Planning and Pedagogical Approach Aspects of Curriculum in Early Child Education

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Early childhood education is one of the main phases of growth in human development. Focusing on early childhood progress will potentially be of great benefit to sustainable growth and development (Agirdag, Merry, & Van Houtte, 2016). Experts in curriculum development should develop learning strategies that resolve the unique difficulties that toddlers face as they experience the learning process. In the implementation of elements of curriculum planning and pedagogical methods in early childhood education, early childhood practitioners play a very crucial role, according to Agirdag, Merry, & Van Houtte (2016). This paper focuses on a newspaper article that discusses aspects of curriculum planning and pedagogical approaches in early childhood education. The article summarizes an interview I conducted with one of experienced and dedicated early childhood practitioner by name KG as described below.

Me: Briefly describe who you are, your teaching experience and grade level taught?

KG: My name is KG, an early childhood practitioner expert. I have taught early childhood education in California in United States of America for good eight years. Furthermore I have worked for the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) in United Arab Emirates for seven years. In terms of grade levels, I have both grade one and two in early childhood teaching and therefore I can handle any kindergarten level.

Me: Please give a short description of how short, medium, and long-term planning for early learners are conducted (basic information).

KG: In order to attain the intended objectives for early childhood education, the early childhood practitioners design short, medium and long term plans.  These plans are based on the Unit Plan, the student abilities and levels. The short term plan focuses on what the practitioner wants the kids to learn. The medium plan focuses on specific example activities that the learners need to learn. The activities provoke the young learners to think and come up with critical ideas. Finally the long term plan aims at achieving the end goal of early childhood education as stipulated by the curriculum.  Long term plan outlines special activities which require a lot of focus and emphasis.

Me: How planning and implementing an inclusive curriculum is done?

KG: A good education curriculum for young learners should be able to cater for needs of all learners. The curriculum should be fair and should not alienate any learner on basis of sex, color, background and individual ability. Teachers design and implement different lesson for different levels of learners. Special emphasis is given to learners depending on their learning needs; this ensures inclusivity of all learners since all learners are treated equally. The practitioners while implementing the curriculum should consider learners with special needs and consequently design support programs to cater for such needs (Agirdag, Merry & Van Houtte, 2016).

Me: How child observations are conducted?

KG: All practitioners should pay a lot of attention in monitoring the behavior of the young learners. The observation process is conducted on daily basis either on individual learner or a group of learners. The observations for each learner are then recorded as ancillary notes and are presented to parents at the end of each semester. Once the parents get the recorded observations they are able to determine whether their children require early intervention, early support or special treatment. The observation can be carried out in classroom while the practitioner is teaching, in play grounds as the kids play or even when the children are feeding.

Me: Practitioner’s description of how student records are kept.

KG: Record keeping is very important when it comes to monitoring the learning progress of learners. The records range from the writing notes to the continuous assessment books. The continuous assessment books contain the outcomes for the learners attained at certain learning intervals. They usually depict the performance of each individual learner and they show what interventions need to be taken for specific learners. Through the continuous assessment books the parents are able to understand the learning progress of their children and be able to make informed decisions. In addition the continuous assessment books show different levels the learners have undergone through since the time of admission.

Me: Name specific issue related to planning, observation, and/or assessment in early childhood education.

KG: The main specific issue kindergarten teachers’ face while dispensing their duties is numerous outcomes they need to achieve. Therefore the teachers only concentrate on outcomes which are more important to the learning of the children while ignoring outcomes which although are necessary they are less important. Besides the fact that the outcomes to be achieved are so many some of them are unrealistic and they do not follow any logical order.  Implementing of outcomes which do not follow any logical sequence has proven to be difficult to kindergarten teachers.

Me: How can we regularly incorporate multicultural education in a KG curriculum?

KG: Multicultural education allows the learners to understand and gain insights of the teaching content. Therefore incorporating it in KG curriculum will be very crucial in attaining the learners’ goals and objectives. Multicultural education can be incorporated into KG curriculum by adopting ADEC approach provided it has been approved by the relevant stakeholders (Leung, 2012). The approach employs many teaching techniques which are both learner centered and teacher centered hence ensuring that specific learners’ needs are catered for.

Me: How can differences in children be accommodated in the KG curriculum?

KG: The learning capability differs from one child to another. Some kids are capable of learning and understanding the content very fast while others require special attention to comprehend the same content. These learning differences can be accommodated by employing diverse teaching strategies, using varied learning and teaching resources and also through utilizing the experience gained while teaching.

Reflection on the Interview

The entire interview session was a learning experience to me. The teacher was well informed and experienced as well. From the interview it was clear that use of varied teaching and learning strategies are crucial in enhancing the learners’ understanding and memory. One very important aspect I appreciated from the interview is the need to observe and monitor the children so that specific needs can be identified and then addressed accordingly.

Several issued emerged during the interview namely planning, observation and assessment. Planning is the only issued that the teacher revealed to have had challenges during implementation. This was due to numerous outcomes that are supposed to be achieved as well as lack of clear logical order to be followed. Undoubtedly this is a real issue which can derail effective learning for the kids. It is thus important for all relevant stakeholders in the teaching fraternity to develop outcomes which are realistic and attainable (Sanders, & Downer, 2012). In addition the various learning activities and events should be designed in such a way that they follow logical sequence to make learning to kids more interesting. Evidently from developmental theory children are able to learn specific activities at certain developmental stages hence validating the necessity for designing outcomes that follow given logical order (Sanders & Downer, 2012). The same idea is backed by relationship based curriculum that states that children learn from simple sensory surrounding to complex cognitive skills and processes.

References

Agirdag, O., Merry, M. S., & Van Houtte, M. (2016). Teachers’ understanding of multicultural education and the correlates of multicultural content integration in Flanders. Education and Urban Society, 48(6), 556-582.

Leung, C. H. (2012). Teacher beliefs and practices of kindergarten teachers in Hong Kong. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(1), 38.

Sanders, K., & Downer, J. (2012). Predicting acceptance of diversity in pre-kindergarten classrooms. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(3), 503-511.

Sullivan, A. L., & Field, S. (2013). Do preschool special education services make a difference in kindergarten reading and mathematics skills?: A propensity score weighting analysis. Journal of School Psychology, 51(2), 243-260.

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