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In this essay, I will be explaining what I understand about the philosophy, theory, and policies involved in the Early childhood care and education setting. In Early childhood care and education as a teacher we believe that all children learn differently and achieve milestones at their own pace. As Educators we need to open the door to the opportunities for the child to excel with all the accurate learning experiences. From teaching a class of 15-32 students we learn that each child has their strengths and need improvement areas as they progress throughout the term you see them grow and develop into confident and expressive versions of themselves.
Three philosophies of teaching and learning:
One of the philosophies of teaching and learning is Cognitivism by Jean Piaget. We ask the children as many open-ended questions during the activity to help students to express their feeling and ideas towards the activity therefore encouraging them to be verbal about learning and experiences.
In Early childhood we only focus on the first two stages of Piaget’s development:
1. Sensorimotor stage: birth to 2 years
2. Preoperational stage: ages 2 to 7
3. Concrete operational stage: ages 7 to 11
4. Formal operational stage: ages 12 and up
The second philosophy of teaching and learning is Psychosocial Development which was defined by Erik Erikson. He believed the child’s way of interacting in the environment is from previous knowledge so when a child learns something new in the environment, they put it towards their approach for each encounter with their parent or caregiver e.
g. if the child walks in to school and you give him a hug and a high five then with every encounter he develops a routine with that specific teacher.
The stages that make up his theory are as follows: In Early childhood we only focus on the first three stages of Erik Erikson’s development:
The third philosophy of learning and teaching was developed By Howard Gardener. He believed that each child had their own strengths or type of intelligence to be specific as a child might be more interested in playing a musical instrument than solving mathematics problems. They all learn differently and once we as teachers ensure to teach the child with their learning style identified they will achieve the milestones set for the class.
Howard Gardener described 9 types of intelligence:
1. Naturalist (nature smart)- this child will enjoy plants or discovering animals.
2. Musical (sound smart)- This child will pick up on sounds that anyone would not have noticed, anything with music and can be seen even drumming on things.
3. Logical-mathematical (number/reasoning smart)- This child enjoys sorting objects by size and sequencing numbers more than others.
4. Existential (life smart)- This child will ask many questions about life and the world around us.
5. Interpersonal (people smart)-This child is seen making friends easily and always socializing throughout the day.
6. Bodily-kinesthetic (body smart)- This child can be seen running races or jumping from one spot to another and even balancing on the balance beam, high inclined to achieve as gross motor skilled activities.
7. Linguistic (word smart)- This child can be seen reading books or poems to others. They enjoy discussions in groups and one on one.
8. Intra-personal (self-smart)- This child is often shy when called on by the teacher for group discussions.
9. Spatial (picture smart)- This child enjoys building puzzles of many sizes and colours as they can manipulate the pieces to fit faster than others.
TWO (2) philosophers highlighted in this course
The two philosophers highlighted in our history and philosophy class are Maria Montessori and Howard Gardner. For my activity I would use Maria Montessori’s theory to improve the level of preparation for learning activities for preschoolers as Maria Montessori believed that children learn best in a prepared environment. I would allow each child to benefit from the Montessori method by ensuring they are introduced to a variety of learning apparatus as it helps them to develop confidence and inner discipline. I would use Howard gardener for my activity to help fine-tune the specific learning pattern that they are comfortable with in the environment. During planning for my activity, I would incorporate the methods to ensure the child benefits from the interaction to continue finding new ways to discover and experience new and exciting things.
Three (3) policies that Trinidad & Tobago endorses
The policies that are endorsed by my country are:
1. Integrated Learning-Howard Gardner
2. Learning through Play
3. Holistic Learning & Development- Maria Montessori
My conclusion, I have fully recognized without the theorist of early childcare and education making their discoveries known and continuing to strive for the greater good that we would still believe children were miniature adults. We wouldn’t have many doctors or engineers or even artist as we all need guidance and motivation to achieve our goals as teachers, we find the best way to guide our students to think big and encourage them to be tomorrow’s leaders and thinkers.
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