Developinga Personal Learning Philosophy
Developinga Personal Learning Philosophy
Childhoodeducation is very important. Education for the ages starting fromPre-Kand K to Age 8/Grade 3 children should stimulatesdevelopment of social, mental, and academic activities. Thiseducation will greatly determine kind of person a child would grow tobe. The capacity to learn language early is the foundation forliteracy and should be developed by the age of three. Children indaycare have the opportunity to develop language skills and educatorsat this level will enhances language acquisition by providingstimulating learning opportunities that help children to acquire thelanguage skills. Thispaper will dwell on the debate on nature versus nurture and how itinforms my role and practice in childhood education as well as theearly childhood curriculum.
Thenature/nurture concept and debate
Thenature versus nurture debate has been contested over the years in thefield of education and psychology. As human beings, we have thephilosophy that guides each and everything that we do includingapproaches to life and issues in general. The terms nature andnurture denotes the role of hereditary factors versus environmentalfactors that shape human growth and development. According toscientists, human behavior is inheritable since it is a response togenetic predisposition(Charles, 2015).This one is the nature side of the argument about human behavior. Asa professional I recognize that most children are born with differentlearning abilities(Charles, 2015).This means that nature is responsible for the traits and inbornabilities and human beings act as dictated by the genes. On the otherhand, nurture utilizes the genetic dispositions to mold human beingsthrough conscious and unconscious learning. I endeavor to develop anenvironment that realizes the best for the learners. This begins withnurturing talents as early as possible while guiding the learnerstowards actualizing their goals.
Accordingto the nurture side of the debate personality is nurtured and cannotbe inherited(Charles, 2015).I support the position that the mind is an empty slate at birth andas such nurture relates to influences that come from parental roles,peer influence and the role of media as well as the social economicstatus. Studies by behaviorist psychologies such as skinner showedthat human behavior can be conditioned and as such the environmentplays a great role in determination of the behaviors of anindividual’s traits and behaviors. As an educator my work willrevolve around the effectiveness of the learning environment inconditioning the learner in a flexible learning environment.
Mylearning and teaching will include rewarding and shaping requiredskills mold their personality and behavior. For this reason, wealways tailor learning to enhance the practical aspects ofdevelopment. I also recognize that Nature plays a key role indetermination of intelligence and personality of an individual aslearners are most likely to differ in intelligence and this cannot bechanged. It also plays a role in temperament and behaviors and thiswill include sensitivity and response to emotions. I can assessstudents at various levels to determine their level of comprehensionto alter the pace of teaching and use suitable teaching approaches.
Roleof early childhood professional
Itis also conceivable that the environment is important when it comesto the creation of who one is and this affects the development ofpersonality and intelligence. My role as an educator is to create astimulating learning environment at various levels. When the learningenvironment for children is altered, the expectation is that therewill be effect on the intelligence and personality despite the factthat genetics play a stronger role in intelligence(Murray, 2013).When it comes to the moral environment, the society at large createspreconditioned expectations about the morality in that children inschool are thought morals as they develop. Therefore, the familyplays an important role in education in early childhood as it playsthe great role of shaping the academic development a child as well asthe moral growth.
Thecurriculum in early childhood plays an essential role when it comesto challenging and motivating the learner as an essential part oftheir development. For children between Birthto Pre-K and K to Grade 3 children, thecurriculum is designed to enhance language skills and especiallyacquisition of vocabularies. This type of education is characterizedby play to enable children to acquire the social skills that areintegral to humanity as they relate to leaning social skills and theway to deal with others and develop their own values as well. Aschildren grow, the level of play goes down.
Earlychildhood educator has a role in designing and developing curriculumwhich is attached to the recognition that childhood education isessential. As an educator, recognizing that teachingand learning for Birth to Age 5/Pre-K and K to Age 8/Grade 3 childrenmay include childrenthat cannot distinguish what is right from what is wrong means thatthey have the capacity to absorb what they hear and see and thismakes early education very essential. Curriculum design for the Age5/Pre-K and K to Age 8/Grade 3 children ismeant to help the young minds to conform to the societalexpectations.
Thefamily is the first school where development of the brain is aided bydeveloping emotional, physical, and social capability of thechildren. If learning is delayed at family and school level, thechild will have difficulties when it comes to acquiring theseessential skills. Up to 80% of the development of the brain happensbefore the age of five and it is more active at the ages rangingbetween two to four years(Murray, 2013).It is notable that at this age, children actively acquire languageand other social skills. At this stage, the brain take in what theenvironment offers and this is the prime time for learning anddevelopment.
Recognitionthat early childhood education provides opportunity for children toestablish a strong foundation for their life is the starting pointfor advocacy. As an educator I can only create an environment that issensitive to the needs of the learner. This begins with physicalfacilities that are sensitive to the needs of the learner. Alsoinclusion starts with creating cultural sensitivity in the classroomprocess. Addressing diversity as part of the curriculum shouldaddress the unique needs of learners from diverse backgrounds. Thiswill include learners from minority ethnic groupings and those withlearning disabilities in the classroom participation. It is importantto understand the minimal standards for inclusion of children withlearning disability in the general classroom and also to carter fortheir unique needs and pace of learning. Children with delayedlanguage acquisition should be tolerated and aided to learn.
Curriculumdesign recognizes that educational settings and training of specificlanguage skills promotes literacy. The sequence of education startsat educator listening and waiting, then following child’s lead andadjusting to the level of the child. Research show that when childrenlearn in group and educators follow their lead and adjust to thelevel of the learner, the child will acquire and use new vocabularyat high rate (Sutterby, 2011).In this case when a child speaks, I will use new vocabularies tofinish their sentence. When I correct the child’s language use,there is higher possibility to limit the use of new words and delayin talking. Language is learnt by way of interacting with theenvironment. Also, structural changes can also enhance languageskills in language learning for children.
Earlychildhood education when well-planned does not only support physicaland academic development but also supports the process ofestablishing relationships with others and cognitive and emotionaldevelopment. Children are able to forge their identity early enoughand their inner capacity for imagination and self-image is alsoenhanced as they develop gender-specific roles(Sutterby, 2011).They start to associate with their friends and look to people aroundthem. My role includes helping them to learn social skills and how todeal with others while developing their own values at the same time.I feel that the most important aspect in childhood education andlearning includes child-directed play and the interaction withothers. So, I have to understand the stage at which to join in thechildren’s play as they may invite me. Occasionally, I will takethe lead to teach those new games and songs but with time, let themdo it themselves
Assessmentwill provide educators with a measure to determine changes in thedevelopment of the child. It also provides feedback to assess thechild relative to others. This will make it possible to informteachers, professionals, parents and other partners on theeffectiveness of the process of implementation the curriculum(Sutterby, 2011).As a professional, it is important for me to look for the guidelinesthat inform the assessment process to assist colleagues with theprocess of observation and collection of classroom feedback.
Iprefer informal assessment since this can be on-going and purposeful.It is most suitable for Pre-Kchildren. Theassessment will meet the developmental needs of the learners on dailypractice. The parent plays a key role as a partner in informalassessment by helping the learner while away from the formal system.The content of the assessment is designed in normal learning toachieve developmental goals. The methods of assessment shouldtherefore to appropriate to the age and level of the leaner. Informalassessment can easily meet these criteria when learners are assessedas they learn. This assessment will also include the process ofidentifying children with special needs.
Formalassessment is suitable for learnersof Age 8 in Grade 3. At this stage, low level knowledge skill will beassessed including simple language use and arithmetic. This will leadto critical thinking and mental development. As the learnerprogresses, high level of knowledge such as synthesis and analysiscan be incorporated in formal assessment for progression ineducation. It will also give feedback to the teacher, parents andother professionals in the field. Designing the assessment is also aprocess and the items should be specific to the level of the leanerand appropriate skills at that stage of learning. As an educator, Irecognize the need to attend workshops and training on assessment ofthe learner.
Asdiscussed, early childhood educators should recognize both sides ofthe nature versus nurture debate in establishing their roles andforging their identity. The teacher should have a background in earlychildhood development in cognitive and behavioral development.Childrenin daycare have the opportunity to develop their skills and educatorsat this level will enhances skills acquisition by providingstimulating learning opportunities that help children to acquire thelanguage skills.
Charles, E. P.(2015). It’s not about nature versus nurture, it is about whethernature versus nurture makes sense. PsycCRITIQUES, 60(28).doi:10.1037/a0039362
Murray, J.(2013). Becoming an early years professional: developing a newprofessional identity. EuropeanEarly Childhood Education Research Journal, 21(4),527-540. doi:10.1080/1350293x.2013.845441
Sutterby, J. A.(2011). Introduction: Early Childhood Educator ProfessionalDevelopment. Advancesin Early Education And Day Care,ix-xii. doi:10.1108/s0270-4021(2011)0000015003