Thursday, June 6, 2019

John Dewey and early childhood education Essay Example for Free

John Dewey and early childhood education EssayEducation is not eagerness for life. Education is life itself. John Dewey (1859-1952) (Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2003) The set of Desired Outcomes of Pre-school Education that the Ministry of Education(MOE) had put together in 2003 highlighted the significant importance of pre-school education universe the platform for womb-to-tomb learning. Its intention were far beyond preparation of these children merely for Primary School curriculum (Wong,2000). Very much alike to John Dewey (Dewey)s quote, MOEs take on pre-school education exists similar context. I felt that it challenges the perceived notion that education is scarcely about getting the necessary qualifications or securing a good job. However, with an open mind, education in fact occurs throughout life. This brings about a few educational principles of Dewey which had influenced me in my springings with children in a pre-school setting. I felt that the central conc ept of Deweys view of education was that there should be greater emphasis on allowing children develop problem solving skills, minute thinking skills, and being able to make decisions on their confess, rather than simply on the memorization of lessons.Through real life experiences, instead of merely being on the receiving end of secondhand information, children were able to develop the required skills effectively (Seefeldt and Barbour, 1998). Active learning has been widely advocated in my child c atomic number 18 centre. I much incorporate and come on it too. Lets say I will be teaching on the theme of occupation and doctors be the raisingic of the week. For the younger age group like pre-nursery and nursery, I would provide real materials like a doctor play set.Children would be encouraged to explore these materials at their own pace and interests. They would be able to experience how it feels like being a doctor and thereafter get an insight of what a doctors operation sc ope is about. Concurrently, they would be exposed to the instruments that a doctor uses. I would as well ask children open cease questions like What does a doctor do? Which legal document do you think a doctor uses to hear your heartbeat? If you are a doctor, how would you hear my heartbeat? .I believethat such open ended question encourages children to construct their own understanding of concepts. I would too drop hints and attempt to spur their interest when children become uninterested and seem clueless. On top of these activities, for the kindergarten classes, I would introduce a Doctor of the day where the child would, alongside the teacher, assist in the daily temperature taking of children. This way they would understand the concept of what is interpreted to be ill and what is not, and also who should they visit at times when they fall sick.I would also liaise with a nearby clinic and bring the children on a trip, getting the doctor to assist in giving the children a sho rt demonstration of a regular consultation in the clinic. The children will not only be able to see how a clinic setting is like, they will also be able to pose questions to the doctor to find out more. Following which, I would plan for a clinic role play where children are free to express their own interpretation and ideas of a being a doctor. In tie with Deweys avocation of active learning, this concept of learning has been strongly supported by the local context too.In the jurisprudence of Ethics, professionals are obliged to promote and encourage children to be actively involved regardless of ability (Association for Early Childhood Educators, Singapore, 2005). Dewey also advocated that the school is a well-disposed institution (Flanagan, 1994). He believed that through social interaction with adults and peers, learning would be further reinforced (Henniger, 2002). Communication with peers or adults allows children to think, process their thoughts into verbal words and theref ore encourages and stimulates a childs thinking. interactional learning is also vital to social development. Being able to develop a positive and satisfying relationship with peers and adults is crucial for effective social interaction and is often a focus of pre-school programs (Early Childhood Teachers Association, 2003). In my workings with children, I shoot realized the important role social interaction plays in a childs development. Children across all pre-school levels enjoy talking and interacting with each other over their thoughts, opinions and experiences. One way I encourage this is by cooking for problem solving in group discussions.For instance, the kindergarten children would be issued a problem at the start of the day What are the features of an insect? They would then be divide into groups to explore the problem by going into the various learning centres I have set up toacquire the information. This can be followed up by transport the children on a field trip to the Botanical Garden where children are able explore on the topic and make drawings and notes on their observations as a group. At the end of the day, they would discuss about their gatherings again in groups, and then present their findings.Other than learning how to function as a member of a group, children would also be able to learn cooperative skills and conflict resolution through the activity. Besides peer interaction, adult interaction plays an equally important role. In the Assessment of Licensing Standards in child care centre, staffs are to encourage interaction with children in order for children to be able to understand self and others (Ministry of Community learning and Sports, 2003). In the pre-nursery and nursery classes, I take time to listen, make eye contact and respond to children.This makes children feel comfortable and it motivates them to interact more with adults. I would also plan for activities like dough play and painting on large papers where children a re able to proceed with the activity together. Through such activities, they are able to discuss, comment and communicate with each other too. I would also ask questions like, What do you think Clarisse has molded? Does it look like a get up? which allows for creative thoughts to be expressed and interaction to take place. Deweys philosophy perceived a teachers role as a occupy and observer, rather than an instructor or a disciplinarian.The teacher is to provide and prepare the environment and curriculum to allow children to benefit and learn productively from it. Teachers were also evaluate to observe children and come up with activities designed to facilitate optimal learning (Feeney, Christensen and Moravcik, 2006). For the pre-nursery and nursery classes, I would provide a large variety of materials where children would be given up the choice to choose based on their preference. I would not interfere in their choice activity as long as it conforms safety standards. I would also plan for activities where children could explore and exercise trial and error.For instance in the dough making session, they would be able to explore how much water is required to achieve the texture of dough they would like, and what should be added when the dough becomes too soft. However, I would be guiding children whenever they are stuck or faced with much difficulty. I would also put up childrens work like their art work at a prominent corner of the classroom to make them feel that their work is valued. For the kindergarten classes, I would plan the lesson together with the children and come up with activities that could tap on their interest.For instance, discussing with children about which occupations interests them the most by showing them a variety of it. After the children have made their choices, I would plan activities catered to their interest. Throughout the lesson, I would make observational notes about each child and provide experiences or materials catered to individuals interest. For usage if a child shows immense interest in the occupation teacher, I would plan for the child to have a go at teaching his faller classmates a song.Or if a child is interested in being a policeman, he could patrol the corridors before nap time to ensure that children are not hiding in the toilets or up to mischief. Similarly, under the Framework for Kindergarten Curriculum, MOE recommend putting their principles into practice in a few ways. These includes, preparing the learning environment by encouraging learning at their own pace and choice, planning meaningful activities based on childrens interest and abilities, allowing resources and materials to be easily and promptly available and observing and monitoring childrens development.(Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2003) Through Dewey, I become aware of various methods and principles which plays a vital role in childrens pre-school learning. though there were also controversies in Deweys philosophy , I believe that each philosopher possesses their own virtues and Dewey was one which struck me the most. References Association for Early Childhood Educators, Singapore (2005). Code of ethics. Retrieved March 23, 2010 from http//www. aeces. org/code_of_ethics Early Childhood Teachers Association (2003). Educating young children.Journal of early childhood teachers association inc and school of early childhood university of technology, 9(1) Feeney, S. Christensen, D. Moravcik, E. (2006). Who am I in the lives of children? an introduction to early childhood education (7th ed). Upper send River, New Jersey. Pearson Education. Flanagan, F. M. (1994). John Dewey. Retrieved March 24, 2010 from http//www. admin. mfu. edu/ctlf/Ed%20Psych%20Readings/dewey. pdf Henniger, M. L. (2002) Teaching young children An introduction (2nd ed). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Pearson Education.

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