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My Personal Philosophy about Early Childhood Education and C

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Lucy Welby

on 13 May 2015

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Transcript of My Personal Philosophy about Early Childhood Education and C

My Personal Philosophy about Early Childhood Education and Care
Before starting my Early Childhood Studies degree my own philosophy about early childhood education and care was very narrow and undeveloped. I have had many previous learning experiences with childcare but had never fully developed a philosophy of my thoughts and views on the topic. During this course I have been able to learn more about the subject and have been able to develop an idea of my own philosophy towards early childhood education and care. This has been influenced by my past experiences and philosophers involved in childhood education.
The Reggio Approach is an educational philosophy established by Loris Malaguzzi and 'recognised around the world as examples of high quality, child-centred early years settings' (Thornton & Brunton, 2007). The infant-toddler centres are based and founded in Reggio Emilia, Italy but have now been followed up around the world. Many UK child care settings use the Reggio Approach within their classrooms and philosophies.

The High-Scope Approach
My Personal Philosophy
Based on my past experiences and influences from historical and present educators I have been able to develop my own philosophy and views on early childhood education and care. I have a strong belief in the importance of teachers viewing children as rich in potential and active learners. Practitioners should allow children to express their freedom and independence; but also be in the presence of the children to provide them with reassurance and support when needed. Based on Montessori's ideas and past experiences from placements I have built up the idea of children not being disciplined. From experience I have seen that children are missing out on vital learning experiences because of being told off and sent out of the classroom. I think it is essential that rather than being disciplined, children are provided with an environment in which they can promote their learning and independence. My philosophy has been greatly influenced by historical educators and their views on early childhood education and care, as well as creating ideas based on past placement experiences.
Maria Montessori
A Montessori Morning
(Palmer, 2014)
The Reggio Approach
My philosophy has been influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach because of the statement to view the children as 'rich in potential, strong, powerful and competent' (Thornton & Brunton, 2009). I believe that children should be viewed as important beings and those who have the ability and confidence to learn for themselves. The idea of little adult-interventions has influenced my personal philosophy also. I think that it is important that children have the space and room to develop and explore their own environments, without the constant communication and interventions from adults.
The influence on my philosophy . . .
The philosophy of the approach is based on the image of the child as 'rich in potential, strong, powerful and competent' (Thornton & Brunton, 2009). Children are encouraged to express their own ideas and adults and fellow pupils should respect and listen to them. This ensures that the children are unafraid to say what they think and how they feel.


Within a Reggio Approach centre, children are offered opportunities to 'encounter many types of materials, many expressive languages and work actively with their hands, minds and emotions' (Reggio Emilia Approach | Reggio Children, n.d.). There is no curriculum within Reggio settings, instead the children are free to determine their own ideas and learning experiences. Questions are encouraged to help become 'starting points for further investigations and exploration' (Thornton & Brunton, 2009).
Influences from other educators . . .

Similar to Montessori's ideas, the Reggio Emilia approach empahasises the importance of children learning for themselves and learning through independence. Although, interactions with the adult and environment help to 'create knowledge and positive images for the child' (Salamanca, 2013).
Their philosophy . . .
Their philosophy . . .
Influences from other educators . . .
The influence on my philosophy . . .
The High Scope Approach philosophy aims to 'focus on active and natural desires to learn and build on these' (The High/Scope Approach For Under Threes, 1999). Within a High Scope setting - children have the ability to strive to explore and master new skills, with limited support and encouragement from adults. An important part of the High Scope philosophy is the building of relationships with adults, in order to develop trust and respect.
Influences from other educators . . .
Their philosophy . . .
The influence on my philosophy . . .
Montessori's philosophy is based around a child centred environment. The children have the opportunity to use real tools and materials, that are accessible to them at all times. They are responsible for the upkeep of the classroom and ensuring the materials are kept clean and looked after; due to this responsibility, the children learn to respect their resources and are able to handle things properly e.g. scissors. Montessori stated that the 'relationships between the teacher and child should be harmonious' (O'Donnell, 2013). Montessori also said that 'bad behavior, naughtiness is an expression of defiant development, not normal development' (O'Donnell, 2013) and believed that the solution to bad behavior, was not discipline, but providing the right environment and freedom.
I have a strong belief that children should not be disciplined; this view has been influenced by the ideas of Maria Montessori. Through observations at past placements, I have been able to witness the effect discipline has had on a child. In many cases the discipline has been unsuccessful and only holds back the child from vital learning experiences. I strongly agree with the beliefs of Montessori in which children should not be disciplined but provided with an environment where they can work independently and with freedom.
Montessori's work has been influenced and relates to many other educators within the education and care of children. A Montessori teacher must 'view the child's full potential and not as clay to be molded' (Spielgaben, 2013). This is similar to the views of Froebel in that the teachers should 'serve as the "gardeners" of children's potential' (Spielgaben, 2013).


Maria Montessori was an educationalist who estabilished the Casa Dei Bamini (Children's House). These homes were there to create a safe environment for the children in Rome, and encourage them to come off the streets. Within these homes, Montessori created a 'school' enviornment with materials fit for children. Montessori was able to look at what the children were interested in and develop materials and opportunities from this.

The Montessori method is present within many schools and nurseries nowadays and follows a strict philosophy based on the early ideas on Maria Montessori. The initial goal of the Montessori method is to develop the whole child, including their physical, social, emotional and cognitive abilities.
Similar to the Reggio Emilia and Montessori philosophies, the High Scope approach encourages independent learning and 'mastering things without support and encouragement' (The High/Scope Approach For Under Threes, 1999).
The High Scope approach is used in many childcare settings all over the world. A High Scope setting is welcoming to the children and provides them with materials to stimulate learning and independence. The resources are all arranged to promote active learning and be meaningful for the child. The environment is flexible, to allow the children to take different materials to different areas. The High Scope settings will have specific times and a routine in which they do things every day. Within this routine they must include; plan-do-review time, small-group time, large-group time, outside time, transition time and eating and resting time (Highscope.org, 2015).
The High Scope approach has had an influence on my philosophy because of the importance for children to build and develop relationships with staff. I believe that in order for children to learn to their full potential, they need the presence from adults within the classroom, if reassurance or additional support is needed. Without the gaining of respect and trust, children may not feel confident enough to communicate or talk with the adult; therefore affecting their learning experiences in the setting.
(Reggio Emilia Map, 2013)
(Adult listening to child, 2013)
(Loris Malaguzzi Quote, 2015)
(Wallenhorst, 2011)
A High Scope Pre-School Circle Time
(High Scope Wheel of Learning, 2011)
(Independent Play, 2015)
(momsmagazine.com, 2015)
Reference List
Adult listening to child. (2013). Retrieved from https://jhatherapy.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/their-way-of-saying-thanks/

Children. (2015). Retrieved from http://momsmagazine.com/2015/01/12/maximizing-enjoyment-children-2015/

High Scope Wheel of Learning. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.churchhealthcenter.org/curriculum

Highscope.org,. (2015). HighScope | Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=291

Independent Play. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.tmnurseries.com/nurseries/ramsgate-nursery/

Loris Malaguzzi Quote. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.pinterest.com/jazman_shore/quotes/

O'Donnell, M. (2013). Maria Montessori. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Palmer, L. (2014). A Montessori Morning. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=09Y-huCMjIc

Reggio Emilia Approach | Reggio Children,. Reggio Emilia Approach. Retrieved from http://www.reggiochildren.it/identita/reggio-emilia-approach/?lang=en

Reggio Emilia Map. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.gogurucool.com/reggio-emilia/

Salamanca, A. (2013). Reggio Emilia Approach. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXrYQZxj0Pk

Spielgaben,. (2013). Comparison among Froebel, Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf-Steiner Methods - Part 1. Retrieved from http://www.spielgaben.com/comparison-froebel-montessori-reggio-waldorf-part-1/

The High/Scope Approach For Under Threes. (1999). London, England.

Thornton, L., & Brunton, P. (2007). Bringing the Reggio approach to your early years practice. London: Routledge.

Thornton, L., & Brunton, P. (2009). Understanding the Reggio approach (2nd ed.). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Wallenhorst, L. (2011). High Scope Pre-School Circle Time. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qRxRdrY3TM
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