Curriculum is defined as the formal and informal content and process by which learners gain knowledge and understanding, develop skills and alter attitudes, appreciations and values (Doll, 1996, p. 15). Curriculum planning is the process of creating a curriculum which comprises of setting objectives, summarizing tasks and schedules, approaches, course content and coursework. According to Gadzikowski (2013), the school’s administrator oversees all aspects of the school’s programs, from curriculum to instructional practices, from technology to daily schedules.
There is a huge difference of roles in program and curriculum planning between an administrator and a teacher. Administrator’s roles. One main role of an administrator in early childhood programs is making sure that the program they offer in the center epitomizes the best practice in the field. As the head of the center, an early childhood administrator must be equipped with the precise knowledge and experience in curriculum planning, appropriate curriculum goals, variety in teaching approaches and classroom management.
He/she is likewise expected to keep up with the latest trends and researches in the early childhood education field to persistently plan programs that are aligned in the growth and development of the children. An administrator is accountable in developing and implementing a program that meets the developmental needs of young children of different ages (infant/toddler, preschool and kindergarten) especially children with special needs. Furthermore, an administrator is also in charge of building a learning community of children and adults that stimulates the best early learning experience.
An administrator that collaborates with the teachers makes them well-guided and proficient in carrying out a balanced variety of instructional practices that improves the quality of early childhood education. This is achieve by coaching the teachers the best engaging and meaningful activities for their children while still keeping them safe and having fun. Finally, an early childhood administrator serves as a role model for the staff (Gadzikowski, 2013). He/she is strict with the school’s policies and procedures making sure the staff, teachers as well as the parents and families abide by it.
This will result in a smooth-sailing program in the center. Teacher’s roles. As opposed to the roles of an administrator in program and curriculum planning, teachers are described as the followers or supporters. If in any case, the administrator is not expert in creating a curriculum, a head teacher may overtake the responsibility. In terms of creating an emergent curriculum, teachers plan their course from scratch having the flexibility to choose their themes or topics. Teachers are the ones who execute the programs incorporated with developmentally appropriate practices planned by the administrator.
They are the channel in helping the children grow and develop and set them be school-ready. Additionally, teachers have the direct supervision with the children in the school. They record the progress of each child and report it to the administrator for assessment. Also, teachers are held responsible in keeping their children safe as the classrooms run smoothly. They are the ones who facilitate children when having conflicts with their peers and making sure that these conflicts are reduced. Teachers carry out the policies and routines imposed by the administrator.
This serves as their guiding principle in disciplining the children and making certain that the center runs a successful program every day. Learning and developmental needs of children changes over the years and experiences can have a lasting impact in their later lives (ECD- The World Bank, n. d. ). According to the Calgary Herald (2007), preschool-aged children have five basic developmental needs. These different needs of children are namely: physical development, social-emotional development, cognitive and language development.
Below is a figure that shows Little Einstein’s Academy’s daily schedule for preschoolers. DAILY SCHEDULE FOR PRESCHOOLERS TIME ACTIVITY 7:00am CENTER OPENS/ Parents drop off their children 7:00-8:00am Arrival Time and Free Choices (Play dough, Puzzles, Lego, Blocks) 8:00-8:30am Morning Circle Time (Music/Dance, Dramatic Play) 8:30-9:00am BREAKFAST/ MORNING SNACK 9:00-10:00am Lesson/Worksheets (Language Arts, Writing, Math, Science, Weather Chart, Calendar) 10:00- 11:00am Art and Crafts (Painting, Cutting, Drawing).
11:00- 11:30am Computer Lesson (M-W-F), Cooking Lesson (T-TH) 11:30-12:30pm LUNCH TIME 12:30-1:00pm Preparing for nap/ Story Telling Time 1:00-3:00pm NAP TIME/ QUIET TIME 3:00-3:30pm Wake Up/ AFTERNOON SNACK 3:30-4:30pm Outdoor Play 4:30-5:00pm Clean Up and Free Choice (Reading books, Blocks, Chalkboard) 5:00-5:30pm CENTER CLOSES/ Parents pick up their children Figure 1. The figure above shows the daily schedule of preschoolers who attends Little Einstein’s Academy. For Physical Development:
The Center opens at 7am and lets the parents and families drop off their children until 8am. While the teacher waits for other children to come, those who are already in the center can have free choices as to what they want to do- play dough, puzzles, Lego or blocks (manipulative activities) which are great for developing their fine motor skills.
Morning Circle Time allows the children to gather in a circle form while participating in sing-alongs and movements for half an hour. These interactions and performance-based activities will give kids the opportunity to exercise their gross and perceptual motor skills. Dramatic Play let kids act and flourish their talents while Arts and Crafts let children use their fingers, hands and arms to develop their small muscles. Children will be given an hour to play outside in the afternoon after their snacks to develop their gross motor skills through running, jumping, leaping or play ball with direct supervision from the teachers and caregivers to keep the children safe.
These activities will be very beneficial for their physical growth and development. For Cognitive and Language Development: A classroom is comprised of several interest learning centers. The quiet centers are separated from the active centers. With this set up, children in one group will be less likely to disturb children of another group or in other sections – allowing the teacher to hold multiple activities simultaneously.
After having breakfast, children will be doing the Lesson/ Worksheets (Language Arts, Writing, Math/Science, Weather Chart and Calendar) from 9am-10am. This will be followed by the Arts and Crafts from 10am-11am. There were two bulletin boards for children’s art works at the back of the room. It is very favorable for the children to see the fruit of their labor hanging on the wall. There were plenty of shelves provided where they can secure their belongings and have a sense of ownership. Letting the children know the designations of belongings will create discipline among them.
Children will also be taught Computer Lessons to enhance their computer skills every Mondays-Wednesdays-Friday while the Cooking Lessons will be every Tuesdays and Thursdays for half an hour. All of these activities will provide children the opportunity to develop their intelligence through thinking skills, memory and problem solving.
Children will have the chance to work in groups or independently and learn how to express themselves through language and socialization inside the classroom. For Social-Emotional Development The design of the classroom will have enough space for children to play and have easy access to interest learning centers, this way they will be happy and eager to learn.
When a classroom is clean and organized, children will be at ease. They will have focus and take pleasure in a classroom that is appealing and consisting of multiple activity centers. The teacher needs to be consistent in all her policies, needs to have relationship with children and treat them as their own. It is also imperative that the teacher has a good relationship with the students so they will be more engaged to learning. In doing so, children will develop their emotions, social relationships and moral development.
One way to develop the children social-emotional needs is by using a center aisle where children can do their lessons/worksheets. Children will be able to develop their social skills or morale by talking to their seat mates, by performing group activity or by sharing ideas with other classmates while having a mini discussion. During cooking lessons, children will be grouped or paired up so they can help each other to do their tasks in the kitchen.
Outdoor play can help children improve to trust other children, get along with their peers and build team work by having fun while playing. The philosophy, vision and mission of the Little Einstein’s Academy are perfectly aligned to the growth and development of the children through the program it offers in the center. We provide an affordable yet high-quality educational care in a safe, diversifies and nurturing environment for the children.
The educational activities included in our curriculum are executed by our well-trained teachers and staff using developmentally appropriate practices. Moreover, up-to-date technology and computer lessons are incorporated in the curriculum for the children especially that we are now living in the world of technology. The center is spacious with various interest-learning centers that engage children to explore learning through playing.
The outside play area is intended for children to exercise their bodies, appreciate the nature and socialize with their peers. Lastly, we foster a warm environment that invites parents and families to have a close and healthy relationship with our teachers and the school. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) created a set of list of indicators of an effective curriculum.
These indicators play a fundamental role in evaluating an early childhood program. The programs offered in Little Einstein’s Academy supports the indicators of an effective curriculum. Children are active and engage- our educational activities are appropriate according to the children’s age and learning needs. Curriculum goals are clear and shared by all- our teachers are well-trained and directed by the administrator as to what approaches and learning activities are best for the children. Open communication between the school and families helps them be aware of what and how their children learn in school.
Curriculum is evidence-based- we stay updated with the current trends in early childhood education. Values content is learned through investigation and focused, intentional teaching- our philosophy states that children learn through playing. Curriculum builds on prior learning and experience- we have a diversified learning community. Curriculum is comprehensive- our programs are in accordance to developmentally appropriate practices. Professional standards validate the curriculum’s subject-matter content- our subjects are based on the highest standards. The curriculum is likely
to benefit children- we use variety of teaching approach for effective learning. References Calgary Herald. (February 15, 2007). Preschool must meet five developmental needs. In Canada. com. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from http://www. canada. com/topics/lifestyle/parenting/story. html? id=72744dab-0fd9-4f83- bc9a-f6fe094cfd02. Doll, R. (1996). Curriculum Improvement: Decision Making and Process . (9th ed. ) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Gadzikowski, A. (2013). Administration of early childhood education programs. Retrieved from https://content. ashford. edu/books/AUECE312. 13. 1 Unknown. (n. d. ). Needs Assessment and Indicators.
In Early Child Development (The World Bank). Retrieved June 12, 2014, from http://web. worldbank. org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTCY/EXTECD/0,,content MDK:20200666~menuPK:524390~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:344939,00 .html. Unknown. (2009). Where We Stand on Curriculum, Assessment and Program Evaluation. In NAEYC. Retrieved June 14, 2014, from http://www. naeyc. org/files/naeyc/file/positions/StandCurrAss. pdf. Yates, Russel (n. d. ). Curriculum Overview. In Multi-aged Education. Retrieved June 13, 2014, from http://www. multiage- education. com/russportfolio/curriculumtopics/curoverview. html