Early childhood education regards education in the early stages of childhood. According to NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), it spans the human life from birth to age 8.
Infants and toddlers experience life more holistically than any other age group. Social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, and physical lessons are not learned separately by very young children. Adults who are most helpful to young children interact in ways that understand that the child is learning from the whole experience, not just that part of the experience to which the adult gives attention. Early childhood education often focuses on children learning through play.
Although early childhood education does not have to occur in absence of the parent or primary caregiver, this term is often used to describe preschool or child care programs. Researchers in the field and early childhood educators both view the parents as an integral part of the early childhood education process. Early childhood education takes many forms depending on the theoretical and educational beliefs of the educator or parent.
Other terms that are often used interchangeably with "early childhood education" are "early childhood learning," "early care," and "early education. " Much of the first two years of life are spent in the creation of a child's first "sense of self" or the building of a first identity. This is a crucial part of children's makeup--how they first see themselves, how they think they should function, how they expect others to function in relation to them. For this reason, early care must ensure that in addition to employing carefully selected and trained caretakers, program policy must emphasize links with family, home culture, and home language. Care should support children's families rather than be a substitute for them. Child Development:
There are different developmental domains of children which all relate to each other:
According to Piaget, there are four stages of cognitive development :
(1) Sensorimotor Stage. This stage occurs between the ages of birth and two years of age.
(2) Preoperational Stage. The second stage occurs between the ages of two to seven years of age.
(3) Concrete Operations Stage. Occurring between ages 7 and about 12 years.
(4) Formal Operations Stage. The final stage of cognitive development (from age 12 and beyond)
Recent studies on infant brain development show most of a person's neurons are formed from ages 0-8. Neurons (ˈnjuːɹɒn also known as neurones and nerve cells) are responsive cells in the Nervous system that process and transmit information If a young child doesn't receive sufficient nurturing, nutrition, parental/caregiver interaction, and stimulus during this crucial period, the child may be left with a developmental deficit that hampers his or her success in preschool,kindergarten, and beyond. ( German, literally means "children's garden" is a form of education for young children which serves as a transition from home to the commencement of more formal schooling
Worst-case scenarios such as those found in Russian and Romanian orphanages demonstrate how the lack of proper social interaction and development of attachment affect the developing child. Children must receive attention and affection from their caregivers to develop in a healthy manner.
Developmental psychologists Jean Piaget have widely influenced educational theories. Jean Piaget pjaʒɛ ( August 9, 1896 &ndash September 16, 1980) was a Swiss philosopher, natural scientist Sociocultural theorists such as Lev Vygotsky have also had a large influence on education. Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (Russian Лев Семёнович Выготский ( November 17 ( November 5 Old Style) 1896 – June 11, 1934 Major benchmarks realized by Vygotsky were inner speech, the importance of speech in learning and the zone of proximal development.
Behaviorist ideas dominate direct instruction methods (like DISTAR). Behaviorism or Behaviourism, also called the learning perspective (where any physical action is a behavior is a philosophy of Psychology based on the DiStar is a manufacturer of televisions home appliances mobile devices and motorcycles in Thailand. Constructivist ideas dominate curricula like High/Scope and The Creative Curriculum, while maturational theory is the basis for Montessori. Constructivism is a psychological theory of knowledge ( Epistemology) which argues that humans construct knowledge and meaning from their experiences The High/Scope Early childhood education philosophy is a method of running a Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary school developed in the Maturationism is an early childhood educational philosophy that sees the child as a growing organism and believes that the role of Education is to passively support The Montessori method is an educational method for children based on theories of Child development originated by Italian educator Maria Montessori (1870-1952  A mix of maturationist and constructionist ideas supply the base theory for the Reggio Emilia approach. The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on Preschool and primary education
The curriculum in a Head Start program is designed to meet the needs of each child. For the Australian television series see Head Start (TV series Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human One goal is to build self-esteem that is seen as necessary to future success in school. In Psychology, self-esteem reflects a Person 's overall evaluation or appraisal of her or his own worth Staff encourage self-confidence, curiosity, and self-discipline. A variety of learning experiences are designed to meet the children's needs in the various areas of development. Staff should work as a team to implement the new government issued curriculum and teach children, based on their interest and in a fun way. Parent involvement should be the heart of the program. Preschool children must be provided with early literacy, awareness and intervention in order to perform better during the later years. This will lead the to success once they enter schools, and put them on the right track by being well prepared with the right and appropriate equipment. There are theories though, that involve the importance of early interaction with children. A child will try time and time again to get the attention of their parent. The more that the parent ignores the child, the more that child will pull themselves away completely. A child that pulls away so much may have less of a drive in later aspects of life. These aspects can vary from social interaction to education, depending on the child and the situation. In short, though it is important to start educating children at an early age, it is also important to have a strong parent role in their life to add to their levels of support and confidence. The more that a child is played with and shown affection, the better they will feel about themselves.
The philosophy of early childhood education is largely child-centered education. Therefore, there is a focus on the importance of play. Play provides children with the opportunity to actively explore, manipulate, and interact with their environment.
It encourages children to investigate, create, discover and motivate them to take risks and add to their understanding of the world. It challenges children to achieve new levels of understanding of events, people and the environment by interacting with concrete materials.
Hands-on activities create authentic experiences in which children begin to feel a sense of mastery over their world and a sense of belonging and understanding of what is going on in their environment. This philosophy follows with Piaget's ideals that children should actively participate in their world and various environments so as to ensure they are not 'passive' learners but 'little scientists' who are actively engaged.
Play is a very important and special part of childhood. It allows a child to experiment with the world around him and the emotional world inside him. To many it might seem like mere child's play but there is a lot of work going on behind the scene like skill building, problem solving, overcoming physical and mental challenges etc. Playing with products made especially for the preschool children helps a child in building self confidence, encourages independent learning and clears his concepts. For the development of their fine and large or gross motor movements, for the growth of the child's eye-hand coordination, it is extremely important for him to 'play' with the natural things around him. Sand/mud/clay and water play a very important part here.
Giving the child time and playing with him make him a confident human being. We as adults can enter his world of imagination and fantasy and let him control us. This generally helps in building his self confidence and he feels safe and secure with us. We tend to build his self esteem and morale when we give him time and attention. When a child realizes that the things of his interest are important to us and that we appreciate his method of play and fun, he tends to get confident of himself. It also allows children to explore new friendships with those they interact with.
Gestwicki, C. (1999). Developmentally Appropriate Practice. Delmar Publishing
Woolfolk, A. (2007). Educational Psychology. Boston: Pearson. Providing an environment that is child centered allows the children to spend time on the topics that interest them. Early childhood educators will use the children's interest and develop centers and activities that will help the child develop in cognitive,social and physicals areas of development. They will allow enough time and space for the children to experience these activities to the fullest.