Child Development and Early Childhood Education
Written by: Donna M. Pelepchan, MBA, MHA, 30 years of teaching experience
Release date: November 30, 2018, Hong Kong
Published by: Anthony Eric (Founder & CEO @ peopledevelopmentltd.com)
Address different learning styles
As an experienced teacher and Dean of Early Childhood Education and Global Languages at an international School in Shenzhen, I believe in addressing different learning styles within the assigned curriculum. This allows for individuality in the learning process and reinforces the learning concepts so that each and every student gets the most out of the program. In today’s academic environment with the advances in technology, it is quite easy to prepare lessons that address auditory, visual, and tactile learning. With an intensive English immersion program, it is also important to assess all the children early in the term to determine what their level of the English language is. This informal assessment allows the instructor to simplify the lesson and custom fit the curriculum to all levels of children in the class. While there may be a big gap in comprehension and language skills initially, as the year goes on this gap closes rather quickly.
The subjects that are included in the curriculum for early learners include language arts, reading, mathematics, social studies, and science. Remembering that a lot of early learning is achieved by and through play and the environment, these subjects are touched upon daily. For example, the morning routine might consist of the calendar which includes numbers, counting, and order – informal mathematics lesson. Secondly, the children would enjoy an outdoor recess which might include an informal lesson on looking for clover leaves, or other plant life – informal science lesson; and a third example would be during holiday time, the children would learn traditions and customs that other children celebrate in other countries – informal social studies lesson. While these subjects don’t necessarily look like separate lessons or units, they are built into the curriculum satisfying the core competencies that are required for assessment.
Manage the classroom
As an early childhood educator, it is necessary to manage classroom behavior and take into consideration the stages of development in social interaction, maturity, emotional development, dynamics, and the differences in introverted and extroverted children. Positive reinforcement is only one method in managing behavior in the classroom. The process to achieving order in the classroom is to set expectations and class rules. Along with positive reinforcement, it is essential to also implement a consequence for unwanted behavior or the child making known “bad choices”.
Recognizing that each student is on their own path of learning; some learning faster than others, it is necessary for a lot of repetition and different methods of presenting the same material for reinforcement and continually assessing the progress of each student individually. These lessons might take the form of short video clips, puppetry, interactive lessons on the smart board, completing a craft, or trying out a new experience. The same material being presented in a variety of different ways captures each student differently and allows for continued focus on the same topic.
Teaching independence is important at this age because it allows the children to become independent of their parents/caregivers and more self-sufficient by allowing them to do age-appropriate tasks. Giving children jobs and responsibilities in the classroom also boosts their self-confidence and allows the children who are natural leaders to shine. Structured and unstructured play allows natural collaboration of children with each other. It is important to have the appropriate supervision, a safe environment, and a stimulating/challenging area for the inclusion of physical activity which promotes healthy bone growth, cardiovascular health, and a healthy weight.
Life skills make a difference
Some early education programs have snacks and lunch in the classroom which teaches the children life skills, such as waiting their turn, asking for more food, cleaning up after themselves, and basic hygiene such as hand washing and tooth brushing. In addition to these routines, there is a built in “rest” time for the younger children. This is important for brain development and body growth. The length of time can vary from program to program; being as short as twenty minutes to as long as 2.5 hours. Having a “rest time” built into the daily routine helps children learn to “calm” themselves and be still. It is not necessary that students sleep, but that they remain quiet and still. Some children do fall asleep and seem to need the re-energizing time, while others haven’t napped ever.
The whole child matters
Childhood development consists of taking care of the “whole” child. Not just socially, academically, physically, and emotionally, but introducing cooperation, empathy, problem solving, and individual thinking. As with any organized and recognized/accredited program, the children are prepared and given a solid foundation of what being a “good global citizen” looks like. From the moment they step into the classroom and are introduced to rules and procedures, to the constant supervision even during “free play”, the children are given gentle reminders of what is acceptable and what is not. Because of the international and cultural differences, these concepts may be very foreign to the student as families alike. After a year in the program, they are very adept at knowing what is required of them and perform to a very high standard. This leads to a very well adapted and confident child. They are proud of what they have accomplished and with the constant praise and positive reinforcement, are ready for anything in their future.
Donna M. Pelepchan, MBA, MHA is a trained, certified, licensed, and experienced Canadian teacher from the U.S. She has taught for over 30 years both in the U.S. and China. She has hosted groups of 30 student for cultural exchanges from China, Spain, and France. She has taught ages K-12, but now focuses on the Early Years. She recently came to Buena Vista Concordia International School in Shenzhen from Shanghai where she worked at a SMIC a private international school in Pudong for three years. She is adept at tutoring both children and adults to improve their English skills. Her WeChat is donnashanghai.
Become a contributor to our blog
Do you seek improved online visibility? Would you like to share your expertise in the field of education?
We work with selected teachers who love to share their expertise in written form. We want to provide our readers with high value content that leads to a difference in the field of education.
Anthony Eric brings a wealth of knowledge in international business and he has gained 14 years experiences of how to communicate effectively, how to plan and evaluate operations for low risk and faster decision making. Anthony has been trained by international institutes in the USA, the UK, Ireland and Sweden and he provides business training and communication training for clients in business, and for clients who aim at succeeding in business. His expertise covers leadership, management communication, business planning and sales management. He currently holds an MBA (England) and BSc Engineering (Sweden) and he has gained 21st century skills and knowledge at global leading institutions such as: The British government, Deloitte, IBM, TietoEnator, Ericsson, Consulting firm Semcon, The Open University, King’s College London, Manchester Business School, The University of Birmingham, Royal Institute of Technology KTH and Harvard University in alliance with IBM Leadership Academy. Anthony is the author of the e-book project management success, available on amazon.com and he is currently writing on his second book (kindle): an expat biography.
Copyright (C) 2018. Anthony Eric by Antonios Papadimitriou. All Rights Reserved.