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Young Children's Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Young Children's Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Fourth Edition

August 2014 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Young children’s personal, social and emotional development is of central importance to all those working in the Early Years.


Offering thought-provoking questions and practical suggestions to help readers to reflect on and develop their own practice, this fourth edition of Marion Dowling’s much-loved book has been fully updated to include:

  •  Expanded coverage of key topics including independent thinking, living and learning with others, and dispositions for learning
  • A new chapter on ‘Vulnerable Children and Fragile Families’, with sections on identifying risk, talking to families, and safeguarding and protection
  • Guidance for working with parents in every chapter
  • Updated links to the EYFS and a focus on two year olds.


This is essential reading for all Early Years students and practitioners, and anyone working with or caring for young children.

The Seeds of Confidence and Competence
Confidence and Competence for Learning
Living with Others
Learning with Others
Becoming Independent
Independent Thinkers
Emotional Well-being
Influences on Young Children’s Well-being
Dispositions for Learning
Nurturing Dispositions to Learn
Young Children's Behaviour
Achieving Self- regulated Behaviour
Young Children's Spirituality
Living in the Wider World
Working with Families
Vulnerable Children & Fragile Families

Great resource for current modules and has supported the students with relating their observations to theory.

Mr Aaron Bradbury
School of Education and Community, University College Birmingham
April 28, 2015

Contemporary and insightful

Ms Laura West-Burnham
School of Health and Fitness, Petroc
April 16, 2015

Academic level too low for my course.

Dr Jesper Dammeyer
Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen
April 5, 2015

This book is suitable for many of the units on the Early Years Foundation Degree. It will be placed on the reading list as it will support further reading.

Mrs Keris Batley
Health, Care and Teacher Training, UCY/Yeovil College
March 16, 2015

This was an excellent book which explored the key concepts of PSED.

It made strong links with the EYFS which wasn't very relevant in the Irish context, yet the links with Aistear, the Irish early years curriculum framework were also evident.

The book was very current dealing and addressing issues of austerity, the impact on early years and ultimately children's well being.

It explored relevant issues in contemporary early years pedagogy such as dispositions, spirituality the wider world and inclusion of parents and vulnerable families
The book was very grounded and guided by social constructivism.
Overall it was very relevant and thought provoking.

Mrs Criona Blackburne
Early years Department, Portobello Institute
March 9, 2015

This is an excellent book, packed full with case studies and reflective questions. Highly recommended.

Mrs Anna Colgan
Higher Education, Banbury and Bicester College
March 3, 2015

This has been an informative book, very usual. The author writes enthusiastically about the subject, providing up to date and relevant information. A good introduction to the personal, social and emotional development of young children.

February 6, 2015

Excellent book, easy reading material which provides essential knowledge around PSED. I particularly like the case studies and comments.

Mrs Liz Tomlin
Early years, Adult Education Centre
January 12, 2015

Really useful for those wanted to concentrate on personal, social and emotional development. Particularly like the case study elements which bring theory to life

Mrs Tanya Richardson
School of Education, Northampton University
January 9, 2015

A book that can be used for many modules in Early Years degree.

Mrs Svetlana Shivacheva
College Road, Croydon College
January 6, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch 1. The Seeds of Confidence and Competence

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

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