Early Childhood Education is an essential aspect of the growth and development of children. As children grow, they learn a lot of things along the way. It is, therefore, necessary for early childhood educators to pay keen interest to young children and nurture them to become better people in society. Nurturing the child may be in various ways such as discovering their talents and shaping them to make use of those talents to become better.
As an early childhood educator, the most effective philosophical theory that I find appealing in approaching childhood education is Piaget’s theory. This theory deals with describing what a child can do at particular stages of development ( Barrouillet, 2015) It is more influential in teaching practices since it defines how an ideal learner should be able to learn. This is by detecting and moderating contradictions, observations, regulation and compensation of disturbances as well as detecting. The Piaget’s theory classifies into four significant stages; the sensorimotor stage (0-2 years), Preoperational stage (2-6 years), Concrete operations (6-11years) and formal operations (11-adult) (Barrouillet, 2015). In the sensorimotor stage, the child can learn by the use of senses. In the preoperational stage, the child is a little bit grown and advanced, so he/she uses numbers and symbols.
On the other hand, In the concrete operational stage, the child is now able to execute mental tasks like mathematical calculations. In the formal operation stage, the child is mature enough to learn somewhat complex forms of reasoning. Throughout these stages, a teacher should instruct and allow children to make mistakes as a way of learning (Barrouillet, 2015). As an early childhood educator, I deal with the preoperational stage (2-6 years). In this stage, the children are interested in colourful and unusual things as well as shapes and numbers. Therefore, to ensure that they find the learning process interesting, I provide each one of them with colouring books. Since this is their area of interest, I offer them an opportunity also to draw various shapes and to colour them. I also ensure that the class environment is filled with charts and symbols as well as numbers so that it becomes monotonous to them and sinks in their subconscious minds.
People have different perspectives on how they view children. These views are evident all around us. The various images of a child exist in famous phrases like ‘Children are the light of the future’, ‘Boys will always be boys’ among others. However, in early childhood education, various images of a child are presented and bring about complexity in early childhood education. Developmental perspectives of learning suggest that children grow and develop in universal stages toward maturity. Children are viewed as active learners and are therefore supposed to receive an opportunity to learn (Barrouillet, 2015). Early childhood educators, as well as parents, should not look down on a child’s ability. By so doing, it will discourage a child from exploring and realising his abilities leading to dormancy and esteem issues. Socio-cultural perspectives of learning not only perceive children as active but also as social learners. In my case as an educator, I engage the young children in games and stories to boost their social interactions. Post-foundational perspectives assess issues of equality, fairness as equity on whatever children are learning.
The way a child is viewed and perceived is fundamental. Piaget’s theory in my view is the best philosophical approach to use as an early childhood educator. The reason is that it keeps an account of the various developmental learning processes a child undergoes all the way to Maturity. It also enables the educator to understand his/her class better and know how to handle the class. Children are beautiful and should, therefore, be natured to become better every day.
Barrouillet, P. (2015). Theories of cognitive development: From Piaget to today.
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