Beliefs on How Young Children Learn
To an ECD educator like me, it is imperative to have a teaching philosophy, which should involve putting children first. Vygotsky’s theory supports this belief by arguing that social interactions usually precede a child’s development process. Here, cognition and consciousness are the results of the children’s social behavior (Matusov, 2015). A teacher’s philosophy is to make sure young children learn by helping them read books and interacting with them in a manner that eases their process of grasping vocabularies.
With the theory in mind, the aim is to apply tools like MKO (More Knowledgeable Other) whereby the teacher plays the role of both the knowledgeable one, as well as playing the role of being a peer to the students. This way, the children have an active role in learning. The Vygotsky theory also encourages the use of ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), whereby teachers play the role of offering guidance while allowing the children to collaborate and solve problems independently. This enables the children to feel more comfortable.
When passing across some educative idea, they will be able to grasp it faster, thus improving a teacher-student relationship. The philosophy is to believe in developing a memorable connection with the pupils. The resultant of improved relations with the children is becoming their “favorite” teacher, which usually results in winning their trust. With an honest relationship between a student and his/her teacher, it becomes easier to improve on teaching methods.
Effective Pedagogies for Early Years
Since learning amongst young children is reliant on pedagogical methodologies, personal philosophy integrates effective interactions between the children, their environment and their teacher. This enhances their cognitive development processes, which is Jean Piaget’s theory, whereby children think differently compared to adults. Piaget’s theory notes that children play a significant role in learning new ideas (Sonu & Snaza, 2015). An applicable pedagogy is the contextualization process, whereby teaching involves fostering pride and confidence into the children, which consists in connecting school experiences to the children’s everyday lives.
The other pedagogy is complex thinking whereby it is imperative to apply instructional methods that include concept analysis. This enables young children to develop a brain that can handle repetitive and highly detailed concepts. Also, the teaching philosophy will consist of instructional conversations. Here, teaching involves listening carefully to the children, make guesses of what they mean, and then adjust responses to aid their efforts further.
Ethical Roles of an ECD Teacher
As recommended by AITSL (2018), teaching should interconnect intellectual, social, and physical development of young children. The plan as a teacher to put every child’s needs before the teacher’s, which includes making sure that all the necessary resources are at disposal, e.g., books. It would also be significant to incorporate various learning skills and styles by applying constructivism and analytical thinking.
A teacher should also make good use of aesthetics in coming up with mundane educative techniques. Hence, the children are not only gaining knowledge, but they are also benefiting from good morals that will help them live a successful life. This is adherence to the ACECQA (2018), whereby children’s health and safety are to be guaranteed. Their physical environments are also supposed to be suitable and characteristic of diverse experiences. Finally, philosophical viewpoints are expected to change and improve through experience. Therefore, it would be essential to learn from others, which includes fellow teachers, and even children.
ACECEQA. (2018). National Quality Standard (Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority). Retrievable from https://bit.ly/2BWkEwt
AITSL. (2018). National professional standards for highly accomplished teachers of science (6th ed., pp. 134-178). Deakin West, ACT: Australian Science Teachers Association/Monash University. Retrievable at https://bit.ly/2KGtW4Z
Matusov, E. (2015). Vygotsky’s Theory of Human Development and New Approaches to Education. International Encyclopedia Of The Social & Behavioral Sciences, 31(4), 316-321. DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-08-097086-8.92016-6. Retrievable at https://bit.ly/2UnfONj
Sonu, D., & Snaza, N. (2015). The Fragility of Ecological Pedagogy: Elementary Social Studies Standards and Possibilities of New Materialism. Journal Of Curriculum And Pedagogy, 12(3), 258-277. DOI: 10.1080/15505170.2015.1103671. Retrievable at https://bit.ly/2VNDThR