I strongly believe that the role of an early childhood teacher is to encourage children to be prepared for the real world and help develop the key skills that are required for their future learning.
During these six weeks on the topic, I have learned that educators aim to help build a strong foundation for children to be able to succeed in life. Teachers accept and work within a learning framework that is built on activities that promote a certain view of children view promote children’s view (Irving, p.4). Irving’s reading highlights how ideas of children and childhood have changed over time. As Irving proposed, there are debates on the influence of nature and nurture on children’s development. Nature is what we believe to be essential, innate qualities. Nurture has correlations between environmental factors and psychological outcomes. This means teachers can support the physical, social, and cultural environment of the children (p.7, 2018). These are incredibly old but still effective in children’s learning in the 21st century. As a teacher, I need to be aware of where these came from and operate in a way that finds new methods to support children’s success.
This page of the book talks about learning about the framework of children in the introduction but I am not sure if I should add it ( I may have misunderstood it) As a teacher should It is my duty to find various ways to make their children be successful and learn. McDevitt (2019) discusses how biological theories about children can help support their growth and learning. Biological norms provide a guide on what may be expected at different ages. Variations from these norms are to be expected. According to my understanding of social learning theories, children can learn by observing others’ actions. For example, a teacher demonstrates the use of solving children’s learning by observing and trying themselves. As a teacher, it is important to provide positive models such as good teamwork and a positive manner. Understanding children, biological normal will assist me with my teaching because I can grasp their thinking ability at a certain age.
Children have their way of learning when they first start to learn. This might involve, children first learning how to count to ten by using their fingers to count numbers (p.13).
Children have their own way of learning as they develop. This might involve using their fingers to count to ten (p.13). The interesting part I found in Irving’s reading was that teachers and parents must teach children about how learning is fun and encourage them to be engaged in learning. This is important for children who are starting school. Irving also considered that play gives joy, freedom, contentment, inner and outer rest, and peace with the world of children as opposed to being lectured to. When children are being lectured, they tend to lose interest quickly. In early childhood, it is critical for children to view who and what they become of themselves.
I was astonished by how cognitive development theories emphasize qualitative changes in thinking when children play an active role in their development. Children gain new and exciting experiences and try to grasp the concepts of what they see and hear (p.13). I was fascinated by how teachers can use sociocultural theories in practice. For instance, educators should be engaged in a range of cultures such as encouraging children to play games, songs, and customs for celebrating birthdays. McDevitt et al. 2019 indicated another interesting point which is that children learn a lot more and faster by being engaged in authentic adults task by receiving assistance from the teachers and their peers (P.14). The point McDevitt made was interesting, McDevitt et al. said how Early Childhood teachers are inspired approach the children curiously and see how children desire to try new things.
From Ormrod’s (2011) reading, I have understood that there are four principles to characterize children; physical, cognitive, personal, and social development which change at different ages (2014, P. 20). The Developmental milestones and the Early Years Learning Framework (2018) lists the milestones within each of these four developmental areas. Teachers can use this to support children’s development in play and learning with a purpose (2018).
I now realize that it is important for teachers to be positive towards children and not overload them with lots of work. The reason is that they can only process so much information. It was new and illuminating to learn how each part of the brain helps to teach play in different ways. As a teacher, I am obligated to try various teaching techniques to support children’s learning at different stages of development (McDevitt et al., 2019).
Cognitive changes over time constructivism Furthermore, I have realized that developmentalism comprises development theories that involve a clear stage associated with maturation ( p.60). Piaget (2018) described the stages of development. First is the sensorimotor stage from the age of birth to 2 years. At this stage, children will experience the world through knowledge through sensorimotor movements. Second is the preoperational stage which starts from age 2-7. At this stage, children extend the language, have a lack of rational thinking, the inability to reverse operations and have a limited understanding of concepts. As children grow, they develop concrete operations from 7-11 years old. During this stage, children have a better grasp of mental operations. They start to think of situations realistically, but will still have issues with understanding the abstract (Carter,2019, p.61). This will help me understand children’s thinking development.
Montessori (2019) stated that a teacher’s job is to guide children’s independent learning and provide materials and activities that guide their natural development. Montessori's method of educating is to have faith that children can be self-taught. The purpose of education is to gain knowledge and skills required for the real world. Constructivism is a theory of knowledge that argues that people construct bodies of meaning and knowledge out of experiences (Von Glasersfeld,1991 as cited in Carte, 2018) p.64.Extra reading: Reading knowledge is a process of discovery: How constructivism changes education wk 3 https://theconversation.com/knowledge-is-a-process-of-discovery-how-constructivism-changed-education-126585 Zaphir (2019) defines constructivism as being an educational philosophy which considers experiences an effective way to obtain knowledge. He analyzed the way children deal with the world and the sense of self that corresponds to certain ages. I believe this theory is essential because it gives children the chance to learn and have the freedom and opportunity to develop their own understanding of the environment (Cater,2019, p.63).
Gandini (2011) indicated that space is considered to be important in schools. It is essential to make children feel welcome in class and set out the type of activities. It is crucial that space in learning should be adaptable in a flexible way and it allows for exchange and experiences to co-construct knowledge. Classrooms should be engaging, such as using attractive materials and structured in a way for children to explore and communicate (p.319). I believe that children need “me time” and therefore space to play individually.
This week we start to explore play and observing children. Colville (2018) defines play as universal in the sense that all children are engaged in it no matter their culture. Play is motivational and powerful for all children in various cultural contexts (Colville, 2018, p.93). Play-based learning is a context of learning through which children organized and make sense of the engagement activities with people, objects, and representation (p.92). It is learning through discovery and exportation (p.93). Piaget’s thought play illustrates children’s cognitive development through self-directed problem solving which means children already know about (p.95). I think it is crucial for teachers to observe children play because it helps them understand their thinking ability. It also provides information on children’s learning. These begin at birth and interact with babies and toddlers providing a foundation for children’s learning (p.114). Children’s literacy begins to slowly develop in their home environment and is influenced by their native language and culture. Van Hoorn (2015) stated that children’s literacy develops by context. It is interesting how writing needs to happen as part of a social context and play-based curriculum. Babies learn numeracy through movement, listening to playful songs, and when teachers count. Sciences gives children an awareness of how the world works and it can be used to support technology. Children learn sciences through exploration, observation, and questioning. Teachers need to be confident, comfortable, and knowledgeable to teach basic science to children (p.116). I believe it is essential for teachers to encourage children to familiarise themselves with science vocabulary and to help them have a basic grasp of how the world works.
- Carter, C, (2018). Theorists and Theoretical Perspective: Early Childhood Development and Learning. In E. Irving & C. Carter (Eds.), The child in focus: Learning and teaching in early childhood education (pp. 56-87). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford.
- Colville, M. (2018 A). Play and play-based Learning. In E. Irving & C. Carter (Eds.), The child in focus: Learning and teaching in early childhood education (pp. 91-125). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford.
- Colville, M. (2018 B). Play and play-based Learning. In E. Irving & C. Carter (Eds.), The child in focus: Learning and teaching in early childhood education (pp. 113-123). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford.
- Irving. E. (2018 ). What is a child? Concepts and images of childhood. In E. Irving & C. Carter (Eds.), The child in focus: Learning and teaching in early childhood education (pp. 3-29). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford.
- Mcdevitt , T.( 2019).Child Development and Education ( 2nd ed).
- Ormrod, J.,(2011).Educational Psychology: Development learners. Ch.2. pp.19-25.
- Zaphir, L; (2019) Knowledge is the process of discovery: How constructivism changes education.
- Mcleod, S. (2020). Nature Nurture in Psychology | Simply Psychology. Retrieved 9 August 2020, from < https://www.simplypsychology.org/naturevsnurture.html >.