Curriculum and Methods for Early Childhood Educators Institution Tutor 16th May, 2013 Introduction Contemporary curriculum approaches in early childhood education stress the magnitude of making available to the young children experiences that foster holistic development and promote positive attitudes…
The realistic goals is to help a child achieve intellectual growth, develop a positive self concept, increase proficiency in skills in writing, reading, thinking, listening and speaking and to increase skills involved in physical coordination. It also helps a child to enlarge his world of experiences, ideas, things and people. These help the child to increase aptitude in dealing with emotions, societal situations, self bearing and independence (Little, 1979). Working with Pre-K age group children calls for good class practices. Pre k/Pre kindergarten, being the first official academic classroom-based education environment that a youngster habitually attends, begins between the ages of 3-5 depending on how long the program is. It combines the focus to harvest a child’s cognitive, social, physical and emotional developments. This means it reflects an understanding of child development principles providing opportunities for the children to acquire concepts and skills involving decision making, problem solving, questioning, evaluating and discovering. An early childhood educator should therefore, combine philosophies, theories and concepts that endorse the children with opportunities to develop in all dimensions prior to basic education and future life. Direct instruction The direct instruction method is an approach whereby stems of behavior and social training techniques view child education as an input from the environment. The educator presents information to the class and whole groups. He or she structures or drills a practical lesson where they teach discrete skills and isolate facts. These lessons are fast paced and ensure consistency in classrooms (Guide, 1998). Being skill oriented, it emphasizes on the use of small groups, face to face instructions by aides and teachers carefully articulating lessons which cognitive skills are sequenced deliberately after being broken down into small units and taught explicitly. Direct instruction offers one of the most empirically effective and validated curricula for all types of children. These are the gifted, the average, disadvantaged and the developmentally delayed. It stands on the certainty that one should not introduce the subject matter to children when they are developmentally unprepared (little, 1979). For developmental appropriateness, the student teacher interaction is highly emphasized to improve children’s self esteem and improve their self expectations. The National Association for the Education of Young Children in 1998 stated that outdated practices that included extensive whole group and intensive drill and practices on isolated skills were not effective and suitable. Direct instruction though is always in small groups, which provide the kids with the opportunity to interact and participate with other kids while receiving their teacher’s individual attention. The small groups become learning communities allowing the children to share individual and group goals, valorized identities and moral principles. The length of lessons in direct instruction is adjusted according to the attention spans and activity levels of children in different ages. Faulty instructions are the overwhelm causes of children crippling intellectually, and if a student has not learned then a teacher has not taught. Therefore, direct instruction has a consistency with the literature on how to design instructions that children induce or ...
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