The brain develops at a rapid rate from birth to infancy, which means that children’s experiences during these years can shape the trajectory of their lives. Finally, there is the welcome realization that early childhood care and education is more than just preparation for the academic side of primary school. Instead, it aims to work alongside parents to develop a child’s personal, social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills to build a solid foundation for their future well-being and learning.
With the realization that the brain develops through use and stimulation, nurseries have now become an explosion of activities and opportunities for all children, where they can learn through play, inquiry. and exploration. This, in turn, inspires a love of lifelong learning that will directly drive and impact their academic success.
Changing environments and innovations in training mean that children attending schools actively learn the basic skills that they will continue to develop throughout their lives. Like how to initiate and navigate relationships, the art of conversation, develop emotional resilience and deal with difficult situations. Numerous studies prove that children who grow up in supportive, caring and stimulating environments tend to lead healthier and happier lives in adulthood and may perform better in school as well.
What is pedagogy?
Of course, the development of the child is directly impacted by the pedagogy specific to the environment. Simply put, pedagogy is the method and style of teaching and assessment used to provide experiences for children to support their overall development. I firmly believe that an effective pedagogy is one where adults have a good understanding of the development of the child, the child, their individual interests, their preferred learning style and how to actually use all of them. this information to motivate and teach children effectively.
Of course, the training, practice and my opinion of early childhood are strongly influenced by various pedagogical approaches developed by leading researchers and theorists spanning centuries.
Friedrich Frobel focused on the importance of play; determine that children construct their own learning through direct involvement rather than structured instruction. For this to be effective in child care and education settings, adults need to know their children very well and provide meaningful opportunities for them to build on what they can do, rather than focusing on what they can do. they are unable to do.
The Reggio Emilia approach was founded in Italy after World War II. He focused on the idea that children should be encouraged and allowed to express themselves in endless ways. It recognizes the importance of interacting with other children and adults to develop their communication skills and their overall understanding of the world around them.
“Effective pedagogy is one where adults have a good understanding of the development of the child, the child, their individual interests, their preferred learning style and how to actually use all this information to motivate. and effectively teach children. “
The Montessori approach sees value in promoting independence in children from an early age using carefully designed environments.
For Rudolf Steiner, a calm environment focused on familiarity and a sense of belonging is what is necessary for children’s development. Adults are encouraged to promote all areas of learning through their interactions.
Jean Piaget has developed a model of how he thinks children see the world. He recognized that children have their own thoughts and build their knowledge of the world through observation. They don’t need adults to constantly provide them with information. It is therefore important that when we take care of children, we pay special attention to what the child sees and how he sees it.
The theories mentioned are those that most young people will be familiar with and those that have greatly influenced my practice, but many others have also shaped my thinking, including, but not limited to, the studies of Freud, Vygotsky and Watson. .
Early childhood care and education settings today
Today, we see a majority of early childhood education and care settings developing their own pedagogical approach by adopting various aspects of the different theories. I believe this is the best approach, after all there are clear benefits for everyone and the world of early childhood research is constantly presenting us with more concepts. Every child is different and learns differently, so we need to continually think about how to adapt to this. When you take the best parts of many theories to create your own, as long as the child is at the center of those decisions, then nurseries will be best placed to shape children’s beliefs about themselves, others, the world that they are. surrounds them and ultimately, have an impact on their future.