Models in Early Childhood Education

Topics: Reggio Emilia approach, Childhood, Jean Piaget Pages: 7 (1775 words) Published: December 3, 2012




6.1 Introduction

The work of human development theorists is important to early childhood education if their concepts are translated into practise and methods. There was a great number of early childhood education programs developed in the 1960s and 1970s when educators and researchers were encouraged to develop alternative approaches for Head Start programs. Most programs were designed to examine different ways of helping children at later academic failure improve their school performance. However, it is helpful to examine how some specific models have taken views of particular theorists and transformed these into program application.

In this topic, we will examine several models to illustrate how particular views of child development can be implemented in practice. After completing this topic, you should be able to discuss the models available in early childhood education.

Early Childhood Education Models

* Montessori Programs
* The Bank Street Approach
* The Cognitively Oriented Curriculum
* The Reggio Emilia Approach
* The Bereiter-Engelmann Model

Fig. 6.1 Topic contents

6.2 Montessori Program
Maria Montessori’s program was based on some carefully considered ideas about how young children grow. Montessori devised her program to meet the needs of impoverished children and to help them learn important life skills. It is designed as a three-year sequence for children ages three to six. However, today’s a wide range of Montessori’s program can be found. Some adhere quite rigidly to the original techniques, whereas others follow an approach that has been adapted to better fit the current social context.

6.3.1 The Environment
* It is aesthetically pleasing, with plants, flowers, and attractive furniture and materials. * There’s a sense of order inherent in the classroom.
* Child-sized equipment and materials are clearly organized on shelves that are easily accessible to the children. * Distinct areas are available in the classroom, each containing materials unique to promoting the tasks to be mastered in that area.

6.3.2 The Children
* Children of different ages involved in individual activities. * Children initiate activities and are free to engage in any projects they choose. * Children are self-directed, working independently or sometimes by two’s. * Younger children maybe learning by observing and imitating their older classmates.

6.3.3 The Teachers
* Little adult control.
* Teacher’s involvement is minimal and quiet.
* The teacher may be observing from a distance or demonstrating a child how to use a new material. * Teacher does not reinforce or praise children for their work. * Activities are self-rewarding and intrinsically motivating.

6.3.4 The Materials
* The materials are didactic (instructive) each designed to teach a specific lesson. * It is self-correcting so the child gets immediate feedback from the material after correctly (incorrectly) completing a task. * It is designed from the simple to the more complex for children to challenge progressively to more difficult concepts. * It is carefully and attractive constructed.

* Made of natural materials such as varnished wood.

6.3.5 The Curriculum
* When children first enter a Montessori program, they are introduced to the daily living component, in which practical activities are emphasized. * The second set of materials and activities are sensorial; helping children develop, organize, broaden and refine sensory perceptions of sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. * The third aspect of the program involves conceptual or academic materials. * Montessori programs are reality based rather than promoting...
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