Importance Of Early Childhood Development Programs Term Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Teaching Type: Term Paper Paper: #48181720 Related Topics: Early Childhood Education, Gardening, Deaf Education, Sustainable Development
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … education has been given more attention by researchers and educationists since the publication of the Brundtland report in the late 1980s. The report introduced the world to sustainable development as a key global concern. Since then even school curricula have made efforts to include such concepts as natural resources and climate change. Interestingly, not enough attention has been given to the manner in which early childhood development may be instrumental in the whole process. This paper discusses the place of early childhood education especially in ensuring sustainable development. It is apparent that early childhood education is part of a whole that is the entire education system and this implies that it has just as much a role to play in tackling the issues of sustainable development especially those that are to be brought to the fore in the educational system.

The role education plays in the endeavor is substantial. A large volume of literature has been written on the place of education in this issue especially as a means of preparing people all over the world to take action so as to create the needed change. The declaration of the past ten years as the Decade of Education for Sustainable Education cements the fact that education will be instrumental in reaching global sustainability (UNESCO, 2004). The declaration by the UN has been adopted by various players at the national and continental levels, for instance, the European UN Economic Commission and the Committee on Environmental Policy has put forth a strategy for sustainable development education in Europe (UNECE, 2005). It is therefore clear that the public and the politicians have the good will to ensure that education is critical to achieving these goals of saving the world. Nonetheless, not much attention has been channeled to the manner in which early childhood education will play a role in the process. This concern was raised during 'The role of early childhood education for a sustainable society' workshop that was organized in 2007 by Goteborg University and UNESCO. In the course of the workshop, several views on the place of early childhood education as a pillar of ensuring a sustainable world were put forth. The conclusion made was that early childhood education had the capacity to make major contributions to ensure education for sustainability. Some of the strengths put forth were the cultural experiences, professional competences, interdisciplinary knowledge as well as the participants that were personally engaged.

Early Childhood Education and Learning for Sustainable Development and Citizenship

As I was growing up and gaining education, I understood that neither education nor sustainable development should be viewed as only a national concern. The two concern cultural, economic, political and social events of global concern. A perspective that takes this into account is in harmony with the definition sustainable development has been given (Hugglund & Samuelsson, 2009).

When applying sustainable development definition to educational goals, emphasis is made on integrating social, environmental, value and economical dimensions. In this regard, the conceptualization of education for sustainable development draws parallels from citizenship education, values education, peace education as well as education for democracy. Together, they constitute education practice and research that clearly has normative signatures which imply that political and ideological criteria shall direct policy and practice. This implied to me that education for sustainable development should take into account values concerning solidarity, democracy as well as justice which are instrumental for the survival of humankind and the earth (Haggland and Samuelsson, 2009).

During my early childhood education graduate program, I learned that most children take part in preschool when little. Before they turn two, 84% of all kids have been to preschool. Education policy considers preschool part and parcel of the educational system. As experienced later in the professional field, I found out that changes that have impacted preschool development include the development of a national curricula as well as a teacher-training program that is university based. The changes can be associated to those...

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In certain ways, I experienced that preschool has been seen to be advancing the agenda of various players instead of supporting the learning of the children. The umbrella aim of preschool is to support the child-care needs of parents, make a contribution to equality of men and women, and to provide all the children a chance to develop social and intellectual abilities (Hagglund and Samuelsson, 2009).

The concept of making use of a child's immediate environment as well as their everyday life to form learning references is an important pedagogical theory principle. From my professional experience, all the activities that take place inside the home like cooking or work in the kitchen, or wood work, and gardening formed the basis for learning. Taking such an approach is a means of coming nearer to the experiences of the child so as to use what is familiar to them to draw references to what needs to be learned. Learning, as pointed out by Frobel, should begin from what the children are already aware of. He also noted that differences existed between older and smaller children and proposed a pedagogical approach grounded on learning, work and play. According to him, the children ought to be active in mind and body so as to develop interest and respond appropriately to learning opportunities. Knowledge transmission hasn't been an issue in preschool. While varied qualities exist in practice, Wals opines that preschool pedagogy possesses its own qualities and tradition (Haggland & Samuelsson, 2009).

Furthermore I experienced that a significant trait noted is stressing that a child should be regarded as a whole individual. This means that learning and care have to be given equal weight. Hallden (2007) discusses the weight between the approaches. She makes an argument that seeing a child as an agent that is independent is very important. She however notes that such agency ought to be balanced by care given by the society and adults. She says that there is a possibility to lose care as we strive for knowledge transmission. Care is a very important facet of young children's learning. In the context of Early Childhood Development (ECD) context, it isn't easy including aspects of care as needed dimensions in the learning of solidarity, rights, and democracy (Haggland & Samuelsson, 2009).

For early childhood education, given the prevailing policy environment, educators have been requested to possess a deep comprehension of child development and issues concerning early education and to avail rich educational experiences for the children they care for. There is high accountability to results and the professional support resources are limited. The field therefore requires comprehensive studies from which professional development studies can be based (Sheridan, Edwards, Marvin & Knoche, 2009).

The skills, practices and knowledge that I learned in my professional field state that in early childhood, education is a significant factor in evaluating the level of learning of young ones, as well as assisting with their preparation to get into the learning system. The educators are being requested to possess a deep comprehension of child development as well as issues of early education and so avail to the learners a richer learning experience even where resources are limited. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 highlights the significance of comprehending which qualities child educators should have. The individuals upon whom we shall place the care of our children should meet certain minimum requirements and also take steps to improve their skills and professional ability through professional development. (Martinez-Beck & Zaslow, 2006).

According to my experience, with more attention being given to early childhood professional development in the communities in charge of policy and practice, there is need to determine the aspects that work for various environments and people and the costs involved (Welch-Ross, Wolf, Moorehouse & Rathgeb, 2006). The research that I did during my graduate program on professional development in the field should cover more than the characteristics needed from caregivers, but also establish evidence theories ranging from the forms to the processes as well as the outcomes. The current standing of early childhood education means that professional development should be given a bigger podium to develop empirical and theoretical expertise so as to guide the planning as well as implementation of the reforms that have been fronted by various players in the field (Sheriden, Edwards, Marvin & Knoche, 2009).

Assumptions, Goals and Objectives of Professional Development

Components of Programs that have been of Value to Professional Development

Primarily, "professional development" in the early childhood programs that I studied is used to refer to the experiences for the promotion of training, education, and development opportunities for practitioners in early childhood who work with children under the age of eight and the families. During my graduate program, professional development was applied to the activities which try to heighten the skill set, knowledge base, and attitudes of practitioners (Havard Family Research Project, 2006). The ultimate objectives…

Sources Used in Documents:

Bibliography

Alnahdi, G. (2014). Assistive Technology in Special Education and The Universal. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 20.

Anderson-Inman, L., Knox-Quinn, & Horney, M. (1996).Computer-based study strategies for students with learning disabilities: individual differences associated with adoption level. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29, 461-484.

Cullen, J., Richards, S.B., & Frank, C. (2008).Using software to enhance the writing skills of students with special needs. Journal of Special Education Technology, 23, 33-44.

Elbro, C, Rasmussen, I., & Spelling, B. (1996). Teaching reading to disabled readers with language disorders: A controlled evaluation of synthetic speech feedback. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 37, 140-155
McInerney, M., Riley, K., & Osher, D. (1999).Technology to support literacy strategies for students who are deaf. Final report. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from http://www.bglad.org/literacystategies.pdf


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