Why is Early Childhood Education Important

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In this essay, I will discuss how strong value operates within the perspective of education and what are main concepts, design of theories from conforming perspective of education. This essay will show some theories which are pedagogy. My explanation will be reflected by nature and culture including how I have comprehended this design in relation to the early childhood learning environment. I conclude with an explanation of Glenda Mac Naughton’s concept of early childhood education. Finally, I will analyze why is early childhood education important and how I could establish an education approach to match the theories of early childhood curriculum.

Educators should understand how power in education and how power can affect individual students for producing their Power perspective in education. It includes an image of the child, an image of the teacher, values, and beliefs of teaching, expectations regarding relationships with families and children, etc. For example, in Clavell J.'s To Sir with Love [DVD recording], from the image of the students, some teachers thought the students are the devil incarnate and they rejected other schools. They have not targeted and misused their rights. But the students want to learn about freedom, independence, sex, money, etc. From an image of the teacher, they started traditionally and changed empathic, patient, listened, relationship to reflection. In school the principal has power and in class the teacher has power. In addition, the student Denham has power in their group. Teacher M has a strategy for power and control. Then he changed to intervention with respect, hope, empathy, patience, no judgment, friendly, guidance, and structure. From no teaching to learning to teach he got enjoyable within teaching.

Conforming is following general rules, patterns, or ideas. The conforming model has two main theories which are Maturationism and Behaviorism. Firstly Maturationism(nature) explains learning is innate. Babies enter the world with an inborn schedule which is the product of at least three million years of biological evolution: they are pre-eminently ‘wise’ about their needs, and what they are ready and not ready to do…[we should take] cues from the children themselves. Secondly, it shows learning can occur in sequential stages, each with its own characteristics or behavioral norms. Thirdly we have to follow the child’s que because children’s learning is an accepted way and they will progress through different stages of development according to their biology. We can’t fold in the child’s maturation and learning will be the best way with little interference from adults. On the other part, Behaviourism (environment) shows learning is informed by social and physical environments. Secondly, it is limited by nature and determined by culture. Thirdly it occurs through reinforcement. School and family must provide children appropriate environment that allows children can fully realize and grow their potential knowledge.

…we must expand our thinking beyond the notion of room arrangement. We must ask ourselves what values we want to communicate through learning environments, and how we want children to experience their time in our programs. For children’s environment, it includes positioning equipment and materials, collecting, and scheduling. Educators give enough support within children’s environment that is appropriate for the child’s current capabilities. For instance, for 3-4 years ages children can’t read whole long paragraph books without pictures.

Gesell suggested that all children will develop differently depending on their maturation which will, in turn, impact our culture in different ways and that culture will need to adapt to these variants in children’s development.

In contrast to Maturation, theory behaviorists believe that children’s brains are blank when they are born. However, they can be filled by their society. For example, they can use observable and measurable skills to learn from your family, media, friends, and many other direct environmental influences.

In contrast to a Psychodynamic view, Behaviourist believes the mind is not the key to acquiring knowledge; the external environment in which they live is. Curriculum goal-setting under a Behaviourist conforming profile is recommended to occur at the commencement of planning, prior to the educator even meeting the children. The children needn’t be judged on how the knowledge they have and they will learn according to what the teacher directly supports them.

Some theorists had an influence on this approach such as Pavlov, Skinner, and Bandura. Pavlov’s behaviorist approach to his theory is classical conditioning and BF Skinner with operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is when people learn by association, and operant conditioning is when we learn to behave in a certain way because of either positive or negative reinforcement. Bandura’s approach is social learning theory with being with others.

Moreover, the psychodynamic approach thinks that behaviorists do not think about the unconscious mind. Now I can put Maturationism and Behaviourism philosophies into my brain and I could use them in an early childhood environment.

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There are parts of the conforming model that educators would implement.

The technical approach to curriculum includes goal-directed, pre-determined, sequential stages, adult-directed, uniform, and universal, developmental norms, prescribed sets of skills and knowledge, same for all children, and foundational skills for the workforce.

“Curriculum as a politically engaged process in which the educator's intentions and the children’s involvement interact to produce the lived curriculum of a specific service”. Educators will express a philosophy of education, curriculum goals, and approach to the use of time, people, space, learning resources and materials, and an approach to assess what is occurring.

Educators’ intentions include beliefs about what is worth teaching; what we want to teach; Knowledge of subject matter; Knowledge of learners. Within each perspective, the characteristics of the curriculum are the same, but how they inform your practice will vary. Educator’s actions include: How we teach what is intended; Curriculum goals and plans; Curriculum assessment.

That early childhood teacher education has a positive impact on teachers and teaching, the particular kinds of experiences early childhood teachers should provide are not so generally agreed upon.

As a teacher who needs to think about some questions: What to teach? How to teach? When to teach? What is the impact of teaching?

A teacher is an onlooker, stage manager, Co-player, play leader, scribe and documenter, assessor and communicator, planner, and mediator. On the other hand, children observe play, Playing alone, playing near others, but with no interaction, group play but without common goals, sharing, different theories emphasize these in a different ways. Children have different “learning agendas” which motivate them to ‘explore their environments, engage with others and discover new things and ideas.

How to get a high-quality early childhood education program worldwide? Educators could set up dimensions: philosophies and goals, physical environment, developmentally appropriate and effective pedagogy, and curriculum, attention to basic and special needs, respect for families and communities, and professionally prepared teachers and staff. For example, children with different diversity interact with the world by developing “the relationship with people, place, and things, and the actions and responses of others (Victorian early years learning and development framework, 2016)”. As the respect for diversity increases, children participate and connect with others increase. When children are born, they are already in touch with the world, Thus, it means active community participation needs to be nurtured in early childhood.

Moreover, to know better about children, interacting with children is important. As Vygotsky stated that interaction with children who are more capable or advanced in learning that it is like assisted learning or guided participation in the classroom. Each child is unique and has the right to be loved, respected, and valued, so as a teacher I will focus on interaction with children in different environments, such as during playing, painting, and reading books. In the process of it, I could spend time with children to be actively engaged in the hands-on activities to improve their body coordination and I would help them to accumulate the life common sense and the words when communicating to nurture their oral language. Also, while interacting with them, observing is necessary, I would set up documents for each child to note their daily life in the school and highlight some important information, including their characteristics, their intelligence, and their performance (Follari, 2015). Also, each time, I would summarize the evaluation and analysis at the end of the documents because these are valuable insights into children’s assessment, which can be used to plan children’s development with family.

Furthermore, in the process of observation, children’s interests can be explored and developed. It is an excellent opportunity for educators to record every process children develop and understand what they are good at or poor at. Then educators would create a powerful “performance-based-assessment”.

In conclusion, as an education professional, developing philosophy is a good starting point for early childhood education improvement. This essay has been discussed in three parts: Firstly, Secondly, and Finally, I develop my philosophy to get an idea to aim towards the early childhood education. However, I also know that with the improvement in the programs, philosophy cannot be the same.



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  • Australia Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australian Governments. (2009). Educators belonging, being & becoming: the early years learning framework for Australia. Canberra: Author. Retrieved from https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/05_2015/belonging_being_and_becoming_the_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf
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