By Peter Dixon
pound;7.50 inc pp from the author at 30 Cheriton Road, Winchester, Hants SO22 5AX Once upon a time, a volume of child-centred thoughts and ideas, which started from the assumption that play is important and that children are not little adults, would have been yet another statement of the glaringly obvious. Now, it seems, it's a call to arms, a cry against the way that early years education is being corralled by targets, guidelines and inspection regimes.
Peter Dixon - writer, poet, speaker, former education lecturer - is angry, filled with horror at the way early years is going, and he's produced an angry and entertaining joyful mess of a book, with drawings, poems, typographical tricks and polemical statements such as, "We must not sacrifice children's expression to please overambitious parents or Ofsted box-tickers."
The author's supporting letter says the book has been enthusiastically received by early years teachers. There's surely some irony in this because teachers, as he writes in the book, are part of the problem. "Between the ages of three and five every child must be measured to one of nine levels in each of 13 areas... How on earth have teachers and parents come to accept this? Why do they moan and groan and still do it?"
The weary reply could be, "Yes, Peter, we know. We could have written it ourselves. But you're not a teacher, are you?"