Philosophers and Theorists of Early Childhood Education

Powerful Essays
Philosophies and Practices
In Early childhood Education
Jennifer Haynie
ECE311 Early Childhood Curriculum
And Methods
Lynn Olson
02 August 2010

With a personal philosophy accumulated from educational philosophers and theorists, and keeping current with research, a preschool teacher can reach a family and teach the young child to be ready for further education and the community. Teaching young children to become productive members of a society goes as far back in history as Aristotle who believed “children should be taught virtue by the use of repetitive exercises.” (S. Mack) The idea was to create a more civilized society by teaching young children virtues. Although his way of teaching may be challenged, the basic idea of creating a civilized society through the education of young children appears to be the foundation for theorists such as Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget and Maria Montessori. Based on research and theories the Montessori, and Highscope approaches were developed and are currently being used in preschools.

Lev Vygotsky theorized that young children learn through social interactions both at home and school. He challenged the common belief that children can learn at any time and that learning came automatic to children. Vygotsky offered that learning had a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), a window of opportunity to teach a skill in the child’s development, and although learning can be done after the ZPD, it is difficult. Teachers and families must recognize the ZPD, and provide appropriate learning experiences. Young children will learn through active participation with games, toys, and socializing with the people around. Jean Piaget took this information and expended it, giving educators a clearer insight on the developmental stages of young children.

Jean Piaget wanted to know why children thought the sun and mood followed them, and with great experimentation, he theorized that children where young scientists,



References: S.Mack, Early Childhood Philosophy and Theory of Education as retrieved 18 July 2010 from http://connected.waldenu.edu/learning-and-perception/learning-models/item/927-early-childhood-philosophy-theory-of-education http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3549 http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3496 http://www.montessori.edu/info.html http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=86 http://www.isbe.state.il.us/ILS/ http://www.innovativeteacherproject.org/reggio/values.php

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