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The principles associated with the early childhood education are based on a range of theories and curricula developed depending on these theories. The philosophy developed by Jean Piaget (1896-1980) is one of the most important developmental frameworks based on the principles of the cognitive development, and this theory is selected for the discussion in the paper. The curriculum method that is grounded on this theory among other ones is the High Scope model. The purpose of this paper is to discuss Piaget’s philosophy, describe the High Scope curriculum, and analyze how the selected curriculum can be associated with Piaget’s theory.
Jean Piaget’s Philosophy
Piaget’s principles of early education are actively quoted in the scholar literature. One of such quotes is important to be discussed: “Each time one prematurely teaches a child something he could have discovered himself, that child is kept from inventing it and consequently from understanding it completely” (Piaget as cited in Bergin & Bergin, 2011, p. 120). Thus, one of the main aspects of the theorist’s philosophy is the reference to the importance of self-education.
Children need to discover things and objects through manipulating them independently in order to learn. Moreover, children have the intrinsic motivation to discover the world around them, and this aspect needs to be taken into account by educators (Bergin & Bergin, 2011). At the early stage of their development, children are interested in examining objects in terms of their physical and material features. At this stage, it is also difficult for children to understand complex notions.
The High Scope Curriculum
The High Scope model is a cognitively and developmentally oriented curriculum, the main features of which are the planning, supportive role of adults, active participation, and involvement of children in activities. The key elements include the specific room organization according to which it is divided into zones; the specific equipment organization to provide children with easy access to objects and tools; and the planning of daily routines (Wiltshire, 2013).
A teacher plays a supportive role in this curriculum to encourage a child’s active involvement in the learning process (Bruno, 2009). The curriculum allows planning a day according to children’s developmental needs where children are supported in completing their daily routines, and the process of playing allows discovering objects and learning through manipulation and active participation.
Association of the High Scope Curriculum and Piaget’s Theory
The High Scope curriculum is grounded on the idea that children can learn more effectively when they are allowed to examine the world around them easily, through the active participation or involvement. This principle is taken from Piaget’s theory, and it is reflected in the curriculum through activities and playing (Wiltshire, 2013). In addition, playing and manipulation of physical objects are primarily activities during this developmental stage, and children’s needs are met in this case (Bruno, 2009). Such guided learning and exploration limited according to children’s needs are directly supported by Piaget’s theory.
The philosophy of Jean Piaget and the High Scope educational models are described in this paper. It is important to state that the major points formulated by Piaget regarding the early development are directly realized in the High Scope educational model. As a result, it is possible to note that this curriculum is developmentally appropriate. It allows children to learn naturally, with the focus on their inner motives, interests, and needs.
Bergin, C. C., & Bergin, D. A. (2011). Child and adolescent development in your classroom. New York, NY: Cengage Learning. Web.
Bruno, H. E. (2009). Leading on purpose: Emotionally intelligent early childhood administration. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill. Web.
Wiltshire, M. (2013). Understanding the High Scope approach: Early years’ education in practice. New York, NY: Routledge. Web.