Early Childhood Curriculum

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Discuss Early Childhood Curriculum approaches: Compare and Contrast of High/Scope, Reggio and Te Whariki

Introduction: Early Childhood is an important stage of children’s life. By interacting with people around (each other and the adults), children explore and make sense of the world around them. A successful early childhood curriculum should fulfill children’s need to give children rich experience at the most important developmental stage of their lives. This paper will critically discuss, compare and contrast High/Scope, Reggio Emilia to Te Whariki, at the end of this paper the author will talk about own philosophy of early childhood education.

Hi/Scope Curriculum was developed in US in 1962 in Michcigan, this programme was designed for at risk children from low income families. There were significant issues for thildren from lower class society and especially African-American children which were shown to be low achievers and low IQ scores comparing with the same-age children in the other area at this time. In 1962 David Weikart of Ypsilanti, Michigan, became distressed at the inability of the local school system to produce literate, functional adults (Holt, 2007). As an experienced teacher, Weikart took a hard look at best practice and current educational theories. He wanted to discover a preschool curriculum that would generate better academic outcomes in later years and equip children to deal successfully with life as adults. With colleagues, Weikart initiated an experimental preschool programme, comparing the progress of his children with a control group of the same age kept at home. Thus the construction of the framework known as the High/Scope approach began. The main features of the program was regular visiting home bade by teachers, during which teachers shared information about children’s learning and development, children’s interesting was informed teacher by parents. This programme was implemented within a number of countries based on the model (Holt, 2007). The deprived neighbourhoods of Ypsilanti started to see a positive turn in children’s academic success, and the High/Scope approach spread. The success of Weikart’s approach was borne out by statistics gathered as the years went by: his High/Scope students achieved better job retention, higher earnings, lower arrest rates, and less dependency on social services. The High/Scope philosophy is based on the work of Jean Piaget, Piage suggests that “When the active school requires that student’s efforts come from the student himself instead of being imposed, and that his intelligence undertakes authentic work instead of accepting predigested knowledge from outside, it is simply asking that laws of all intelligence be respected” (cited in Dunlap, 1997, p.56) Piaget used the term “active school” to refer to a child being involved in active exploration of and ecperimentation with the environment rather than the child passively listening to a teacher provide instruction. High/Scope focuses on the importantance of active learning (Dunlap, 1997). The HighScope Curriculum emphasizes active participatory learning. Active learning means students have direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. Children's interests and choices are at the heart of the HighScope programs. Children are active learners, they learn best through the experiences that they gained from the world around them and their own discoveries (Holt, 2007). They construct their own knowledge through interactions with the world and the people around them. In active learning settings, adults expand children's thinking with diverse materials and nurturing interactions environment.

The Wheel of Active Learning

High/Scope is often pictured as a ‘wheel’ rotating on the ‘hub’ of active learning—learning through hands-on involvement with people, materials, events,...
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