Tina Bruce's Ten Principles for Early Childhood Education

This essay is going to discuss the main links between Tina Bruce’s Ten Bedrock Principles (2005) and the core value statement for the early childhood education sector in Ireland. I have chosen three of Tina Bruce’s principles to look at. This essay is going to show how these have influenced three of the core values for the early childhood education sector.

In Bruce’s bedrock principles, the first of the ten states: “The best way to prepare children for their adult life is to give them what they need as children.

” The core value statement for early childhood care and education states that, “Childhood in its own right.

Looking at both statements it can be seen how Bruce has influenced the core value statement. In Bruce’s, all three pioneers of early childhood practise Frobel, Montessori and Steiner say that childhood should not just be used for children simply to get ready for adult life. All three believed that childhood is important in its own right. “Childhood is a state to be protected and allowed develop without damage in a specially prepared environment.”(Bruce pp18) Childhood is a period when the basic fundamentals of life are introduced. Bruner used a spiral curriculum to teach children the basic of things that could be thought in more depth when the child is older. Bruner stressed that the early childhood practitioner should be preparing children for later learning and knowledge. Childhood is a stage in its own right but it also provides a foundation of knowledge for children to build upon and enter adulthood well prepared.

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Number four of Bruce’s principles is “Children learn best when they are given appropriate responsibility, allowed to experiment, make errors, decisions and choices, and are respected autonomous learners.

The core values

  1. “Experiences and activities which support learning and allow children to actively explore, to experience, to make choices and decisions and to share in the learning process.” Both statements think the child should be seen as an active learner. Children should be encouraged to explore their environment and experiment with objects. Children should also be encouraged to make decisions and share the responsibility of the learning process.
  2. “Frobel, Montessori and Steiner agreed that children are self- motivating. There is no need for adults to find ways of motivating them.” (Bruce pp22) Montessori saw the importance of self direction in children. She used a prepared environment to encourage self chosen tasks. Piaget believed that children should have self regulation in their own learning. As children explore what they already know and can then use what they know to help understand something new.

Children should be allowed initiated learning at times and other times the learning should be adult led. The job of the early childhood practitioner is to know when a child is struggling and to give them some help. The early childhood practitioner should be mindful not to take over the situation entirely.


Relationships with other people (both adults and children) are of central importance in a child’s life, influencing emotional and social well being. Core


Values parents, guardians and family as the child’s primary source of well being. In comparison there is little difference in the principle and core value they both see relationships with other people of importance to the child’s well being. Steiner saw the importance of interaction with other adults and children because the child takes in the moral atmosphere gave out by these people. Mothers were the first educators in a child’s life in Froebel’s eyes. He believed children first learned in the home then school.

He saw adults as helpers in children’s learning unlike Montessori, who saw adults including parents as a threat to children’s freedom. Frobel also saw the wider community as helping the child’s well being. The interaction with other children by playing helps the child’s state of well being by allowing them to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and morally.

This essay has looked at how Tina Bruce’s Ten Bedrock Principles have influenced the core value statements in Ireland. It has shown that even though the wording may differ in both, they both see the child as being an active learner and having the right to make decisions and errors. All learning in the early childhood care and education sector in Ireland should be child centred. Both the core value statement and Bruce’s ten principles see others including parents, guardians and family as helping the child’s well being.


  1. Bruce T. (2005) Early Childhood Education (3rd ed.), London: Hodder & Stoughton.
  2. Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (2002) Quality Childcare and Lifelong Learning: Model Framework for Education, Training and Professional Development in the Early Childhood Care and Education Sector, Dublin: The Stationery Office

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Tina Bruce's Ten Principles for Early Childhood Education. (2016, Jun 08). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/tina-bruces-ten-principles-for-early-childhood-education-essay

Tina Bruce's Ten Principles for Early Childhood Education
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