Curriculum Approaches Essay

Montessori & High Scope In order for students understand the contemporary curriculum, it is important that they be able to connect it to themselves in a meaningful way. This is particularly true in the modern classroom that is more diverse than ever before. Connection involves drawing on prior knowledge and experience in order to relate to the text. In this way, the students become participants in the story and are apt to be engaged in the reading process. There are a number of approaches to early-childhood education that range in nature and focus. The HighScope program was developed using the work of both John Dewey and Jean Piaget, as well as the constructivist approach to classroom learning from educational philosopher Lev. Vygotsky. The basic presumption is taking the child's development at present and helping them build upon it continually, pushing the "zone of development" up through a series of steps provided by a social situation in which the student controls some of the learning impetus (Hohmann, M., et al., 2008). The Montessori approach was developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori about a century ago. This is also constructivist in approach, and focuses on independence, freedom, and respect for the child's natural development. There are larger blocs for learning, freedom of movement within limits, and a discovery model that allows the student to pursue interests inside and outside the classroom. Montessori-based much of her philosophy about learning and...

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In this, Montessori expanded Rousseau's view about natural rights and education to help ensure that learning becomes a lifelong adventure of discovery. Her basic philosophy may be summed up as learning is increased with relevance, hands on approaches and interesting lessons. For learning to be meaningful, in other words, it must be purposeful and engaging, which became the basic philosophy of constructivism in education (Hainstock, 1997).
Montessori believed that every human has a capacity for learning, but that experiential learning is far more important than reading or listening to lecture. She believed that relevance and the senses (touch, smell, etc.) contributed to a greater learning paradigm that becomes relevant to the learner and is remembered. For example, children understand a lesson about the hydrological cycle better when they experience watching rain, seeing the water evaporate, and touching the stream in which the rain feeds than hearing about the water cycle. The teacher, then, guides, but does not preach the lesson, but allows actions with the environment enrich the learning objectives (Montessori, 1982, pp. 3-41).

The Montessori Method is about development of the mind, body and emotional personality. Learners first learn basic issues about society -- carrying, lifting, sharing and pulling to establish their coordination and sense of balance. Working with other children…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

What is HighScope? (2004, June). Retrieved from perpetualpreschool.com: http://www.perpetualpreschool.com/highscope/highscope_info.htm

Hainstock, E., 1997. The Essential Montessori. New York: Plume Publishers.

Hohmann, M., et al. (2008). Educating Young Children. Ypsilanti, MI: HighScope Press.

Kim, S. (2005). The Effects of A Constructivist Teaching Approach. Asia Pacific Educational Review, 6(1), 7-19.
Sparks, P. (2004, November 18). High Schope Learning. Retrieved from highscope.org: http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=253


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