Reflection 19 Describing Having been raised in environments where adults led children, I still feel the need to adjust to a setting where in I, as an adult should follow the children’s lead. I sometimes feel that without the teacher’s lead, children may miss some opportunities to understand things earlier due to the teacher’s guidance…
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I am now at the point where I want to know how to balance children’s interest with the things I know they need to learn with the teacher’s guidance. Informing Kilderry (2004) discussed critical pedagogy in a sense that early childhood educators critically assess the purpose of everything they do with children. They hold wide perspectives and know when to adjust to the context each child comes from. Critically aware early childhood practitioners believe that knowledge is constructed within a social group and is mediated and cannot be separated from its cultural and historical understandings (Jipson, 2000). Thus, in a multicultural setting, the teacher gets to adjust to and respect each child in accordance to their cultural and family backgrounds. The teacher makes a range of teaching decisions in everything that comprises the learning environment of children, but ultimately follows the child’s lead. Critical pedagogy in the New Zealand educational system applies the principles of the Te Whaariki curriculum of empowerment, holistic development, family and community and relationships (MOE, 1996). Such curriculum supports the learning and development of children and their families through a nurturing safe environment that allows children to explore their world under the watchful eyes of their teachers and parents. Confronting This reflection conforms to the learning outcome 4.3 The ethical, moral and political dimensions of professional dilemmas are critically reflected upon, including reference to both the early childhood Code of Ethics and the New Zealand Teachers Council Code of Ethics. This is very apt to my own questions on the balance between child-centredness and teacher-directedness in the early childhood curriculu
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