CONFERENCE/AGM 2015 – Children’s and Practitioners’ experiences of early years care and education: Advocating for young children through research and practice.
30th and 31st October 2015
International Convention Centre, Birmingham, B1 2EA, UK
Almost 100 delegates attended TACTYC’s 2015 Conference. Our schedule was packed with keynotes and workshops but there was also ample time to network with colleagues and enjoy the marketplace stands. All keynote presentations and many of the research briefings are available on the TACTYC website – www.tactyc.org.uk  – our thanks to our presenters.
On Conference Friday, outgoing Chair Professor Jane Payler opened with a warm welcome then our first keynote Dr Ioanna Palaiologou spoke engagingly on the theme of ‘Assessing Child Initiated Play: Reality or Illusion?’ Drawing on a participatory action research study that she had conducted with practitioners, Ioanna shared the complexities the practitioners identified when attempting to assess children’s play in meaningful and authentic ways. A key finding from the study was that ‘all the participants in the project felt that child initiated play has a number of characteristics, but it is impossible to assess it. What is possible is to identify whether it happens or not’. An excellent range of workshops followed with research briefings clustered in themes: ‘Big Pictures in the Early Years’, Young Children’s Worlds’ and ‘Early Years Curriculum 1: Music and Literacy’ and a discussion forum focused on ‘Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood’. Conference delegates then enjoyed an excellent dinner at the Copthorne Hotel, which was an opportunity to discuss topical issues in early childhood.
We enjoyed three keynotes on Conference Saturday. Dr Rose Drury spoke authoritatively on ‘Young multilingual children learning: at home and at school’. Referring to her excellent work in this field, she explored multilingual children’s, practitioners’ and families’ experiences of early years care and education, challenged current national policy-driven deficit models relating to multilingualism and revealed increasing transnationalism and super-diversity juxtaposed with the silencing of multilingualism in many early years settings in England. Later in the day, Professor Jayne Osgood gave a most thought provoking keynote on ‘Reconfiguring Quality: Beyond discourses and subjectivities to matter, bodies and becomings in early childhood education’. Jayne asked us to trouble current constructions of quality in early childhood and to reframe it for the field in meaningful and important ways. Our final keynote – Dr Jacqui Cousins – shared aspects of her remarkable life from her earliest days through to her work in early childhood, her advocacy for children and real world stories of her wonderful family to remind us that it is always ‘Time to Listen: Time to Hear Young Children’. On Conference Saturday, we held the TACTYC AGM and Nancy Stewart gave an update on the important campaigning work TACTYC has been doing in respect of Baseline Assessment in England. We were also treated to another set of excellent research briefings, this time on the themes of ‘Developing Professional Identities in the Early Years’, ‘Socio-emotional interactions’ and ‘Early Years Curriculum 2: IT and Literacy’. We were also delighted to welcome Laura Henry who led an excellent discussion forum on ‘Being there for the Child’.
Professor Jane Payler closed the conference and invited delegates to TACTYC Conference 2016. As they left, delegates shared some very positive views of their experiences of this year’s conference:
An excellent conference
All extremely beneficial and reinvigorating
A friendly, vibrant feel – like ‘coming home’
More of the same please!
Dr Jane Murray and the Conference Team
TACTYC has adopted equality, diversity and inclusion as core values.
KEYNOTES presentations are available – just click on a name: Dr. Ioanna Palaiologou , Dr. Rose Drury , Professor Jayne Osgood  and Dr. Jacqui Cousins . (Sadly, most of the photographic images have to be removed from these Ppoint presentations as either it makes the file too large or there are issues of data protection.)
Professor Jayne Osgood explaining her ideas on quality to delegates.
Dr. Ioanna Palaiologou giving her presentation on assessing play.
Dr. Jacqui Cousin’s in full flow and stunning the audience with her commitment to children and childhood.
By chance there happened to be three ‘Cousins’ (unrelated) at the Conference who were all happy to meet each other! Left to right, Jacqui Cousins, Jackie Cousins (Eyles) and Sarah Cousins.
WORKSHOP PRESENTATIONS: Click on the name also to read the papers from those who presented stimulating and thought-provoking workshops: Hilary Harris , Jacqui Basquill , John Siraj-Blatchford and Lynette Brock , Karen Daniels , Mary Dyer , Sarah Lightfoot , Shannon Ludgate , Carolyn Blackburn , Nicola Watson , Sarah Cousins , Alison Moore , Zoe Greenhalgh , Louise Hannon, Colette Tait et.al . and Guy Roberts-Holmes/Alice Bradbury .
We were delighted to welcome Laura Henry who lead a session entitled’Being There for the Child’.
Annual General Meeting
There are a number of papers available from the meeting: Minutes 2015 , Chair’s Report , Journal Report , Website report 2015, and the Communications and Consultations Report . The Membership Secretary/Treasurer reported our numbers to be now 610 members (a rise from last year) but stated how difficult it had been to get members who pay by standing order to change the fee. Our finance are in good order, with sufficient money to sustain our meetings and also to cover the costs of our research project initiatives, Occasional Papers and support for Conferences.
Our excellent Chair for the past three years, Professor Jane Payler, is standing down and her place will be taken by Professor Sacha Powell. Jane was thanked profusely for all her significant efforts on behalf of TACTYC, presented with a bouquet of flowers and congratulated on her recent promotion to Professor at the Open University.