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Review of Early Childhood Education and Learning Theories

Review of Early Childhood Education and Learning Theories

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  • 1. Early Childhood Education Theories in History Prepared by Dr. Carla Piper Who Am I in the Lives of Children? Feeney, Christensen, Moravcik (2001)
  • 2. Ancient Greece and Rome
    • Believed that free human beings should strive for excellence in:
      • Body
      • Mind
      • Spirit
    • Olympic Games for amateur competition
    • Rejoiced in the Fine Arts
    • Plato – philosopher wrote The Republic
    • Established nursery schools
    Games, music, stories, drama to illustrate values needed by all good citizens
  • 3. Aristotle
    • Plato’s pupil (384-322 B.C.)
    • More interested in the world visible to the senses
    • Logical organization of thought
    • Defined human beings as “rational animals ”
    • Valued education of young children
      • Excellence must be habitual
      • Good habits must be established early in life
    • Believed in the potential excellence of human beings – mind and body
    Valued children’s play
  • 4. The Renaissance
    • Sir Thomas More (England) and Desiderius Erasmus
      • 1466-1536
      • Encouraged parents and teachers to avoid using severe punishments as way to motivate children
      • Felt children would learn if the subject matter was enjoyable
      • Erasmus became advocate of higher education of women
    • Turned attention away from church to that of the individual and stimulated revival of ancient literature
    Invention of the Gutenberg printing press made books available
  • 5. The Reformation
    • Martin Luther - 1483-1546
      • Former monk broke from the Catholic church and began Protestant Reformation
      • Believed in universal education for boys and girls
      • New religious societies dedicated to good works including education of orphans and the poor children
      • Tended to emphasize the sinful nature of children
    • John Amos Comenius – 1592-1670
      • Bohemian (Czech) monk and writer
      • Developed teaching methods and produced some of the earliest materials for early childhood education.
      • Wrote of the importance of language acquisition
  • 6. The Enlightenment
    • New emphasis on the potential of humankind
    • To understand universe
    • To transform society
    • Effort to make education more practical and scientific
    • Move away from influence of religion to a more humanistic view of life
    Advances in astronomy and mathematics led to scientific revolution
  • 7. John Locke (1632-1704)
    • Academic, doctor, philosopher, political theorist
    • Believed that child comes into world with a mind like a blank slate (tabula rasa)
    • Knowledge is received through the senses and then converted to understanding by application of reason
    • Believed that infants should not be restricted by swaddling (wrapping tightly)
    • Believed that young children should be allowed to explore
    • Believed in gentler forms of discipline – not corporal punishment
    Believed in the importance of nurture over nature “ Child’s mind is a blank slate”
  • 8. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
    • Children learn through natural, undirected play free of adult interference and guidance
    • Education began at birth and continued throughout life
    • Believed in natural growth process (stages of development)
    • Valued the natural interests and development of the child
    French philosopher, writer, social theorist – wrote novel “Emile” “ Innate goodness will flower when children are raised out of contact with corrupt society” Children learn best through direct experience and exploration of the environment
  • 9. Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827)
    • Swiss educator influenced by Rousseau
    • Looked to nature and the emotions (including religion) rather than human reason alone
    • Influenced “progressive” educational ideals of United States and Europe
    • Devoted his life to education of orphans and poor children
    • Rejected practice of “memorization” and advocated exploration and observation as basis of learning
  • 10. Pestalozzi Head – Hands - Heart
    • Believed all children have a right to education
    • Believed education had potential to awaken the potential in each child – and lead to social reform
    • The aim is to educate the whole child
    • Intellectual education is only part of a wider plan.
    Concerned with equilibrium between elements – head, hands, and heart and the dangers of attending to just one.
  • 11. Robert Owen (1771--1858)
    • Welsh industrialist and social reformer
    • Abolished child labor in his own textile mills and established schools to improve children’s lives
    • Mutual consideration could transform society
    • Infant school – the first in England offered nurturing and emotionally secure setting for children to learn right from wrong
    • Sensory learning, stories, dancing, singing, nature study, and physical exercise
    • Spontaneous play – vehicle for learning
    “ An educator without an education” Abolished child labor A rich man who fought for the poor!
  • 12. Friedrich Froebel (1782--1852)
    • First Kindergarten – 1837 in Germany
    • Wanted place where children could be protected and nurtured
    • Kinder (child) Garten (garden)
    • Studied with Pestalozzi
    • Found he loved children despite his own lonely childhood
    • Viewed play, toys, songs, fingerplays and games as important for child’s education
    • Founded several innovative schools and directed an orphanage
    Appreciation of Unity with God “ Gifts” and “occupations” for sensory and spiritual development
  • 13. Gifts and Occupations
    • “ Gifts” - special teaching materials
    • Designed to enhance sensory and spiritual development
    • Blocks, yarn balls, geometric shapes, wooden tablets, natural objects
    • “ Occupations” – learning activities
    • Solids - Plastic clay, card-board work, wood-carving
    • Surfaces - Paper-folding, paper-cutting, parquetry, painting
    • Lines - Interlacing, intertwining, weaving, thread games, embroidery, drawing ,
    • Points - Stringing beads, buttons, etc.; perforating
    • Reconstruction - Softened peas,wax pellets, sharpened sticks or straws .
  • 14. Significant Kindergarten Ideas
    • Activity is the basis of knowing
    • Play is an essential part of the educational process
    • Teacher supports the development of positive impulses in children
    • Teaching of young children should differ in content and process from teaching older children
    • The teacher is an affectionate leader
    • Teaching materials called gifts and occupations for sensory and spiritual development.
  • 15. Elizabeth Peabody
    • Studied with Friedrich Froebel in Germany
    • Founded first English speaking kindergarten in Boston – 1860
    • Founded first kindergarten teacher education program
    • Mission kindergartens popular due to flux of immigrants to U.S.
    • Emphasized importance of cleanliness, courtesy, development of manual skills, physical activity, and preparation for later schooling
    • Won public support of Kindergarten
  • 16. The Nursery School
    • Two sisters – Margaret (1860-1931) and Rachel McMillan
    • Raised in US and Scotland but moved to England
    • 1911 - Established the first open-air, play-oriented nursery school in England
    • Concerned with the care and nurture, as well as learning of children
    • Many poor children in England needed additional care for health and nutrition
    • Emphasized perceptual motor skills and imagination
  • 17. Nursery Schools
    • Ideas
      • Identify and prevent health problems
      • Prepare low-income children to enter formal schooling
    • Methods
      • Stimulate child’s sense of wonder and imagination
      • Teacher’s role – nurture and teach informally
      • Outdoor work and play important
      • Play in a planned learning environment
      • Nutrition, gardening, creative expression, sand box
  • 18. Bank Street College of Education
    • New York – 1916
    • Harriet Johnson, Caroline Pratt, Lucy Sprague Mitchell
    • Agency for research on child development
    • “ Art of Block Building” – observations of different stages of development
    • Combined progressivist ideas with child development theories of Jean Piaget
    • Beginning of “developmentally appropriate practice”
    Lucy Mitchell Jean Piaget
  • 19. Bank Street College of Education
    • Development of the whole child
    • Also called the Developmental-Interaction Approach
    • Began in New York’s Bureau of Educational Experiments – beginning of 20 th century
    • Based on work of John Dewey – Progressive Educator
    • Child learns through play and interactions with others in a social democratic community
    • Emphasis on social studies and learning trips in the community – bakery, grocery store, firehouse
    http://www.bankstreet.edu/sfc/
  • 20. Role of Teacher – Bank Street
    • Understand child development
    • Know that children come to pre-school with diverse learning styles.
    • Record observations
    • Reflect on patterns that nurture the whole child
    • Encourage active participation
    • Promote a sense of fairness
    • Create a sense of community that helps children gain confidence.
    • Provide concrete opportunities for children to play, explore, experiment, and recreate their experiences.
    • Know each child based on
      • observation and
      • responsive care and
      • engagement
    • Build partnerships
    • Communicate effectively with parents.
    Read History Bank Street Head Start
  • 21. Montessori Approach
    • Dr. Maria Montessori – 1870-1952
    • One of the first women in Italy to receive medical degree
    • Founded “Casa Dei Bambini” – The Children’s House – 1907
    • Believed intelligence not fixed but could be stimulated by child’s experiences
    • Children have sensitive periods when they have interest and capacity to learn certain knowledge and skills
    • Provided a child-size environment and the use of sensory materials
  • 22. The Montessori Method
    • Intelligence can be stimulated by experience
    • Children learn best through sensory exploration
    • Children are self-motivated
    • Children seek out appropriate learning experiences
    • The role of the teacher is to observe and direct learning
    • Learning is sequential
  • 23. The Montessori Curriculum
    • Child-oriented learning environment
    • Children choose activities
    • Self-correcting, sequenced didactic materials
    • Materials teach practical life activities and academic subjects
    • Emphasis on individual work.
    • Preserve dignity of the child
    • Develop independence and productivity
  • 24. Montessori Classroom
    • Children grouped in mixed ages and abilities
    • Children learn through firsthand experience by doing real tasks
    • Includes practical life experiences – buttoning, zipping, gardening, cutting
    • Orderly environment is important and attractive
    • Children use “didactic” materials to help develop senses and learn concepts
    • Children develop ability to concentrate on learning
  • 25. Montessori Today
    • Montessori International – http://www.montessori.edu/ and
    • http://www.montessori-ami.org/
    • American Montessori Society - http://www.amshq.org/
    • Montessori Unlimited - http://www.montessori.com/
    • The Montessori Foundation - http://www.montessori.org/
  • 26. John Dewey (1859-1952)
    • University of Chicago and Columbia University in New York
    • Sought social and political reforms
      • Political corruption
      • Poverty
      • Problems of industrialization
    • Harriet Castle
      • Friend of John Dewey (1847-1924)
      • Member of missionary family in Hawaii
      • Desegregate schools and reformed kindergartens in Hawaii
      • By 1900 classes were integrated
    Father of Progressivism
  • 27. Progressive Ideals
    • Learning through doing – experiencing and experimenting in self-directed activities
    • Teaching the whole child – physical, social, and emotional as well as intellectual
    • Curriculum based on observation of children’s interests and needs
    • The role of the teacher as guide and observer, not instructor or disciplinarian
  • 28. Progressivism
    • Improve society through schooling
    • Have people develop full personal potential
    • Prepare citizens to live in a democratic society
    • Education is the life of the child in the present, not just preparation for the future
    • The community is a source for curriculum
    • Believed people could develop their full potential
    Physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development
  • 29. Educating the Whole Child Emotional Physical Intellectual Social Science Math Sensory Small Muscle Large Muscle Music Art Language Literacy Creative Movement Social Studies Literature Nutrition, Health, Safety Feeny, Christensen, Moravick Human Development Domains
  • 30. Behaviorism
    • Perspective/Values
      • Preparation for the Future
      • Preparation for School
    • Pedagogy - Teacher directs and controls outcomes
    • Record keeping – checklists
    • Positive and negative reinforcement
    • Theorists
      • John Watson
      • B. F. Skinner
    Values, Theory, and Pedgagy Curtis & Carter, 2008, pp. 214-215
  • 31. Behaviorism
    • John B. Watson – Stimulus Response
    • Everyone’s behavior shaped by environment
    • All complex behaviors are reducible to conditioned, reflexive, stimulus-response connections
    • Behavior is a function of experience and must be learned.
    • Conditioned responses are the basis of emotional response
  • 32. Behavior Modification
    • B. F. Skinner – Operant conditioning involves reinforcement – Behavior modification
    • Behavior that is reinforced will be strengthened
    • Behavior that is not reinforced will be eliminated.
    • The “Skinner Box”
  • 33. Social Cognitive Theory
    • Albert Bandura – Stanford University
    • Child-rearing techniques influence personality development
    • Children imitate behavior and follow role models
    • Children learn by observing
    • Aggressive models encourage aggression
    • Teachers need to model appropriate behavior, know how to counteract negative media, and reward calm, non-aggressive behavior
    • Bobo Doll Experiment
  • 34. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    • Theory of Self-actualization (expressing one’s potentialities)
    • From biological needs to self-actualization (lower needs must be met before higher)
      • Physiological needs – hunger and thirst
      • Safety needs - security and support
      • Affiliation needs – affection and friendship
      • Esteem needs – self-respect / self-confidence
      • Self-Actualization needs – self-motivation/independence
  • 35. Developmental Psychology
    • Perspective and Values – Developmental and Protection
    • Notion of universal child moving through predetermined set of developmental milestones
    • Teachers
      • plan experiences to meet these milestones
      • Guide children through verbal and physical support
      • Help with conflict resolution
      • Facilitate
      • Provide experiences with time and space to extend and challenge children’s interests
      • Use observations linked to planning learning experiences
    Piaget Values, Theory, and Pedgagy Curtis & Carter, 2008, pp. 214-215
  • 36. Jean Piaget
    • 1896 – 1980
    • Developmental Psychology
    • The Study of Knowledge and Development
    • Three Types of Knowledge
      • Physical
      • Social
      • Logical
    Cognition Creativity
  • 37. Piaget Quotes Equilibrium - balance between the structure of the mind and the environment "The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men [women] who are creative, inventive and discoverers.”
  • 38. Developmental Concept Learning
    • Assimilation – what makes sense in child’s environment
    • Accommodation – new in context with known
    • Adaptation – adjusts to the environment and learns the consequences of specific actions
    • Organization – integrates schemata and develop more complex logic
    Piaget
  • 39. Sensorimotor Stage
      • Birth to two
      • Objects exist outside of their visual field - object permanence
      • Learn strictly through sensory experience within their environment –
      • KINESTHETIC
  • 40. Pre-operational Stage
    • Ages 2 - 7
    • Period of Language Development
    • Egocentrism - only see self perceptions
    • Categorize by single obvious feature
  • 41. Concrete Operational Stage
    • Ages 7 – 12
    • Develop ability to handle complex logic and make comparisons
    • Hypothesize and reason ONLY about things they’ve experienced themselves
  • 42. Formal Operational Stage
    • Age 12 – Adult
    • Abstract thinking ability
    • Offer interpretations and draw conclusions
    • Formulate hypotheses
  • 43. Cognitive Theory
    • Child processes information and builds increasingly complex models of the world
    • Motivation based on intrinsic value, curiosity, and cooperation/reciprocity
    • The way problems are structured must address a child’s intellectual development and maturation
      • Three modes of how things are represented:
        • Enactive - touch, feel, manipulate objects
        • Iconic - images that stand for perceptual events
        • Symbolic representation – language and ideas
    Jerome Bruner
  • 44. Constructivism
    • Students construct new ideas by incorporating new material into the concepts and thought processes already in place.
    • Allow student thinking to drive lessons
    • Ask thoughtful, open-ended questions
    • Encourage metacognition - thinking about how they are learning
    • Encourage students to interact with each other and YOU – Cooperate and Collaborate.
    • Reflect and Predict!
  • 45. Four Step Process to Teaching
    • Teacher presents an invitation to learn - CAPTURE ATTENTION!
    • Teacher gives students opportunity to explore, discover, and create
    • Students propose explanations and solutions
    • Students take action on what they have learned.
    Constructivism
  • 46. Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • KNOWLEDGE: define, list, name, memorize
    • COMPREHENSION: identify, describe, explain
    • APPLICATION: demonstrate, use, show, teach
    • ANALYSIS: categorize, compare, calculate
    • SYNTHESIS: design, create, prepare, predict
    • EVALUATION: judge, assess, rate, revise
    Thinking Levels
  • 47. Thinking Levels
    • Knowledge - recall information in original form
    • Comprehension - show understanding
    • Application - use learning in a new situation
    • Analysis - show s/he can see relationships
    • Synthesis - combine and integrate parts of prior knowledge into a product, plan, or proposal that is new
    • Evaluation - assess and criticize on basis of standards and criteria
  • 48. High Scope
    • http://www.highscope.org/
    • Preschool curriculum for low-income children since early 1960s
    • Based on stage development theories of Jean Piaget
    • Children construct understanding through their own direct experience with the world
    • Environment planned to enable children to manipulate and experiment with objects and then represent what they have learned
  • 49. High Scope Curriculum
    • Key experiences relating to math concepts
      • Classification, numbers, time, spatial relationships
    • Learning materials for
      • building and construction, dramatic play, art, math, reading, writing, music, movement, science, sensory exploration, and motor development
    • Three-step process: plan-do-review
      • Make plans before work period
      • Review experiences after completing work
  • 50. Ingredients of Active Learning
    • Materials
      • Abundant supplies of interesting materials readily available
      • Materials are appealing to all the senses
      • Open-ended —lend themselves to being used in a variety of ways to expand children’s experiences and stimulate their thought.
    • Manipulation – Children
      • Handle, examine, combine, and transform materials and ideas
      • Make discoveries through direct hands-on and “minds-on” contact with these resources
    • Choice: Children
      • Choose materials and play partners
      • Change and build on their play ideas
      • Plan activities according to their interests and needs
  • 51. Ingredients of Active Learning
    • Child language and thought: Children
      • describe what they are doing and understanding
      • communicate verbally and nonverbally as they think about their actions and modify their thinking to take new learning into account
    • Adult scaffolding
      • “ Scaffolding” means adults both support children’s current level of thinking and challenge them.
      • Adults encourage children’s efforts and help them extend or build on their work by talking with them about what they are doing, by joining in their play, and by helping them learn to solve problems that arise.
  • 52. Socio-Cultural Theory
    • Perspective/Values – Foster group and individual identity
    • Children construct their own knowledge through interaction with others
    • Teacher scaffolds learning and complexity through play
    • Collections of samples of children’ts work in portfolios
    • Documentation that explains learning goals
    • Theorists
      • Vygotsky
      • Brofenbrenner
      • Rogoff
    Values, Theory, and Pedgagy Curtis & Carter, 2008, pp. 214-215
  • 53. Lev Vygotsky
    • Socio-Cultural Theorist
    • Advocate of preschool programs that meet the needs of the whole child
    • Children need to acquire a set of fundamental competencies that shape their minds for further learning:
      • Cognitive
      • Linguistic
      • Social-emotional
    • Lifelong process of development dependent on social interaction with adults and peers
    1896-1934
  • 54. Zone of Proximal Development
    • ZPD
    • The difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can do with help
    Vygotsky ZPD Child’s Current Achievement Beyond reach beyond this point
  • 55. Explicit Instruction
    • Skills for preschoolers need explicit instruction:
      • Oral language
      • Deliberate memory
      • Focused attention
      • Self regulation
    • Preschool thinking is reactive – immediate response to what children see and feel
    • Preschoolers ability to learn depends on:
      • repetition or
      • an experience that is personally meaningful.
    Bodrova and Leong, 2005 Vygotsky
  • 56. Goals of Preschool Education
    • Children move from reactive thinking to the ability to think before they act .
    • Children are able to reflect and draw on past experience to engage in thoughtful behaviors.
    • “ Children who do not develop the ability to regulate their attention and their behavior before they enter kindergarten face a higher risk of falling behind academically.”
    Bodrova and Leong, 2005 Self Regulation Educational Leadership 2005
  • 57. Post-modern and Post-structuralist Critical Science
    • Perspective/Values – Critical Reflection
    • Multiple Perspectives and Meanings
    • Learning happens in particular social and cultural context
    • Reciprocal relationships with families and communities
    • Adults and children negotiate and collaborate in the learning process
    • Educators
      • Reflect, question, and challenge their practice
      • Document and analyze children’s experiences and learning
    • Theorists
      • Dahlberg, Moos, Pence
    Values, Theory, and Pedgagy Curtis & Carter, 2008, pp. 214-215
  • 58. Reggio Emilia
    • City in Northern Italy that built a school in 1948
    • Honored rights of children to receive best education and care that society can offer
    • Used constructivist and progressivist educational theories
    • Education is based on:
      • Relationships between child, teachers, and parents
      • Interaction of young children working and playing together
    Post Modern
  • 59. Reggio Emilia Curriculum
    • Emerges from children’s intellectual curiosity, social interaction, and interests
    • Based on observations of the teacher
    • Teachers are the child’s partners in learning
    • Teachers enjoy co-constructing knowledge and exploring with the students
    • Focus on modes of expression – drawing, painting, clay, drama, conversation, music
    • Students interact with the learning environment – the “3 rd teacher”
  • 60. The Reggio Inspired Approach
    • The image of the child: All children have potential, construct their own learning, and are capable.
    • Community and system: Children, family, teachers, parents, and community are interactive and work together.
    • Interest in environment and beauty: school and classrooms are beautiful places
    • Collaboration by teachers: team, partners, working together, sharing information, sharing in projects.
    Summarized by Dr. Rebecca Isbell
  • 61. Reggio Approach
    • Time not set by clock: respect for children's pace, time table, stay with teachers for several years, and relationships remain constant.
    • Emergent curriculum/projects: child-centered, following their interest, returning again and again to add new insights.
    • Environmental stimulation: encourages activity, involvement, discovery, and using a variety of media.
    • Documentation: observing, recording, thinking and showing children's learning.
  • 62. Reggio Websites
    • North American Reggio Emilia Alliance - http://www.reggioalliance.org/
    • The Reggio Emilia Approach - http://www.reggioemiliaapproach.net/
    • Reggio Children (Italy)
    • The Brainy Child
    • Overview of Reggio Approach
    • Article Comparing Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf
    • CEEP Reggio Emilia Resource Website
  • 63. Rudolph Steiner
    • Waldorf education based on theories of Steiner
    • Austrian philosopher – 1861-1925
    • Founder of anthroposophy - spiritual philosophy
      • Human being part of body, soul, and spirit
      • spiritual questions of humanity
      • nurture the life of the soul in the individual and in human society
      • artistic needs
      • need to relate to the world out of a scientific attitude of mind
      • need to develop a relation to the world in complete freedom and based on completely individual judgments and decisions
      • reverence for the world as an interesting and good place to live in
    1861-1925 Waldorf Answers.org
  • 64. Waldorf Essential Experiences for Healthy Development
    • Young children need:
    • love and warmth
    • an environment that nourishes the senses
    • creative and artistic experiences
    • meaningful adult activity to be imitated
    • free, imaginative play
    • protection of the forces of childhood
    • gratitude, reverence, and wonder
    • joy, humor, and happiness
    • adult caregivers pursuing a path of inner development
    Rudolph Steiner – Waldorf What is Waldorf in Early Childhood Education?
  • 65. Waldorf Early Childhood Educators
    • Create a warm, beautiful and loving home-like environment
      • protective and secure
      • things happen in a predictable, rhythmic manner
      • enjoy the rhythm of life in nature
    • Respond to the developing child
      • engage in domestic, practical, and artistic activities the children can readily imitate (for example, baking, painting, gardening, and handicrafts)
      • nurture children’s power of imagination by telling carefully selected stories and by encouraging free play.
      • children act out scenarios of their own creation to experience many aspects of life more deeply
  • 66. Waldorf Early Childhood Settings
    • Toys made of natural materials.
      • Wood, cotton, wool, silk, shells, stones, pine cones and objects from nature that the children themselves have collected are used in play and to beautify the room.
    • Sensory integration, eye-hand coordination
    • Appreciate the beauty of language and sequencing
    • Eurythmy - movement connected to the sounds and rhythms of language and music
    • Prepare chilldren prepare for later learning and for life itself.
    • Focus on practical activities - baking, painting, gardening, and finger knitting
    • Art, movement, music, storytelling
    • Indoor and outdoor free play
  • 67. Waldorf Websites
    • Waldorf Early Childhood Organization of America – (WECAN) http://www.waldorfearlychildhood.org/
    • International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education
    • What is Waldorf Education?
    • Rudolph Steiner College
    • Why Waldorf Works
    • The Online Waldorf Library
    • Waldorf Answers.org
    • Waldorf Kindergarten

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