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Early Childhood: Rationale and Evaluation Name of class Instructor Name of school City and location Date Rationale The world today is markedly different than that of previous generations. The media constantly bombard us with stories of economic globalization, war stories and conflicts, multicultural intolerance resulting in extreme measures by extremist groups e.g…
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Early Childhood: Rationale and Evaluation
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Download file to see previous pages In the face of such challenges, it is only necessary to equip young children with the right skills and abilities to be able to navigate such a world as adults in the future. Educators have the responsibility to ensure that children’s learning sets them up to face life. Learning shapes how we understand and respond to situations in life such as making the right decisions, solving problems and getting along with others effectively (Schweinhart & Weikart, 1999). To this end, the type of curriculum models that early childhood educators employ, matters. Shapiro and Mitchell (1992) argue that in order for the needs and interests of individual children to be met, the objectives of a set curriculum should not only be to promote particular lessons, but also to advance the opportunities for social, physical, mental and holistic development. Among the ways that this can be done, is by employing a child-centred approach, creating learning areas within the environment, using a cross-cultural approach or making decisions regarding the principal curriculum content. As given by Fortson and Reiff (1995), children are naturally inquisitive, and will actively participate in their learning, finding ways to understand and attach meaning to events and things. It is therefore essential for the educators to incorporate this factor in the learning and teaching of young children. As an early childhood educator, I believe it is important to engage children in genuine dialogue. This is facilitated by teachers having genuine respect for children, and being interested in what they have to say. I believe children sometimes have really great ideas, which often is not expressed effectively due to their limited vocabulary. It is therefore important for educators to forge close relationships with the children they teach in order to understand their individual needs and interests, so as to know how to meet them. Understanding children well, enables educators to understand what they are saying or trying to communicate. Additionally, I trust that children learn better in an integrated learning approach which considers their ideas and interests. Children develop concepts of self from the treatment they receive from others (Puckett and Diffily, 1999). By designing activities inspired by the children’s interests and ideas, meaningful, developmentally appropriate and holistic learning and development takes place. With regard to that, generally in my centre we do include the interests and experiences of the children into the activities and programming. However, the children’s ideas and thoughts are not considered as we do not ask for their opinions. My idea is to initiate a project in which the children’s thoughts and ideas are included in the experiences we design for them. Katz and Chard (2000) define a project as “an in-depth study of a particular topic that one or more children undertake.” Edwards, Gandini and Forman (1993) support the use of projects in teaching children for its usefulness in guiding children to use all their “intellectual, emotional, social and moral potentials.” Children take pleasure in brainstorming (Arce, 2000) which equips them with the ability to respond to the thoughts of others. Also, according to Puckett and Diffily (1999), “an appropriate curriculum is one that integrates all areas of development (physical/motor, social, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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