Planning in Early Childhood

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The observation of children is performed by teachers and educators, to help understand each child, and their characteristics. Along with assessment and evaluation, educators are able to understand each child’s development, and make decisions about appropriate activities and experience to offer each child, to help foster their individual development. (Veale, A. and Piscitelli, B. 1988) This essay will discuss the Value of the Observation Process in Planning for early childhood settings, and the role of each teacher in facilitating children’s individual learning and development.

Observation is a very valuable and important part of the planning process as each child is different. Observation and Record Keeping in Early Childhood Programs (Veale, A. and Piscitelli, B. 1988,) Suggests that in order for educators to provide proper learning experience for children, they must know each child’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, fears, joys, ideas and individual interests to plan stimulating and appropriate learning experiences. Through observation, Educators can gather this information on what each child is capable of, how each child behaves under a range of different circumstances and how the child interacts with other children, and adults. The information collected from observation helps educators to develop objectives and plans to “enhance children’s learning and development” (Planning and Learning, NZTC pg. 5).

Effective Planning and developing of learning outcomes for children is a collaborated effort between colleagues, children, Parents/Whānau and the community. DOP 6 outlines that importance of collaboration between colleagues when it comes to forming an effective plan in the early childhood environment. Open relationships and free discussions amongst each other empowers educators to become reflective practitioners and to understand different perspectives (MoE, 1998) By collaborating with parents/ Whānau educators can increase their understanding of the child’s “thinking and learning, parents and carers become wiser about the child” (Stonehouse, cited in Hanna, 2006, p.73) and planning becomes more effective and purposeful for the child. Te Whāriki states under the principle of Family and Community, “The wellbeing of children is interdependent with the well-being and culture of local communities and neighborhoods. Children’s learning and development are fostered it the well-being of their family and community is supported.”(MoE, 1996, p.42) Society is constantly changing, and children grow and change with the community, so educators need to plan for the growth and change. And most importantly the children need to be considered while planning. Children are individuals and their voice needs to be heard. Educators need to be aware of the child’s capabilities, interests and learning needs to provide efficient learning activities that will be effective and enjoyable for the child.

“The purpose of assessment is to give useful information about children’s learning and development to the adults providing the program and to children and their families.” (MoE, 1996 pg. 29) Assessment of the effectiveness of the program and keeping track of the child’s development helps educators to make decisions so effective changes can be made as needed to help the child’s personal progress and learning objectives. Likewise with planning, assessment needs to consider the changes in the community, consider the needs of the child and the parents/whānau to be the most effective for the child’s learning. Evaluation is the final step in the on-going planning of children’s learning. “The purpose of evaluation is to make informed judgments about the quality and effectiveness of the program.” (MoE, 1996 Pg. 29) Evaluation is a crucial part of the planning process as it gives educators a chance to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of their program planning and to be better informed for future planning. Educators need to use a range of methods to...
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