Early childhood education refers to the type of education for children in the early ages, those considered still vulnerable in life. It’s normally considered from the inception of human life to age eight. Other synonyms can be used like early childhood learning, early care and early education but they all mean the same thing as early childhood education.
There are so many emerging issues in early childhood education today. This is majorly due to the changes in the cultures, dynamism, political systems and technology. These changes have had a very drastic change in the education of children. Some of these changes include the changes in the resources for use in teaching the children, the change in curriculum, the change in the mode of teaching and the support materials to be used in class. (Booth, 2004)
There are different curriculum approaches which have caused different effects in the school systems especially the early childhood curriculum in Alabama. The three common approaches are the traditional approach, the learner centred approach and the critical approach. These approaches have brought about different issues in the school curriculum.
The Scott Foresman series is a very intensive reading intervention programme. It’s designed for children i.e. Those who cannot comprehend grade-level material and cannot benefit from the strategic intervention of support materials in class.
The program is a systematic, researched based and well balanced program that has a great influence on every lesson taught in class. It utilizes the five essential elements of reading which include phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. They form the fundamental instructional design of the lessons. Students are provided strategies and activities that often reinforce the essential components in learning. (Barnett, 1992)
The ultimate goal of this series is to ensure that early(Barnett, 1992) childhood teachers across the united states get high quality and well aligned classroom assessments to adequately monitor the learners in development of their skills and achieve the best in the educational objectives.
This series is based on the priority skills model which ensures that students receive the right and the best instructional materials at each grade level. Of much emphasis is the early childhood level. This has created a more accurate and effective alignment of state standards.
The curriculum in this series was developed by the education experts, who were trained in their coding process, having more independent decisions as to the content and quality of the evaluation process and the state objectives. Test alignment indices for each test grade level were prepared by the technical staff and comprised grading from 0.0 to 0.1 and the possibility of comparisons with other tests. It adapted the handwriting curriculum making it one of the best series in the states. This handwriting curriculum is the innovative, continuous stroke method of teaching children how to write on manuscripts. This has had a positive effect on the form of education because it has caused consistency. (Barnett, 1992)
In general the Scott Foresman series fulfils the requirements which are fundamental for an educational programme. These include providing solid support for teachers in the classroom, enabling the learners especially children to learn equally and complying with the State and local curriculum guidelines and frameworks.
The Scott Foresmans series however has had failures also. One of the failures is its overemphasis on child student learner and not considering an older person. The resource materials, the curriculum development, the learning criteria and the evaluation process is so much articulated to the child development and the older student has not been considered.
The Scott Foresman series helps the teacher to identify only the best children and develop them ignoring the slow learners and the weak students. This is evident in the mode of instruction which gives priority the best learners to excel.
The system of learning in Foresman is very rigid and procedural. This does not give room to the learner to have his own research and to utilize other skills of children. The series provide a routine that provide an explicit and systematic format.
Barnett, R. (1992) Learning effect, Great Britain: Open University press.
Gibbs, G. (1992) Teaching more students: problems design strategies, Oxford: Polytechnic
The oxford Centre for staff Development (1994) Course design for Resource based learning, Oxford: Oxford Brookes.
Booth, T. (2004) developing learning, participation and play in the early years of child care, Bristol: Centre for learning and Inclusive education.
Education review office (2002) Evaluation review on early childhood services, Wellington: Education Review office.