Rationale Supporting Early Childhood Education

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  • 1. The History of ECE Who’s Who?
  • 2. Objectives
    • To give students a sense of the evolution, significant events, and basic theories in early childhood education
    • To demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of the early childhood field, particularly the connections between psychology and early childhood education
    • To identify important people as well as articulate several key themes in early childhood
    • To show how current events, such as political, social, and economic changes and pressures, affect both the field of education and the realities of child care
  • 3. European Influences
    • John Comenius
    • John Locke
    • Jean Jacques Rousseau
    • Johann Pestalozzi
    • Freidrich Froebel
    • Maria Montessori
    • Rodolf Steiner
  • 4. John Amos Comenius 1592-1670
    • Fostered the belief that education should “follow the natural order of things”
    • Children’s development follows a timetable of its own and their education should reflect that fact
    • Children should be allowed to learn at their own pace
    • Learning by doing
    • Three most important contributions are:
      • Books with illustrations
      • Education with the senses
      • Social reform-educate the poor as well as the rich
  • 5. John Locke 1632-1714
    • Considered to be the founder of modern educational philosophy
    • Fostered the idea of “tabula rosa”-the belief that the child is born neutral, rather then evil, and is a “clean slate’ of which experiences are written
    • One of the first to discuss individual differences and that education needs to take the individual learner into account
    • Three most important contributions are:
      • Individual differences
      • Giving children reasons
      • Theory of the “clean slate’
  • 6. Jean Jacques Rousseau 1712-1778
    • Theorized a revolutionary idea-that children were “naturally good” and that education should reflect this goodness and allow spontaneous interests and activities of the children
    • The true object of education should not be vocational
    • Children really only learn from first hand knowledge
    • Distinct phases of development of a child’s mind and these should coincide with the various stages of education
    • Most important contributions
      • Free play
      • Children’s inherent goodness and ability to choose what they need to learn
      • Using concrete rather than abstract materials
  • 7. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi 1746-1827
    • Stressed the idea of “integrated curriculum” that would develop the whole child
    • Education should be the “hand, head and heart of the child”
    • Proposed teaching in groups as opposed to using a tutor with an individual child
    • Blending of Rousseau’s romantic ideals with his own egalitarian attitude that built skills and independence in an atmosphere much like that of a firm and loving home
    • Most important contributions
      • Integrated curriculum
      • Group teaching
  • 8. Freidrich Wilhelm Froebel 1782-1852
    • Advocated the radical thought that children should be able to play, to have toys, and to be with trained teachers
    • Developed the first educational toys
    • “ Father of Kindergarten”
    • Child’s first educational experiences should be a garden full of pleasant discoveries and delightful adventures
    • Most important contributions
      • Organization of educational thought
      • Ideas about learning, curriculum, and teacher training
  • 9. Maria Montessori
    • First female physician in Italy
    • Montessori concept is both a philosophy of child development and a plan for guiding growth believing that education begins at birth and the early years are of the utmost importance
    • “ Sensitive periods’ in which children’s curiosity makes them ready for acquiring certain skills and knowledge
    • Great emphasis on the environment
      • A sense of order
      • A place for everything
      • A clear rationale
    • Most important contributions
      • A prepared environment
      • Self-correcting and sequential materials
      • Teaching based on observation
      • A trust in children’ innate ability to learn
  • 10. Rudolf Steiner 1861-1925
    • A German educator whose method of education is known today as the Waldorf School of Education
    • Childhood is a phase of life important into its own self and has three periods:
      • The “will” (0-7)
      • The “heart” (7-14)
      • The “head” (14+0)
    • Child has a natural willingness to learn and initiate and the classroom needs to support this self-regulation
    • Emphasized the whole child
    • Most important contribution is the thought that the people with whom the child interacts are of central importance
  • 11. John Dewey:1858-1952
    • The Progressive movement
      • Children are valuable and childhood is an important part of their lives
      • Belief in the innate goodness of children and education should be integrated with life and provide a training ground for cooperative living
      • Child-oriented schools
  • 12. Non-traditional Perspectives Encourage self-expression; teach about feelings and how to show Europ-Am Expressiveness Encourage small group projects, teamwork, older children helping, familial ties Hispanic Cooperative work Invite elders into class; include in dramatic play, puzzles, books; manners Pacific islands Respect for elders Provide strong outdoor program, include nature walks Native American Ties with nature Encourage family participation; make family trees African Kinship networks Provide an unhurried environment; be aware of tension spots Asian Harmony In Early Childhood Practice Roots Perspective
  • 13. Four Themes in ECE
    • Importance of Childhood
      • The concept of the child as a special part of the human existence and, therefore a valuable part of the lifecycle. The early years form the foundation for later development
    • Ethics of Social Reform
      • Expects that the education of young children will lead to social reform
    • Professionalism
    • Transmitting Values
      • What children should ultimately do and be is at the core of all child rearing practices-whether it be at home or child care
  • 14. Developmental and Learning Theories The Who, What and How
  • 15. Theory 1A-Basic Child Development Theory
    • Psychosocial Theory-Freud, Erikson
    • Behaviorist Theory-Watson, Skinner Thorndike, Bloom, Bandura
    • Cognitive Theory-Piaget
    • Sociohistoric Theory-Vygotsky
    • Multiple Intelligences-Gardner
    • Maturation Theory-Gesell,
    • Humanist-Maslow
  • 16. Psychosocial Theory
    • Emphasize the critical importance of relationships with people and the sequence, or stages, of personality development
    • About personality and emotional development
    • Life is a series of stages through which each person passes, with each stage growing from the previous ones
    • Personality and emotional development of utmost importance, even more so than language, perception or cognitive development
  • 17. Psycho-social Theory-Erikson
    • Development is described in terms of eight stages that span childhood and adulthood, each offering opportunities for personality growth and development. Each stage focuses on specific tasks that need to emerge for healthy development in each stage.
  • 18. The development of competence Industry vs. inferiority 6-12 years Exploration and learning about the world. Rules and expectations are established Purpose Initiative vs. guilt 3-5 years Independence Willpower Autonomy vs. shame and doubt 18 months-3 years Needs must be met consistently Hope Trust vs. mistrust Birth-18 months Focus/Strength Stage Age
  • 19. Behaviorist Theory-Skinner, Watson, Thorndike, Bandura
    • Based on tabula rasa-”clean slate”
    • “ Stimulus-response” technique wherein a stimulus will recall a response in a person this forms learned habits
    • All behavior is under the control of one or more aspects of the environment
    • Terms associated with behaviorism:classical conditioning; operant conditioning; positive reinforcer, negative reinforcer, modeling
  • 20. Behaviorist Learning Process
  • 21. Cognitive Theory-Piaget
    • Also called “constructionist” because he believed that children “construct” their knowledge through experiences
    • Higher skills are developed through developmental stages
    • Relies on maturational and environmental factors
    • Thinking and learning is a process of interaction between the learner and the environment
    • Terms associated with Cognitive theory: assimilation, accommodation, equilibration, schemas
  • 22. Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
  • 23. Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Think conceptually and hypothetically Fomal operations 12 years and older Form ideas based on reasoning Limit thinking to objects and familiar events Concrete Operational 6 years-12 years Form ideas based on their perceptions Can only focus on one variable at a time Overgeneralize based on limited experience Preoperational 18 months-6 years Learn through senses Learn through reflexes Manipulate materials Sensorimotor Birth-18 months Behaviors Stage Age
  • 24. Sociohistorical Theory-Vygotsky
    • Focuses on how values, beliefs, skills and traditions are transmitted to the next generation
    • The connection between culture and development is paramount-especially between the child and other important people in their lives
    • Emphasized play, family and social interaction as primary influences in children’s lives
    • Zone of proximal development-the belief that a child on the edge of learning a new concept can benefit from the interaction with a teacher or a classmate
    • Learning and development are interrelated from the child’s very first day of life
  • 25. Multiple Intelligences Theory-Gardner
    • Intelligence is the ability to solve a problem or to create a product that is in culture.
    • Solving a problem includes the ability to do so in a a particular cultural setting or community.
    • The skill needed or developed depends on the context in which the child lives.
  • 26. Multiple Intelligences
    • Music
    • Bodily-Kinesthetic
    • Logical-Mathmatical
    • Linguistic
    • Spatial
    • Interpersonal
    • Intrapersonal
    • Naturalist
  • 27. Maturation Theory -Gesell
    • Physical and mental growth are determined by heredity
    • Maturation sequence occurs in a predictable stable and orderly way.
    • Growth is genetically determined from birth
    • Two vital points to remember
      • The sequence of development is universal, the rate at which a child moves through the stages varies tremendously
      • Growth is uneven. Children grow in spurts.
  • 28. Humanistic Theory-Maslow
    • Focuses on what people need to become and stay healthy.
    • Centered on people’s needs, goals and successes
    • Based on a hierarchy (or pyramid) of basic and growth needs
  • 29. Application of Theories
    • Montessori Programs
    • The Bank Street Approach:
      • Developmental Interactionist
    • The Cognitively Oriented Approach:
      • Based on the theory of Piaget and revolves around activities that help children learn specific cognitive concepts
    • The Bereiter-Englemann Approach:
      • Behavior theory and uses a direct-instruction approach
    • The Reggio-Emilia Approach
      • Designed to foster interactions, exploration, and problem solving