Early Childhood Education
One of the key roles of childhood care providers is to prepare children for school through curricula that assist children nurture their individual cognitive, physical, emotional, and social skills, and at the same time helps instructors respond to the needs, interests, and abilities of each child under their care. Cognitive development is of particular importance in this case, equipping children with knowledge on, among other things, measurement and patterns; shapes and numbers; and counting techniques (Childcare Aware, 2014). This area of child development is best built through play. A report by the Manitoba Early Learning and Childhood Curriculum framework, for instance, recommends the development of children's cognitive and intellectual skills through related experiences - such as allowing them to experiment with a variety of cardboard boxes and tubes.
Furthermore, such play activities nurture a child's social skills, equipping them with the skills necessary for interacting, negotiating, and engaging effectively with other children (Manitoba Early Learning and Childhood Curriculum, n.d.). In addition to boosting a child's problem-solving and communication, leadership, and organizational skills, such activities open up opportunities for children to become more appreciative of the cultures and backgrounds of others. This is of particular importance given the rising degree of diversity in school settings. Child care settings also prepare children for school by boosting their physical skills (Childcare Aware, 2014). Motor skills and coordination are, for instance, developed through ball-kicking activities.
The Childcare Aware Organization identifies two instructional approaches used in childcare facilities; i) child-directed instruction -- where children are given the lead in their own learning, and opportunities to direct their own play and learning activities; and ii) teacher-directed instruction -- where the teacher almost entirely directs children's learning activities. Concern has been raised over the falling significance of child-directed approaches in childcare facilities and kindergartens. By being allowed to design their own learning experiences, children develop feelings of self-confidence and competence, and learn to create their own knowledge. Persistent direction, on the other hand, inhibits children's creativity and impedes on self-confidence - making it difficult for them to learn leadership, coordination, organizational, and communication skills. Towards this end, providers are often advised to design curricula that provide ample opportunities for self-directed approaches to learning.
Childcare facilities are, like any other organization, licensed by their respective states. The overriding aim of such licenses is to ensure that facilities…… [Read More]
In its most basic sense, play provides a mechanism for a young child to address him or herself and engage with others in a way that precludes feelings of immaturity and inferiority. "Play" invokes a world not limited by temporal boundaries of age and accomplishment and forces a child to relate to the world around him or her. In dramatic, physical, and celebratory play, children are able to develop social skills that help them in both structured and unstructured environments as it is incorporated into the early childhood curriculum.
Allen and Marotz, K.E. And L.R. Developmental Profiles. 3rd Edition. Canada: Delmar Publishers, 1999.
Berk, Laura E. Infants, Children, and Adolescents. 5th Edition. Boston: Allen & Bacon, 2005.
Curriculum Council. "Phases of Development: Early Childhood." The Scope of Curriculum. Seattle: University of Washington, 2004.
King, Nancy. "Play: The kindergartner's Perspective." The Elementary School Journal. Vol. 80, No. 2. Nov., 1979.
Hughes, Fergus P. Children, Play, and Development. 3rd Edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2005.
Olsen and Sumsion, A. And J. "Early Childhood Teacher Practices Regarding the Use of Dramatic Play in the Classrooms." Australia: Macquarie University Institute of Early Childhood, 2005.
Spodek, Bernard. "Conceptualizing Today's Kindergarten Curriculum." The Elementary School Journal. Vol. 89, No. 2. Special Issue: Early Childhood Programs in Public Schools. Nov, 1988.
Berk, Laura E. Infants, Children, and Adolescents. 5th Edition. Boston: Allen & Bacon, 2005. 10.
Spodek, Bernard. "Conceptualizing Today's Kindergarten Curriculum." The Elementary School Journal. Vol. 89, No. 2. Special Issue: Early Childhood Programs in Public Schools. Nov, 1988. p. 202.
Spodek, Bernard. P. 202.
Allen and Marotz, K.E. And L.R. Developmental Profiles. 3rd Edition. Canada: Delmar Publishers, 1999. p. 1.
Allen and Marotz, K.E. And L.R. p. 1.
Spodek, p. 204.
Berk, p. 10.
Spodek, p. 206.
King, Nancy. "Play: The kindergartner's Perspective." The Elementary School Journal. Vol. 80, No. 2. Nov., 1979. p. 83.
King, p. 84.
Curriculum Council.…… [Read More]
".. other living species,... also with the total environment in which we live." They explain the human ecosystem to include three fundamental organizing conceptions: the human environed unit (HEU); the natural environment (NE); the human constructed environment (HCE).
The following diagram portrays "The Human Ecosystem":
Bubolz, Eicher, and Sontag (1979, p. 29)
The human environed unit (HEU) displayed in the center is located in a specific space in time and can be a sole person or a group, i.e. A family; village; town, etc. The natural environment (NE) constitutes the environment.".. formed by nature with spec-time, physical, and biological components." (Ibid) The human constructed environment (HCE) is described as an environment that humans have constructed, created or changed and includes.".. cultural patterns, such as technology, language, laws, values and aesthetic standards...." (Ibid) These cultural patterns provide the foundation for communication; order, etc.
The human behavioral environment (HBE) is defined as the.".. environment of human beings and their biophysical, psychological and social behaviors." (Ibid, 30) An individual's presence, as well as, his/her physical posture and body's movements are included in HBE. According to Bubolz, Eicher, and Sontag (Ibid), for needs such as love and communication (also self-fulfillment), HBE is necessary. They present examples which reflect interactions among components in environments, as well as, between environments. Humans, they contend, are.".. dependent on all components of their environment to satisfy needs and desires." (Ibid). Consequently, the affect is mutual as people also affect their environments. In their article, Bubolz, Eicher, and Sontag (Ibid) contend that the ecological framework they describe can assist a researcher relate humanity concepts and.".. The biological, physicl, and social sciences within home economics and human ecology." (Ibid) They also note, however, during the time of their writing in 1979, the model presented is not fully developed and is in the process of being amplified.
According to "Environmental Degradation and Human Well-Being: Report of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment" (2005): the initial report from "The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, an elaborate international project set up in 2001 under UN auspices," with the goal…… [Read More]
meeting DAP standards while developing your educational program.
Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) standards reflect research in developmental psychology, showing how educators and program directors can adapt an evidence-based practice to meet the needs of all students. While developing my own educational program, knowledge of the DAP philosophy and standards will help me reduce achievement gaps in my classrooms, while remaining a flexible and responsive leader. Learning about DAP standards will impact future human resources decisions as well as all decisions related to resource allocation.
Moreover, DAP standards are particularly effective for educators and administrators like me, who work in challenging environments with a diverse student body. I will continue to work with parents and members of the community to promote DAP standards in culturally appropriate and sensitive ways, with the overall goal of helping each child attain maximum achievement throughout the course of early childhood education. A firm foundation in early childhood can mitigate risks and reduce barriers to success, ranging from barriers related to psychological, physical, or developmental disorders or barriers related to environmental factors at home or in the community. The DAP standards are particularly useful for educators like me, who dislike a "one size fits all" approach and who recognize the various predilections, needs, and backgrounds of students.
2. How will you ensure that the children in your program are learning (and meeting the standards found in the Preschool Learning Foundations) while playing?
Learning takes place during playtime, and to ensure that children are acquiring developmentally-appropriate knowledge and skills, I have reflected fully on the California Preschool Learning Foundations, especially found in the first volume. Preschool is a critical time in a young child's life because of social interactions that can form the foundation of future character. I would make sure that all children whose language of origin is other than English are offered opportunities to acquire English language skills in a natural way, through playtime interaction with peers using verbal games and activities. I would also monitor students during playtime to watch for specific skills acquisition, as well as emotional and social skills evolution. What…… [Read More]
Childhood Education Proposal
Location: Anywhere, America
Family Childcare & Preschool Center
Hours: 7am -- 7pm
Ages Served: Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers from 2 to 6
EcoCare is a complete family-supportive facility designed to build learning and growing resiliency into the children and parents we serve. Children who are resilient have self-control and self-regulation, which will allow them to learn and use learning skills as they move into a formal classroom setting. We believe this will enable the children to be comfortable in their natural explorations while at the same time being equipped to handle the frustrations that come with taking in new ideas, knowledge and the acceptance of learning in general. Our unique approach achieves its appeal by using recognized learning approaches and integrating them into a safe setting where environmental awareness and respect always point to a better future for all.
EcoCare Vision Statement: Encouraging resiliency in children is at least part of the goal of just about every child care or early learning program. Doing so is thought to best prepare them for later life and school success, in particular during this period when there is a great deal of emphasis on students meeting established patterns of learning success.
At EcoCare, a new type of mixed family care and preschool setting, proposes to nurture more from the first learning experiences of our children and families. We believe it is possible to utilized accepted standards of care and learning while linking achievement to a wide-range of local, community and experiential healthy and sustainable settings. The children and families will find themselves completely emerged in a green world of delightful learning opportunities that promote control and understanding and then grow the joy of being part of the world around them (Pramling Samuelson, 2008).
Mission Statement: EcoCare is fully committed to ensuring that our children and families feel comfortable with the care and attention they receive. For this reason we have established our mission statement in a way that is measurable and yet that promises to & #8230;
Provide high-quality, developmentally appropriate child…… [Read More]
Science may not be able to absolutely determine laws of human social development for all groups. In fact, a large majority of studies focus on a white, middle class population sample and therefore cannot be generalized to the entire population. Science is in itself a social construction, reflecting the biases, values, and beliefs of its practitioners. Because of its role in our society, science also perpetuates existing social hierarchies and power structures.
Postmodern theorists have responded with two suggestions for change. First, educators should include ideas and concepts from multiple disciplines to ensure an expansive set of knowledge and to validate multiple forms of human experience. Second, educators should discuss childhood development in context and with references to social and cultural realities.
Because childhood developmental theories continue to predominate, researchers lack consensus regarding developmentally appropriate practices. Incorporating postmodern theories in early childhood education training can held future educators and current teachers understand how they might be inadvertently contributing to the perpetuation of inequities: gender or otherwise. By revealing inherent biases and dominant culture values, postmodern theory can contribute far more to the obliteration of gender inequity and other social injustices than current sociological models can.… [Read More]
This helps both groups understand disabilities and deal with them. Blind children use their remaining senses to navigate their surroundings and interact with others. Some may even rely on seeing-eye dogs that come into the classroom. This can help bond the blind child with the other children, and help them understand disability and rehabilitation. Blind children may also use adaptive devices, such as optical readers, or they may learn Braille. The teacher should explain how these devices work to the other children so they understand how they aid the blind child in the learning process.
Many states offer vision services to help screen children for vision problems at a young age. In addition, there are many Websites with resources for the teacher and blind student. Some of the best include:
American Federation for the Blind:
What Families Need to Know:
Early Childhood Services:
Intervention may include interaction with the family regarding educational resources and opportunities, referring the family to social workers or other organizations who can help, or suggesting special education resources that can help the child. This can also involve teaching specialized skills, such as computer software adapted for blind students, teaching Braille or utilizing large print books, using tools such as canes for mobility, and other specific items that can help the child grow. A teacher must be aware of the special needs of the blind student, and be in touch with the student's parents for ways they can aid in their child's learning and eventual adult independence.… [Read More]
K. And the U.S. can both learn from these emerging nations and their dedication to improving the lives of their children.
Brazil, for example, leads the E-9 countries in per-capita expenditures for young children (Levin 2005, p. 198). China has committed to the universalization of preschool education (children ages 3-6) in urban areas by 2015, to increasing enrollment in one-year programs in rural areas, and increasing overall enrollment in preschool education. India has likewise committed to improved programs and access for its 3- to 6-year-olds, but has not established a timeframe in which to accomplish its goal. Indonesia has no standardized a preschool program, although there is a curriculum for public kindergartens. Schooling for preschoolers tends to emphasize creativity and good hygiene, and strongly support informal playgroups and parent education (Levine 2005, p. 199). In many ways, these programs do not compare with programs in the U.K. And the U.S. For many children in emerging nations, the focus of early childhood is survival. Development of programs that provide education and enrichment for cognitive and social aspects of the child, for example, are less urgent than reducing infant and child mortality. Basics of nutrition and hygiene are important, education of parents is important and many of these cultures also demand that religious education be part of the programs as well, as is the case with many Muslim schools, for instance, in Indonesia (Levine 2005, p. 200). However, where the merging nations are ahead of U.K. And the U.S. is in their commitment to ECE and the apparent willingness to fund sustained efforts that will truly make a difference.
Davis (2010, p. 286) argues that there is so much controversy about programs and implementation in the U.K. because of long-standing philosophical traditions about the period of time in a child's life from infancy to age seven, the so-called "age of reason." Earlier models of ECE were framed largely from the aristocratic perspective, in which "relatively distant parental figures have outsourced their educational and emotional responsibilities to a range of professional nurses, tutors…… [Read More]
children and I have been privileged that most of the focus of my work experience has been in this field. At present I have completed my A.A. In early childhood education and I am seeking the deeper and more in-depth understanding of the field that only a four-year undergraduate degree can provide. The Early Care and Education program of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is ideally suited to my professional needs, orientation, and aptitudes.
The UMass program in Early Care and Education was specifically created to help childcare workers already in the field of practice obtain a degree while still working full-time. Many Head Start and other educational programs for young children now require a B.A. As part of the requirements of the job, or will do so in the future. This is understandable -- it is an acknowledgement of the knowledge needed of psychology, early development, and other aspects of a child's life to make working in early care as productive and supportive of a child's education as possible. That is why I have decided to embark upon my own educational journey and obtain my four-year degree. I wish to expand my vocational opportunities in the field and not be limited in any way.
However, I also wish and need to continue to work while completing my education. Through the UMass University Without Walls concept, I would be able to obtain my degree online, thus giving me the flexibility required to obtain an education while still working. This would be the…… [Read More]
Lunenburg offers a series of suggestions for parents than can effectively aide the parent in home teaching, an essential aspect of child development and school readiness. Those which are applicable tot the ECE classroom are as follows:
1. Read to preschool children at least 20 minutes a day. Regular reading to children is one of the most important activities parents can do with their children to improve their readiness for school, serve as their child's first teacher, and instill a love of books and reading.
2. Keep good books, magazines, and newspapers in the house; the home can mirror the school in this respect. Make it easy - both for adults and children - to find something interesting to read.
3. Add to children's enjoyment of reading by discussing each book they read. Discussing the book familiarizes children with story components such as character, plot, action, and sequence and helps them associate language with printed text. Offer them computer-assisted games that promote language, writing, mathematics, and thinking.
4. Make sure children see parents or the caregiver read for at least 20 minutes a day. Remember, parents are a child's first teacher.
5. If a parent has difficulty reading, tell children stories. Telling stories is another important way that parents can participate in shared literacy activities with their children. In some cultures, storytelling and oral traditions play a more central role than reading books aloud.
6. Limit childrens' television viewing to no more than two hours a day. Studies indicate that while some television viewing every day is alright, excessive time watching television is directly linked to poor school performance. Watch the program with the child, then discuss the program and its implications in simple lessons. (Lunenburg, 2000, p. 519)
Lunenburg also goes on to stress the importance of seeking and keeping high standards with children as they will be more likely to meet them if they are not frequently given rewards that they do not earn. Cultural diversity can also be extremely important in this aspect of teaching as families diversity is…… [Read More]
Singapore Educational Policy Development
Singapore: Contemporary issues in early childhood education
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education
The purpose of this paper is to prepare a service mapping Singapore Ministry of Education policy development and to map how those policies, services, and regulations are formed. The focus will be on the area of curriculum and will be presented as an essay. Four quotations and links to journal articles are required as reference sources and there must be included a self-critical reflection and a comparison of the policies with other countries.
According to the Singapore Ministry of Education when a student completes Secondary School the should have:
Have moral integrity
Have care and concern for others
Be able to work in teams and value every contribution
Be enterprising and innovative
Possess a broad-based foundation for further education
Have appreciation for aesthetics
Know and believe in Singapore
In the work entitled, " A New Emphasis for a New Millennium: Affective and Career Education in Singapore stated is that, "The 21st century will require individuals to cope with rapid change in many areas of life" and that, "Along with the teaching of the traditional knowledge base, Asian educators need to help students learn how to manage change and the stress it can bring." The work states that it is the "emotional intelligence" that along with "traditional cognitive skills" that are those factors that are most importance in the development of "adaptable, successful, and productive citizens." (D'Rozario, 1998)
Education of the 'Whole-child'
Education in Singapore is focused on nurturing the 'whole child'. (Bracey, 2000) Evidenced by the report entitled "APEC Labor Markets: Structural Change and the Asian Financial Crisis" (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation)" published in the Journal of Contemporary Asia, spending on education in the country of Singapore and other regional countries is toward the focus of improved learning:
"The allocation of public…… [Read More]
Early childhood educators need to make a thorough study of the background family and community relationship in which a child is growing up. The findings of such investigations can then be used to optimize the teaching process and dissolve any negative connotations that may work to the child's detriment. On the other hand, both the family and community can work concomitantly towards the child's success later in life. The educator therefore needs to cultivate healthy parental and community relationships for the children in his or her care.
Early childhood educators also need to be aware of legislation that could profoundly affect the structure of classes, as well as the demographic and number of students that they can reasonably be expected to teach. One such bill is the 2008 School Finance Act, signed by Gov. Ritter (Dreyer, 2008). The bill involves allowing a large number of at-risk children aged between 3 and 4 to enter high quality preschools. While this is in keeping with the spirit of equality in the United States, it also profoundly affects the structure of classrooms and the demographic of the children involved. Teachers need to take into account the affect that these demographic changes could have on their specific groups of children.
This should integrate with the educator's awareness of their students' community and home backgrounds. Such an awareness can help raise the educator's sensitivity regarding any cultural conflicts or hostility towards new children.
In conclusion, being aware of legislation, regulations, and policies regarding education is a vitally important part of an early childhood educators career. Indeed, such knowledge will help such educators to optimize their efforts towards creating a future United States that is truly as fair and democratic as the most idealistic dreamer's vision.… [Read More]
130). Interestingly, the research suggests that there is no specific early childhood pedagogy that is inherently superior rather what is important is that children receive exposure to learning as soon as possible. "While no single curriculum or pedagogical approach can be identified as best, children who attend well-planned, high- quality early childhood programs in which curriculum aims are specified and integrated across domains tend to learn more and are better prepared to master the complex demands of formal schooling" ("Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers," 2000, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, p.307).
One of the problems in demonstrating the efficacy of early childhood education programs such as Head Start, is that they are almost by definition measured for their ultimate efficacy in a long-term fashion. Experimental studies are less valuable than correlational studies because of their short duration, but studies in the field can be affected by many other factors that influence the outcome of the study, given the complex interactions that come into play over the course of a child's education ("Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers," 2000, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, p. 329). However, while no perfect study may exist demonstrating the uniform, ideal approach for preschool education -- if such an ideal approach exists at all, given programs may work best if they are tailored to the needs of the child, the socioeconomic status of the community, and funding available -- the fact that they do help prepare a child for school and facilitate the stages of the developmental process should be evidence enough of the increased need for funding for such programs in the future, to help tomorrow's leaders come to terms as soon as possible with today's complex world.
Works… [Read More]
Porch (2002) points out that research unequivocally shows that early childhood education paves the way for later educational success.
As of now, few states offer fully funded early childhood education programs. As of 2002, only three states offered fully-funded pre-kindergarten programs (Porch 2002). The fundamental purpose of the Early Childhood Development Initiative was to increase awareness of the importance of early childhood education. Yet more work needs to be done to ensure government support of early childhood development programs and not just lip service.
Kagan (2004) suggests some possible solutions to the lack of comprehensive funding for early childhood education programs for every American. Urban areas should be the number one recipient for federal and state funding, given that most of the nation's disadvantaged students live in urban centers and attend urban schools. Furthermore, wise investments into appropriate early childhood education programs will ensure that the taxpayer funds are spent well and on the type of education that young children need most to succeed.
Until early childhood education programs are universal in the United States, programs need to seek outside support from charitable donations. However, those donations are limited and often tied into special interest groups that should not be able to influence the curricula of early childhood education programs. Grassroots organizations must therefore continue to pressure their state and federal legislators to make preschool and pre-kindergarten programs available and free for all parents and their children so that truly no child is left behind.… [Read More]
Early Childhood Development
Research on the brain and early childhood development indicates that the first four years of life are a period of particularly rapid development of brain structures and function. According to Larissa Scott (2004) the potential of the brain can be enhanced by presenting the right experiences at the right times, in the right amounts. In the initial stages of life, children's brains can be compared to a sponge soaking up liquids. As the newborn's five senses are stimulated the information gathered causes brain activity. This activity leads to the development of motor, emotional, behavioral, cognitive and social functioning.
Influence of Family and Environment
As the brain collects more information it begins to make connections between old and new knowledge, discarding information that does not sustain relevance to the environment. This sorting and learning process can be regarded as a function of the elimination of unnecessary associations and maintenance of those that are used. This places a great responsibility on primary caregivers to provide children with endless opportunities for gathering new information and maintaining associations with previously experiences.
The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2007) reports that specific experiences have a significant effect on specific brain circuits during specific developmental stages. The ability to think and regulate emotions is determined by the availability of appropriate experiences at the right stages of development.
Children need to be introduced to new tasks gently, too much, too soon is overwhelming. Learning requires focus, sustained attention and the capacity to tolerate frustration. Most children develop faster in one domain, motor, emotional, cognitive, social, than others. Children tend to choose activities that match their strengths and give them the greatest sense of achievement. It is important to help children find private ways to practice their relative weaknesses. Additionally, mastery in one domain can't be generalized to others. For example, even if a child has mastered motor skills, he may not have comparable mastery in emotional or social domains.
Perry (2000) describes a developmental hot zone, where a child can grasp new skills, concepts, ands behaviors. Children should be encouraged to leave their comfort zone and take on new challenges. If a child never leaves his comfort zone and moves into his hot zone, where the child is challenged, the child will never learn.
Pong,…… [Read More]
Your props and games should have some connection to the software and the lessons and CDs should be easily accessible. Finally, you should use an appropriate desktop management program such as InternetSafe or KidDesk.
3. Imagine that you're interviewing for a position as a preschool teacher and are speaking with the program Director. Explain the second component of the Creative Curriculum to the program director and describe how it will help you to promote children's development and learning.
I am a firm believer in the Creative Curriculum approach and I hope to implement it to promote optimal student learning and educational experience at this institution. In particular, I have found that the second component, the Learning Environment, is tremendously important because it is crucial that we meet all of the developmental needs of all of our students. Toward that end, the learning environment must be a safe and comfortable place for them and it must make all of our students genuinely feel that they belong in the learning group. More particularly, the learning environment must be set up in such a way that it incorporates different interest areas that allow learners to experience the full range of their potential interests. Ideally, it should provide a systematic structure and schedule that helps learners understand exactly what learning goals are targeted everyday. Most importantly, it must create a classroom environment that emphasizes cooperation and community among all…… [Read More]
To the extent possible, childhood educators should try to identify the learning styles of their individual students so that they can help them maximize their absorption of subject matter in accordance with their fullest and truest intellectual potential instead of allowing their maximum progress and most positive long-term attitude toward education (Lloyd, 2005). Having studied learning theory and educational psychology, I am confident that I will be able to fulfill this responsibility as a childhood educator.
Future Career-Related Skills and Experience
One of the most interesting aspects of educational theory that I have encountered in my studies relates to the concept of Multiple Intelligences introduced by Harvard School of Education theorist Howard Gardner (2006). Early childhood education is actually the perfect opportunity to apply that theory (together with other learning theories) to determine each child's greatest potential academic strengths and weaknesses (Gardner, 2006). My familiarity with Gardner's work is only superficial but it would be my hope to understand it in greater detail for the express purpose of applying it in the early childhood classroom to help inspire my students to learn in the manner that is most natural for each of them. Ultimately, my goal is simply to provide an educational environment that will set each child on the most direct path toward future academic success and I believe I have already acquired many of the necessary skills and the perspective to accomplish that in my role as a childhood educator.… [Read More]
Findings from several research studies show that when computer software and classroom manipulatives were compared, "the computer software was found to be the more effective means of skill building in young children" (Hitchcock and Noonan, 2000). The key, it appears, is the judicious use of technology and the timeframe in which computers are used. Computer software can be used as a learning tool, but disguised as a game. Further research found that computers are motivating and promote teacher-student interaction, which allows the teacher to encourage, prompt, and point to display items. While more research is clearly needed, the computer can be programmed to meet individual learning needs and to adapt regular curriculum issues in a more robust manner (Spencer and Baskin, 1997).
Part 4 -- The literature shows us that there are five major ways in which computers enhance learning in early childhood education:
Enhancing Learning -- There is a positive link between children's development, teaching practices, and the use of computers in the early childhood education classroom.
Young Children and Technology -- Technology changes so fast and children are exposed to it at home, on television, and in the popular media to the point that it is part of their life and culture from infanthood on.
Early Literacy -- Work processors, voice synthesizers, and other tools help encourage and enhance literacy for the preschooler.
Learning with Computers -- Resources are now available that allow the entire curriculum to be supported through computer and technology use (Cesarone, 2000).
Cesarone, B. (2000). Computers in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Childhood Education. 77 (1): 54-63.
Department of Education. (2003). Benefits of Technology use. Retrieved from:
Hitchcock, C. And Noonan, M.J. (2000). Computer-Assisted Instruction of Early Academic
Skills. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. 20 (3): 145-54.
Long-Breipohl, R. (2005). Computers in Early Childhood Education. Waldorflibrary.org.
Retrieved from: http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/GW4008.pdf
Spencer, M. And Baskin, L. (1997). Microcomputers and Young Children. ERIC Clearinghouse
On Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Retrieved from:
http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-9218/young.htm… [Read More]
Conversely, where the exhibit is actively incorporated into a lesson on the moral basis for sensitivity to animals, the existing educational environment contributes to the formation of a moral conscience even where direction of that kind is lacking at home.
In very much the same way, the preschool and primary grade school environment is conducive to teaching other important moral values that are often postponed until much later, despite the fact that early introduction to those concepts is much more likely to result in their absorption than later introduction. Racism, sexism, and other forms of bias that are no longer condoned in American society are also capable of being addressed in the preschool years so that those important lessons take root before contradictory messages are received from the external environment.
Informal Assessment of Social and Emotional Well-being in Children:
All too often, educators and other caregivers perform their professional responsibilities in a vacuum, concentrating strictly on their narrow tasks of teaching the alphabet or providing meals at the appropriate time. Both the classroom setting and the day care environment actually present numerous opportunities to assess the social development and emotional well-being of children, albeit in a very informal capacity.
The everyday interactions between preschool and grade school students contains a wealth of information into the social adjustment and emotional development of children without any formal diagnostic psychological testing whatsoever. Excessive shyness and reluctance to participate in classroom (or recreational) activities or to contribute to classroom discussions may suggest the need for formal assessment. In fact, the inclusion of a rich classroom environment is doubly useful, because in addition to promoting attentiveness and subject matter retention (Bimonte 2005), it further highlights the difference between children whose enthusiasm and classroom involvement falls within the normal ranges expected for their age group and those whose lack of involvement suggests possible issues of concern (Cookson 2005).
Similarly, while instances of aggression toward others is often dealt with in the context of isolated incidents, they may also provide the basis for concern even without formal assessment of any kind. It is well established that physical aggression or outright violence perpetrated by children often indicates…… [Read More]
The primary caregiver during the very early years of the child's life is the mother. Men play a fairly minor part in the early developmental years of the child. "In Malawi most men are traditionally distanced from their children; they rarely hold and play with them. (ibid)
However this situation changes as the child grows up, and there is later more interaction between father and child.
Overall, however, men are generally associated with the provision of financial support while women are seen as the ones responsible for nurturing." (ibid) Early childhood education is largely the responsibility of the mother and community and takes place mostly at home. It is essential non-formal in the rural areas, with the child being taught by the mother and siblings.
However, many of these cultural practices are being modernized. " Most traditional childrearing practices persist to date in some form, although they have been influenced by changes occurring in the society as a whole. For example, pregnancy is no longer as sensitive a subject as it was." (ibid)
Greater numbers of children are being born in hospitals and health centres and many traditional practices with regard to rearing and development are not being followed.
Kenya has become more "westernized" than Malawi and although traditional customs regarding childhood development do exist, education and development have been largely modernized. Research indicates that childhood development and education patterns in African countries can be assessed in terms of a historical pattern. This pattern refers to the transition from traditional to transitory and then to urban cultures. Countries like Kenya are still in the transitional phase but most of the country has adopted an urban culture with the concomitant effects on traditional ways of perceiving childhood development. However the country still has a high infant mortality rate. "The infant mortality rate is 67.99 per 1,000 live births, while the life expectancy is 46.5 years for men and 48.4 years for women (World Almanac, 2002)."
One of the most prominent aspects of Kenyan attitudes towards childhood development is the sense of community and the spirit of Harambee. "Since independence, early childhood education (ECE) in Kenya has expanded rapidly throughout the country, in the spirit of Harambee." (Myers, G. 1992)
This…… [Read More]