Montessori Method

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Identify how Aistear’s four themes - Well Being; Identity and Belonging; Communication; and Exploring and Thinking - are represented in the pedagogical approaches of Montessori and HighScope.

The aim of this essay is to show how Aistear’s four themes - Well Being; Identity and Belonging; Communication; and Exploring and Thinking - are represented in the Montessori and HighScope method. One may dispute, in order to show how these themes are represented within these methods, one needs to investigate these methods individually (Aistear, HighScope and Montessori). By investigating these methods at first, one may find where the aistear themes are existing within these methods and then one can link how they correspond. Thus providing confidence and knowledge in any childcare setting. “A worker's knowledge of childcare development is one of the main contributory factors to a high quality service across all types of childcare facility” (DLRCCC, 2012, 30/10/2012).

“Aistear is the curriculum framework for children from birth to six years” (jaggo, 2012, 30/10/2012). “Aistear can be used in a range of settings, including children’s own homes, childminding settings, creches, playgroups, pre-schools, naionrai, and infant classes in primary and special schools” (NCCA, 2009, 30/10/2012). After investigation, it is clear that Aistear’s main function is to provide each child from 0 - 6 years with the same learning and growing opportunities all based within a happy and safe environment (NCCA, 2008; Quality Childcare, 2012; Early Childhood Ireland, 2012). The importance of Aistear cannot be denied, Aistear is the Irish word for journey which is quite apt as the early years education stage aims to prepare children for their journey through life. “The aim of Aistear is to help every child to grow and develop as a competent and confident learner” (Early Childhood Ireland, 2012, 30/10/2012). “Aistear uses four themes that connect and overlap with each other to outline childrens learning and development” (Cavan County Childcare Committee, 2012, 30/10/2012). These four themes are, Well being, Identity and Belonging, Exploring and Thinking, and Communicating. Each of these themes are devised in a way to allow children develop holistically. “Aistear is designed to work with the great variety of curriculum materials currently in use in early childhood settings (NCCA, 2012, 30/10/2012). “Aistear has the potential to make a significant contribution to children’s early learning and development” (NCCA, 2012, 30/10/2012).

“HighScope is a quality approach to early childhood care and education which has been shaped and developed by research and practice over a forty year period” (Early Childhood Ireland, 2012, 30/10/2012). “The central belief of the HighScope approach is that children construct their own learning by doing and being actively involved in working with materials, people and ideas” (ECI, 2012, 30/10/2012). Children develop self-confidence, initiative, creativity and problem-solving skills, they learn about social relationships, the world about them, maths, science and technology, reasoning and language, finally, they develop positive attitudes to self, others and to future learning (ECI, 2012). The HighScope curriculum fits in very well with what Aistear is asking as the HighScope curriculum encourages all of Aistear’s themes. Well Being, by developing meaningful relationships with children and allowing them to express their feelings. Identity and Belonging, by promoting each child’s uniqueness, by sharing control with the children and by providing an environment where they can find things for themselves. Communicating, by asking children what they plan to do and reviewing what they have done, and by talking about problems to resolve them together. Exploring and Thinking, by providing a wide range of materials that children can choose to use in whatever way they desire, by embracing nature at outside time, by providing...
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