to the cognitive and the social and emotional well-being of children and their learning. Examples of practice and demonstrations of using the scale will form part of the workshop too.

  • View Presentation HERE

This event is presented by George Brown College, School of Early Childhood, and University of Toronto, Ontario Institute of Studies in Education.

GBC          OISE


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