The Unit I “Building a Strong Foundations” by K. Paciorek contains articles that all underline the importance of creating early childhood programs targeted at developing learning skills at early stages. Furthermore, the articles make the job description of an individual within the teaching profession much wider and broader. The people in the profession should remember that their job couldn’t be forgotten at the end of a workday; it requires skill and dedication to bring out the best qualities in the generations growing up.
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One of the most important principles of teaching is the notion of play. In their development, children require not only playing organized games they need to play as a source of creative, social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Thus, educators should introduce play as an activity that boosts the learning process rather than just adding it into the program of teaching without any particular purpose. For instance, a teacher may do a small break in a lesson so that children can play and interact. This is a mistake. A better tactic is to integrate the play into the lesson itself, providing kids with a better understanding of a new subject with a play that will engage them in a creative and interactive process.
A second concept introduced in the Unit articles is the achievement gap that exists between children of a background that has little resources to support their development and children that are constantly encouraged and stimulated by their environment. In this case, the school administration should have maximum information about the developmental needs of their students so that the achievement gap can be reduced in the process of teaching. This means compensation for less attention given to some children while not allowing the knowledge and skills of others to decline.
In addition to the primary issues addressed above, the Unit also outlines the danger daycare can pose to children. While top-quality daycare is available to children of a well-off background, kinds of ethnic minorities and poor backgrounds do not receive proper care. For example, children that develop and grow in a supporting and nurturing environment usually develop necessary skills to become successful adults while children that develop with less attention usually exhibit more signs of emotional outbursts and lack of control over impulse behavior. Lastly, it is important to underline the fact that kindergarten has always been a confusing principle.
Kindergarten children should be developing across all dimensions, not just in a few outlined in the educational program. The reassessment of kindergarten principles should lead to creating new educational programs that will be, first of all, nurturing, responsive, and challenging for the younger generations.
Internet References Summary
The National Institute for Play
The website of the National Institute for Play gives profound information on the vision, the science, and the opportunities of this non-profit organization. The Institute works forward integration of play principles into the day-to-day public life. Furthermore, the institute claims to “generate optimism, seek novelty, and promotes a sense of belonging and community” (The National Institute for Play, 2014, para. 4).
National Association for the Education of Young Children
NAEYC holds a very strong position concerning the problems that relate to the education practice of early childhood. Furthermore, the Association provides distinct guidelines for improving early childhood services. These guidelines include creating high standards for every child despite their abilities to find full potential; developing a program of complete inclusion; establishing a system of frameworks that support and encouraging children with certain learning characteristics or disabilities; improving the development of professionals in the fields (NAEYC, 2009, p. 2). According to NAEYC, childhood inclusion is what will make the development of all children as equal and as productive as possible.
The Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development
The mission of the Consultative Group is to make further improvements in the policies and practices regarding the early development of children that live in disadvantaged conditions. These improvements are made through creating a closer connection with and between educational practitioners, researchers, as well as policymakers. The key objectives of the CGECCD include the generation and dissemination of knowledge via analysis and synthesise available information; advocacy and communication of issues that relate to poverty and social development of children, and the support of the regional capacity building through sharing information and advocacy for the overall development of children (CGECCD, n.d., para. 6).
HighScope Educational Research Foundation
As stated at the HighScope website, the primary mission of the foundation is to “lift lives through education” (n.d., para. 1). The Foundation researches several areas; however, it is best known for the Perry Preschool Study that was able to demonstrate the long-term effectiveness of top-quality preschool education. The integration of music and moves into the elementary education curriculum was based on detailed research and had shown positive results. Furthermore, the Foundation offers assessment tools validated by extensive research, provides extensive training for teachers that work in a preschool and elementary facilities, presents conferences every year on the topic of preschool education.
CGECCD. (n.d.). About Us. Web.
HighScope. (n.d.). About Us. Web.
NAEYC. (2009). Early Childhood Inclusion: A Summary. Web.
The National Institute for Play. (2014). The Institute. Web.