In this paper, we identify ways in which the learning of very young children can be supported by practitioners developing a schematic pedagogy which focuses on structures of children’s thinking. First, we provide a critical overview of relevant literature on schemas and schematic approaches to pedagogy. We then outline an original study undertaken to identify and support the learning of seven young children. Taking one child, whom we call Annie, we illustrate how her attention to the fine detail of elements of her home and group environments as she played offered strong clues to her pedagogues about her persistent interests (schemas). We show how careful observation by practitioners can be used to understand and support future learning encounters through a schematic pedagogy, and we consider implications of such an approach for practice in toddlers’ early learning.
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