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Great Thinkers of Early Childhood Education

These great thinkers have made an impact on modern day ECE approaches. These are my favorites. Who's yours?
by

nicole masek

on 23 August 2013

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Transcript of Great Thinkers of Early Childhood Education

Maria Montessori (1870-1952, Italy) Children's play is their work. A key to teaching children is letting them explore thier
environments, as independent thinkers. Very young children have an "absorbant mind" that allows them
to pick up on cues from their environment and experiences with
others without direct instruction (ie: language acquisition).
This provides reason why adults need to maintain awareness of
their words and actions at all times. Observation is a tool for teachers to
determine the path of knowledge an
individual child is blazing. It is the
teacher's role to provide the necessary
materials to inspire such exploration
and discovery. Child-centered activities Noted publication:
Montessori, M. (1964). The montessori method. New York, NY: Schocken Books. Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852, Germany) Education is continuous throughout the lifespan. Forefather of the scaffolding approach; learning in steps toward mastery. This resembles the Developmentally Appropriate Practice we see so common today. In a time when children were
treated harshly (inflicting corporal
punishment, used as laborers, etc.),
he advocated kindness toward children
for healthy development. Parent education was key
for mothers so they could
learn how to optimize their
child's development. Created an institution for young children to learn and grow. You may have heard of it; it's called KINDERGARTEN. Noted publication:
Froebel, F. (1887) The education of man. (Translated by Hailmann, W.N.) New York, London, D. Appleton Century. Pedagogy of listening: Instead of the traditional format of "teacher knows all" and the child as an empty vessel to be filled, Reggio's philosophy credits children for already possessing the capabilities of thought that stimulates investigation and acquisition of true knowledge. The teacher is the vehicle that drives children’s curiosity within a framework that is familiar and mutually owned with children Reggio Emilia We should ask ourselves as teachers:
"How can we help children find the meaning of what they do, what they encounter, what they experience? And how can we do this for ourselves?"
(Rinaldi, 2001b: pp. 79-80) Pedagogical Documentation:
- makes practice visible and thus subject to critique
- requires reflection, creating many possibilities
- stimulates discourse, change, innovation
- meaning making of practices
- provides data for child learning and pedagogy Listening:
-is not easy
-is subject to many interpretations
-is being open
-is making connections
-requires we use all of our senses
-takes patience and practice
-creates questions not answers
-requires valuing other's opinions
-builds trust and respect Welcomes the "Other": the child that does not fit into any mold, nor wants to. learning is not linear
learning is done through the senses "Projects" rather than "curriculum" Possibilities not targets Challenge the dominant discourse
in Early Childhood Education! Parents thoughts and opinions matter! Great thinkers of
Early Childhood Education who inspired modern curriculum.
Who inspires you? Lev Vygotsky Noted publications:
Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (1998). The hundred languages of children: The reggio emilia approach advanced reflections. London: JAI Press Ltd.

Rinaldi, C. (2001b). Documentation and assessment: What is the relationship?, in C. Giudici, C. Rinaldi, & Krechevsky (eds), Making Learning Visible: Children as Individual and Group Learners. Cambridge, MA: Project Zeroand Reggio Emilia: Reggio Children. (1896-1934, Russia) Social Domain Theory: social interaction is the
cornerstone to cognitive and linguistic development.
Teachers, peers, and parents are the primary sources
for socializing, therefore, it is their duty to engage
and demonstrate effective communication. The classroom should fit the child
physically and appeal aesthetically. Community makes meaning of the world. Vygotsky argued, "learning is a necessary and universal aspect of the process of developing culturally organized, specifically human psychological function" (1978, p. 90) Children and teachers conduct collaborative dialogue
in order to internalize new information. The teacher is
the "More Knowledgeable Other" (MKO) whom children
use as a guide to making sense of their experiences. Children need to be active in their own learning. Zone of Proximal Development:
"the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers" (Vygotsky, 1978, p86). scaffolding apprenticeship Noted publication:
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978) Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Foster good citizenship Mixed age groups Unlimited time to play Constructivist Education can contribute to world peace. Michel Foucault (1926-1984, France) "Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society" (Foucault, 1975). In
the ECE classroom the dynamic of power is
created by both the teacher and students as both parties play central roles to the functionality of the environment. Many of his writings focus on the struggle between the individual and the power of society to conform its citizens. Regarding ECE, power is presumed to belong to the teacher rendering children powerless. Foucault argued against this binary system of power, thus, children should be considered powerful in their own right. The greatest role a person plays in his life is to be his (or her) true self.
In the ECE classroom children's true self can be unveiled layer by layer
through creative activites, discourse, and imaginitive play. Observation then
becomes key. Stability, norms, and standards are an illusion because people
and society are always in flux, changing with the times, adjusting
to new realities and new circumstances. Standardization in the
classroom is the antithesis of individuality and respect for the
"Other." Noted publication:
Foucault, Michel (1975). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. Translated by Alan Sheridan (1977). New York: Pantheon Books. Individuality is the goal.
Conformity defeats the purpose
of true education. (estab. 1945, Northern Italy) by: Nicole Masek Movement games Education should foster the
creative side of every human. Play "Education" means to lead
someone to knowledge
(Froebel, 1887). Prepared classrooms Gifts and Occupations "Gifts" Responsibility
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