Overview of Continuity of Learning

Why is Continuity of Learning important?  

Continuity refers to the consistency of children’s experience across diverse care and education settings as they grow up, from birth through to age 8. Continuity includes alignment of learning expectations; curricula; and other instructional strategies, assessments, and learning environments to ensure that they are coherent with each other and grounded in the science of child development and of best practices in instruction and other professional responsibilities (National Research Council, 2015).

Continuity of learning is critical for several reasons (Stipek, 2017, Reynolds, 2019, Stipek, 2019, Jacobson, 2019, Nicholson, 2019, Dunlop, 2003, OECD, 2017):

  • Children’s early experiences with education systems have lasting impacts
  • Consistency and continuity matters
  • Without continuity, the benefits of early learning can fade
  • Learning should be cumulative

How is Continuity of Learning created?  

Creating continuity of learning requires working to align four essential components. As the learning journey from birth through to age 8 is split across two contexts, this can only be achieved through collaboration across the early learning and school systems in developing shared goals regarding knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and learning environments

Continuity of learning means that it’s continuous. There are no breaks, there are no changes. Transitions are no longer necessary, because it’s continuous. You don’t have to go from this approach to that approach. You don’t go from play-based learning to structured school-based learning. It is much more seamless and without boundaries.”

Professor Jane Bertrand