The Children We Encounter and the Theorist That Teach Us

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The Children We Encounter and the Theorist That Teach Us

ECE 311 Early Childhood Curriculum & Methods

Instructor: Nicole Schneider
July 9, 2012

In this paper I will explore the different developmentally appropriate philosophies, theories, and concepts when teaching math, reading, science and the fine arts to young children across a developmental curriculum. The group of children that I will be focusing on teaching is preschoolers that are four years of age. This course allowed me to gain more knowledge from the early childhood text and will allow me to use more creative activities with the children to create what I consider to be the perfect classroom plan with playful and planful activities. Preschool education is very important because this is children first experience towards the rest of the twelve years of grade school left. The knowledge the children gain and gather will increase as they grow and development.  The experience’s will also make the children grow socially. Preschool children are depending on their teachers’ to provide them with as much useful information as possible for them to succeed to the next level. 

As educators we have many philosophers and their theories to show how to understand how children think and grow. There are many philosophers that have an influence on the actual way we look at how children learn. The federal law has developed standards that educators have to follow to teach children throughout the curriculum. When teaching children educators have to focus on moral development, self- esteem, physical development, social and emotional development, cognitive development and the way they learn academically. It is up to the teacher to make sure students are grasping the information that is taught to them in all subjects: math, reading, science and the fine arts to name a few. The High/Scope approach gives the best examples of my philosophy of education (Morrison, 2009, p.149). As an educator we have to be accountable for helping the child accomplishing goals. “Piaget believed (1970b) believed that a teacher of young children should be highly intelligent and highly trained (Eliason& Jenkins, 2012, pg.13).” The age group of children that will be discussed in this paper will be Pre- K children. Why is it important to understand children and the way they learn before a child can be taught properly? If teachers do not know how children think and how to teach them it will be hard for a child to learn. Has Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s theories helped to shape the minds of children with his theory? The answer to this question in my opinion is yes. Both theorists have helped me personally in the work that I provided to the children within my classroom. There are free things you can do to expose children. That is very good learning experiences for them. Before making a decision on the approach I liked the best, I evaluated the theoretical perspectives: behaviorist, nativist, cognitive development and interactionist. The behaviorist theory “emphasizes the role of nurture and considers learning to occur based on the stimuli, responses and reinforcements that occur in the environment” (Otto, 2010.  p. 32).

Behaviorist, nativist, cognitive developmentalist, and interactionist all have different ideas on how children learn. They have all came up with theories that can work together to benefit the children in their learning process. As a teacher we have to know all the different theorist and what they believe to have a better chance figuring out how to teach the children in our classroom. This will allow teachers to be affective teachers in the classroom and bring something from each one of the theorist and be able to enhance a child’s learning development. All are right in some way and all can work together to benefit the children’s learning. A teacher has to know the different theorist and what they believe...
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