Early Childhood Education and Child Development Principles – Coursework Example

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The paper "Early Childhood Education and Child Development Principles" is an engrossing example of coursework on education. Early childhood education is a field that is multifaceted. Children going through early childhood education provide minds that are ready to be molded and educated in the most effective and efficient ways possible. In order to achieve the best results when taking a child through the early childhood education, their educators should incorporate different aspects of learning that will help the children understand education. Children are equipped with minds that are creative and animated; it is up to the education they get to equip them with tools to express these attributes (Penn, 2004).

The theories that are involved and can guide educators as they go about their duty are numerous since the processes of learning and development in children are also vast and complex. There can never be one approach to education or one type of education that will be good for all who are involved. However, different aspects combine to make the most suitable approach. The most advocated approach so far involves engaging the children in play as part of their learning and development process.

Explanations pertaining to the development of human beings from a socio-cultural perspective are included in planning for the best approaches towards educating children. Theories on development and those on planning are linked and should be considered when creating a curriculum. Principles of Child Development From a western point of view, early childhood education has been taking place following applications from learning and developmental theories. These theories are meant to explain and describe how children gain knowledge and awareness while they are young.

The knowledge that is explained in the theories is not strictly academic but pertains to gaining knowledge from the world and the experiences that one has while living. Theories that have been examined are the developmental and constructivism theory and play theory. Constructivism and Developmental theory The influence that is described in these theories can be traced back to writers like Pestalozzi, Rousseau, and Gesell. Advancements of the theory were made by Jean Piaget in his writings on genetic epistemology. He emphasizes the importance of the earlier concepts on curriculum choice and early childhood education.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Piaget’ s theory was used when it came to giving children early childhood education through experiences that facilitated their learning depending on their different ages and development levels. Also, it gives the children the ability to make up their own learning. Piaget argued that young children need to be given an opportunity to explore the environment they are using while learning so as to contribute to their own design of understanding the world and other varying facts. Piaget implies that children are using the experiences they have for exploring and trying out different things so that they can utilize the results to create their own schemas of how they perceive the world and the things within it in their minds.

However, more recent postmodernist literature has displaced this view of how children learn and brought them out to seem lonely in their quest for knowledge (Dahlberg et al, 2000). In socio-cultural writings, as in postmodernist ones, the characteristic of knowledge acquisition describes a socially corresponded and cultural view (Lubeck et al, 2001).

These views explain that children are not out exploring on their own and coming to conclusions on their own but rather are actively participating members of the society who gain the knowledge they have through the experiences they have while at this. This perception has evolved from Vygotsky’ s view that knowledge and the tools for acquiring knowledge are contained in the historical context of the society around an individual (Vygotsky, 1978).

References

Bredekamp, S. & Copple, C. (1997). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood

programs (rev. edn). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young

Children.

Dahlberg, G., Moss, P. & Pence, A. (1999). Beyond quality in early childhood education and

care: postmodern perspectives. London: Falmer Press.

Hatch, A., Bowman, B., Jordan, J., Morgan, C., Hart, C., Soto, C., Lubeck, S. & Hyson, M.

(2002). Developmentally Appropriate Practice: continuing the dialogue, Contemporary

issues in early childhood, 3(3), 439-457.

Lubeck, S., Jessup, P., De Vries, M. & Post, J. (2001). The role of culture in program

improvement, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 16, 499–523.

Morris, B. (2002). Play in the 21st Century. Playcentre Journal, 113, 12-13.

Penn, H. (2004). Understanding early childhood: issues and controversies. Maidenhead, Berks:

Open University Press. Ch. 3. "Not Piaget again", pp. 37-59.

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society. New York, NY: Harvard University Press.

Vygotsky, L. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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