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Early Childhood Education by Mind Map: Early Childhood Education
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Early Childhood Education

The History of Early Childhood

  Many of the early childhood practices of today were generated from roots established by past historical figures such as Jean Piaget, John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Bloom's Taxonomy and Maria Montesorri whose early childhood theories and curriculum are being utilized, (Morrison, G. 2009). See links for more information on each of the individuals listed above.      

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessor was an Italian educator and physician created the Montessori method of education for children, (Morrison, G. 2009).

Jean Piaget

Piaget's theory focuses on cognitive development; explaining how individuals perceive, think, understand, and learn.  Through direct experiences with the physical world, children develop intelligence. (Morrison, G. 2009).  Piaget stages of cognitive development, sensorimotor (birth to 2), preoperational (2 to 7), concrete operational (7-11) and formal operations (11-adult), (Morrison, 2009).

John Dewey

John Dewey created the theory of schooling called, progressivism, which emphasized a child's interests rather than a specific subject matter.  Through this the terms child-centered curriculum and child centered school were developed.  As stated by Dewey, "Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living, (Morrison, G. 2009, p. 98).  Concepts of Dewey; education should be learner centered, active and interactive and should involve the social world of the learner and community learning.

Lev Vygotsky

Vygotsky believed that children's mental, language and social development is supported by and enhanced through social interaction, (Morrison, G. 2009, p. 120). 

Benjamin Bloom

Benjamin Bloom created a hierarchy of thinking that today we know as Bloom's Taxonomy.  Bloom's Taxonomy consists of six levels of abstractions that occur in education settings, (Eber, P. A. & Parker, T. S. 2007, p. 45).  The graduated levels are: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, (Ever, P. A. & Parker, T. S. 2007, p. 45).

Early Childhood Today

It is a very exciting time to be an early childhood professional in a field that has grown more in the last 10 years than it has in the previous 50 years.  Through scientific research, past theorists and early childhood educators we have begun to embark upon an early childhood journey that will frame the future of for this field, (Morrison, G. 2009).                                                                                              As an early care teacher, you are on a path to becoming an instructional leader, and as a leader you are be expected to plan developmentally appropriate learning activities using the individual needs and interests of children, creating a child centered environment.  You will be held accountable through on-going personal and child assessments for children's outcomes.  This accountability will encourage personal, and professional growth, as well as contribute to  the growth and development of the children you teach.                                             

What is quality?

The debate on quality early care and education has existed for many years. Currently, the public domain is demanding programs have the ability to ensure young children's early academic and school success, provide classroom environments which encourage the development of social and behvioral skills children will need to help lead productive, non-violent lives, and inclusive learning environments, (Morrison, G. 2009, p. 139-140).

NAEYC Accreditation

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the nation's largest accreditation organization, promoting high quality early learning programs in the United States, (Morrison, G. 2009, p. 139). The link attached will take you to the current NAEYC quality program standards for child care programs serving children birth to age five.

New Roles for Early Childhood Professionals

Althought the goals of high quality professionals remain the same from years past, the responsibilities, expectations and roles have begun to change. Teachers are now instructional leaders, planning for what children will be learning, guiding and teaching what children will learn, and providing classroom environments that encourage children learning. Teachers are being held accountable for the academic success of children, and for their own professional growth. Teachers are required be intentional teachers using state, district and program goals and standards.  Intentional teaching is when teachers teach for a purpose, are clear about what they teach, and teach so that children learn specific knowledge and skills.  Intentional teaching should occur using a child-centered approach. All teacher must now teach literacy and reading, in all subject areas such as math and science, this is a change from the past. There is now an increased emphasis on the teachers abilitiy to assess childrens learning and their abililty to use the results from the assessment information to plan learning experiences for children. The field of early childhood has always spoken about providing a child centered educational experience for children.  Today there is a new meaning of child-centered education; "embracing the whole child in all dimensions: social, emotional, physical, linguistic, and cognitive." These new roles are not really new, they are really just expaned roles of what early childhood teachers have been doing for many years.  As the field continues to change the teachers role will be refined to meet new rules, curricula and developmentally appropriate stratgies that are best practice for young children.   All of the above information can be found on pages 25 and 28 in the text book: Early childhood education today. Morrison, G. (2009). ISBN 978-013501052-5

The Future of Early Childhood

With the rapid growth in the field of early childhood, as an educator you will be presented with new ideas and methods; embrace them and a whole new world will open up for you. Connecticut State Legislators are aware of the importance for all children to be able to have access to a high quality early childhood experience, and are working toward meeting their goal of providing universal preschool for all children to ensure children are prepared for kindergarten, (Morrison, G. 2009).   There is a growing demand for high quality early childhood programs that must be able to ensure children succeed in school, develop appropriate social and behavioral skills, giving children a love of learning, while also being inclusive of all children’s needs, (Morrison, G. 2009).    


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