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Early Childhood Curriculum Essay

In Early Childhood Education you use philosophies to help you succeed. You also make sure that you look into the NAEYC position and standards to make sure you are running a classroom that is within the standards. These are two critical factors in an Early Childhood classroom and you have to know how to implement them in your teaching. John Dewey was an American educator and philosopher. He helped develop the idea of pragmatism. He felt that children should explore and discover.

“Dewey and other progressive followers suggested a curriculum for young children that focused on the situation and challenges that children faced as members of a democratic society” (Eliason & Jenkins pg. 5). Maria Montessori is best known for her teaching method that has her name the Montessori Method. She believed that the scenes were the source of intellectual growth and development. “She emphasized the importance of the schools and families working together” (Eliason & Jenkins pg. 5). Jean Piaget is known well for his cognitive development theory.

“ Programs that incorporate Piagentian theory emphasizes that children learn through experimentation and initiative and construct their own knowledge and understanding through adaptation o the environment” ( Eliason & Jenkins pg. 5). There are many different ways to teach. Some of the goals of teaching are: “1. understanding the nature of development and learning. 2. Know what to teach, how to teach, and know how to access what children have learned. 3. Create a caring and responsive learning environment. 4. Establish positive mutual relationships of trust and respect with families 5.

Pursue professional training and knowledge. 6. Treat every child with respect, dignity, and positive regard” (Eliason & Jenkins pg. 13). “The NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with the focus on quality of educational services for all children birth to age eight” (NAEYC. ORG). NAEYC position statements are their position to issues related to early childhood education. Some of the issues are: anti-discrimination, code of ethics, developmentally appropriate practice and early childhood curriculum, assessment, and program evaluation.

“Naeyc’s first commitment is to the rights and interest to all children” (NAEYC. ORG). They believe that one should be hired on their competence and qualifications to perform their designated duties and that it should not be based on gender, race, national origin, religious beliefs, age, marital status, disabilities, or sexual orientation. The NAEYC code of ethics “offers guidelines for responsible behaviors and set fourth a common bias for resolving the principal ethical dilemmas encountered during early childhood care and education” (NAEYC. ORG). It also does not allow educators, doctors, and nurses to deny services to children.

The developmentally appropriate practice is to “to promote excellence in early childhood education by providing a framework for best practices” (NAEYC. ORG). It promotes quality of care and education. The NAEYC “ constructs comprehensive systems of curriculum, assessment, and program evaluation guided by sound early childhood practices, effective early learning standards and program standards are a set of core principles and values, belief in civic and democratic values” ( NAEYC. ORG). They make sure that children are active, and engaged curriculum goals are shared by all and that curriculum is evidence based.

“Early childhood classrooms should communities of inquiry, problem posing, and problem solving, where children perceive that in math lessons they are expected to offer their thoughts about questions posed and to find resolution to these problems” (Eliason & Jenkins pg. 319). Teachers need to incorporate problem solving and math in the curriculum to do this teachers must avoid gender bias regarding math. They should recognize different opportunities during the day to teach math and also to make sure that early math is concrete and manipulative.

” The focus in early childhood is in understanding numbers and the number system and understanding operations specifically addition and subtraction” (Eliason & Jenkins pg. 323). Children are counting all their life. They learn by playing different games or things such as climbing stairs. Repetion helps the child to memorize the sequence and sounds of numbers. When you are doing songs or finger play the children are learning their numbers and the correct order they should be in. “The basis of a high quality program in early childhood is promoting feelings or self esteem and dignity in each child” (Eialson & Jenkins pg.

143). Teachers have to help the children build their self esteem. Some ways to help strengthen a child’s self esteem would be to make sure you are honest, sincere, and consistent in expressing feelings. Teachers should make sure they value the children’s work and effort. If a child has a problem you can help in anyway that you can. Violence is not good for young children. “ Violence results in children believing that there is no safe place, that their protectors can no longer protect them “ ( Eliason & Jenkins pg. 149).“This can influence their emotional development.

“Stress develops when we can not cope with either external or internal demands” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 148). Some external sources of stress would be hunger, pain, illness, fatigue, shyness, and emotions. External stress would be divorce, family separation, hospitalization, and death. Teachers can help children deal with stress in many ways such as: encourage the child, praise the child, ect. “Development in cognitive language and literacy allows young children to construct meaning and build understanding” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 189).

Teachers should make language and literacy development in all curriculum. “Literacy development begins in the very early stages of childhood, even though the activities of young children may not seem related to reading and writing” (Johnson, D. ). When you are helping your children with their literacy development you need to help to encourage them. Some ways to help encourage them would be: To provide many opportunities for talking, make sure you listen, ask the children questions, make sure they are in a comfortable relaxed atmosphere, and recognize and help correct if the child use grammatical errors.

Sharing stories and poetry are good activities to help support language development. “The primary factors influencing the development of language appear to be 1) The child’s innate ability to learn language,2) The quality of the model or the early stimulation and variety provided by the model. 3) The ability of the caregiver to expand or extend the Childs language” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 204). “Children’s development in semantics, or the meanings of words, is directly related to the experience and interactions that they have” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 193).

If a child hears a word they have never heard before they will not be able to use it, but they can use sentences they have never heard before. Books help expand their language meanings and vocabulary. “ It is very important that adults constantly share, converse, extend, exchange language, and provide labels for words as children have experiences at zoos, grocery store, park, school, home, in the car, in the classroom, or in any setting” ( Eialson & Jenkins pg. 193). Children tend to learn to read different signs that they see constantly over and over even before they can actually read.

These signs include ones such as stop signs, McDonalds, burger king, ect. “Syntax is the set of rules for creating or understanding a sentence” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 193). When children first begin to use words there is no evidence of syntax but as the child turns four you can start to here this with the children. The children learn to imitate sentences when they are first learning and this is how they learn syntax. You can also help the child learn by expanding what the child says till they learn to add this in themselves. As teachers we need to make sure that we speak ton every child using correct grammar.

“As children grow, they gain increased facility with syntactic structure, leading us to believe that maturation is a variable in syntax growth” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 194). “ Through music and movement young children express themselves, explore space, develop language and communication skills, increase sensory awareness, and express themselves through rhythm, gesture, time, and space” ( Eliason & Jenkins pg. 353). Adding music to your curriculum is important because it helps children learn about different cultures as well as about their own culture.

Through music they express their emotions and it helps them release their feelings. Depending on what music you are listening to it can either calm, or help soothe troubled feelings. It can help the children enhance their self worth. Music also helps with children’s listening skills, attention span, and their memory. Language and language concepts can also be developed through music. “Research supports the notion of the physical and psychological advantages of music on the body and mind” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 354).

“Young children have a natural curiosity about the world, and this is where science education should begin” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 237). Science should be taught as hands on learning, it should be a natural part of the everyday curriculum. “Language and literacy development are strongly supported when science activities are included throughout the curriculum” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 239). Science is taught through observing, manipulating, problem solving, and engaging with science activities. They learn to classify, compare, define, measure, listen, ect.

When they are learning science. Early childhood education is a very critical time in a young person’s life. This age has a big influence on their learning for the rest of their lives. The government developed The No Child Left behind Act to make sure that all children have an equal opportunity to a good quality education. The government designed grants to help all children succeed. The Special Education Preschool Grant “ provides formula grants to states to make available special educated and related services to three to five year old children with disabilities” ( ED. GOV).

They also have grants to help with high poverty communities to help improve their knowledge and skills. “Currently American schools and early childhood programs focus on standards-based education” (Eialson & Jenkins pg. 17). Some of the qualities o0f effective childhood teachers are: Caring, enthusiastic, flexible, and creative. Early childhood teachers must be willing to be patient and help these children learn so that the children will be ready for their future.

Philosophies are an essential part of early childhood curriculum. They help the teachers to help the children to learn in different ways. The NAEYC standards are implemented to help teachers understand what the proper way they should teach the children. They help the teacher set up their classroom and understand the way the children should be taught. “ Early childhood educators must strive to be learners who are willing to continually study, grow, and change to think and solve problems” ( Eialson & Jenkins pg. 19).


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