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Early Childhood Education in NZ - Essay Example

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In the paper “Early Childhood Education in NZ” the author reflects regarding education system in New Zealand. He finds it difficult to let go of such practices with his own students.  He is sure that he needs to follow the child’s lead.  …
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Early Childhood Education in NZ
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Download file to see previous pages Informing Children are naturally curious and full of wonder. In order to learn about their interests, they move around and play. It is the interactions with others, their thoughts and the materials in their environment facilitate them getting to learn about the world. Adults must be supportive of helping them understand how they learn and think best to reach their learning goals (Primary National Strategy, 2006). This is in relation to learning outcome 1.3 which is multiplying ways of knowing learners in-depth. Observing them keenly is one way of knowing what they are interested in and knowing how they react to things. However, knowing what children want to learn should not hinder them from discovery by imposing one’s own thinking or supplying the answers without letting the children find out for themselves. This is complying with learning outcome 2.3 which is about informed practice through the use of effective curricula and content knowledge, current assessment and planning processes and reflective practice. Confronting I believe the way I was raised and educated has much influence on how I think children learn. Growing up, I was exposed to adults spoon-feeding information to us, and we were expected to just accept the “wisdom” that our elders passed on to us. I did not realize that it did not matter what we children were interested in. We looked up to authority figures as dispensers of knowledge and we were grateful to them for this. It is only now as an adult that I realize how much our learning was limited because it was just dictated to us. We were not allowed to discover things on our own. Education in my homeland was very teacher-directed that children did not have much choice in directing their own learning paths. Growing up, I was accustomed and very comfortable with that kind of system that now in New Zealand, I find it difficult to let go of such practices with my own students. I am learning from my practice teaching that I need to follow the child’s lead. I need to be more observant of children’s interests and follow those instead of my own ideas even if I think they are great and that the children will enjoy and learn much from it. My role is to extend their knowledge and skills by organizing their learning environment according to their interests and needs. I bring out some interesting choices of activities for them and let them freely select what they want to do. Te Whaariki respects children’s ideas that they should always be participative in the planning of their learning. This empowers them to know that their ideas are worth listening to and even trying out, as reflected from the principle of Empowerment of Te Whaariki. Reconstructing In order to be more efficient in child-centred strategies, I need to not only observe children in action but also pose more open-ended questions. I can ask them what they already know about or what they want to learn more about and solicit their ideas on their activities. It is good if all children can contribute to the discussion regardless of their backgrounds because I believe in inclusive classes and respect all children no matter where they came from or what their abilities are. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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