Computer Use in Early Childhood Education

Topics: Early childhood education, Computer, Education Pages: 14 (4256 words) Published: September 30, 2012
Computer Use in Early Years of Education

Abstract
The importance of the child’s development in early years of education has reached the stage where it becomes critical that learning programs becomes a global issue. Understanding changes and undertaking practice is fundamental in student learning. The purpose of this article is to increase our perception on the different effects of using computer technology in early childhood setting. In answering the question 'What is the purpose of education?' I started at that time from the observation that man lives in a world of objects which influence him and which he wishes to influence, and so he must know these objects in their characteristics, their essence and their relation to one another and to mankind.

Friedrich Froebel Keywords : Early Childhood, Computer, Technology Education, Curriculum

Introduction
Throughout educational history, world philosophers have wrestled with understanding the myriad of questions and problems surrounding the education of society’s children. Historically, many early childhood educators supported the idea that children should be trained as soon as possible to become productive members of the larger society so that the cultural heritage of the society could be preserved from generation to generation; this cultural imposition theory has been prevalent throughout the educational history of the world (Staff, 1998.

Early Years of Education
Early Childhood Education is the term commonly used to describe the formal teaching and care of young children by people other than their family or in settings outside of the home. The developmental definition of early childhood education spans the human life from birth to age eight. However, typically early childhood education covers the period from birth to when a child starts school and this can be as early as five years of age as in New Zealand. This time period is widely considered the most vulnerable and crucial stage of a person's life. The early years of childhood are receiving increased public attention around the world. Issues on providing quality service and ensuring a good foundation for lifelong learning is generating a new interest in the academic community by adapting different theoretical perspective, pedagogy and philosophy. There are several key components to understanding how young children learn, and therefore how they need to be taught. In New Zealand, the process of creating the early childhood curriculum was inspired by the evidence of not only a bi cultural society but a multi cultural and multi racial society. CurriculumCurriculum is defined in Te Wha¨riki as ‘… the sum total of the experiences, activities and events, whether direct or indirect, which occur within an environment designed to foster children’s learning and development’ (Ministry of Education, 1996, p. 10 cited in Nutall, 2003). This definition of curriculum as ‘everything that happens’ is acknowledged in the curriculum theory literature (e.g. Cornbleth, 1990 cited in Nutall, 2003) and it is a description that resonates with the holistic, child-centred philosophy of early childhood education in New Zealand. The central expectation of Te Wha¨riki is that early childhood centres and services will articulate ‘their’ curriculum in a conscious, culturally situated way. (Nutall, 2003). The implementation of Te Wha¨riki, which was inspired by The Socio Cultural Constructivism principle of Vygotzsky, introduced the early childhood teachers in New Zealand to the most recent curriculum tradition. One of the reasons socio-cultural approaches resonate with teachers in childcare centres is the way in which children are understood to be learning through their experiences in the centre, including routine happenings such as play and mealtimes. (Nutall, 2003) Within this pedagogy, both the teachers and students are understood to be engaged in a process of...

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