Questions: Pestalozzi’s concern for creating an emotionally secure school environment added a new dimension to teaching. Please reflect on your own education: Did you have teachers who created either an emotionally secure or insecure environment? How did this affect you at the time? How is it influencing your own attitude to teaching?
Throughout my schooling, I have had all types of teachers. I perceived most of them as not caring much about the material that they were presenting, and it seemed like the majority of them did not care for their students. One example of this is a teacher who became angry at me in high school for asking a question. I did not participate a lot in high school, but I would sometimes try to make an effort. This one time when I was in class, I put my hand up to ask a question, and the teacher begrudgingly let me speak. I asked a question about the theme in the novel we were reading, and the teacher became upset at me and said that she had already covered that and I should have been listening if I wanted to know the answer. This teacher refused to repeat what she had apparently already said, and she continued with the lesson. I felt embarrassed and after that point I did not want to participate in the class, and I did not have a positive perception of the faculty at the school.
However, not all of my experiences have been negative. My Grade 7 teacher is perhaps the person who I was positively influenced the most by. She is one of the only teachers who would talk to me one on one. She would let me know what she thought I was doing well, and what I needed to work on. On one of the first days of classes, I did not do my homework, and she sat down with me after school and explained to me why it was important that I make sure I complete my homework all the time. After that point, I was one of the highest achieving students in her class.
Reflect on current proposals for making early childhood education more academic, such as emphasizing early reading and writing. How do you think Froebel would react to these proposals? I am especially interested in hearing from those of you who have taught or observed early childhood classrooms– What have you found the focus has been on in your classes–academics or play?
It is important to assess the child’ spoken language skills at the beginning of the year because the best way a child can learn is by speaking, and the teacher needs to know what level the student is at, so they can guide their teaching approach for the student. Teachers who know this usually set their classrooms up so that they are promoting a considerable amount of speaking. “Oral language is a cognitive tool used to construct meaning, internalize the language in print, and regulate thought and activity. Language production at age 3 predicts reading comprehension scores as measured at age 9 to 10,” according to Kalmar, (Beaty and Pratt, 2011). Oral language goes further than just providing a foundation for a student to be successful with literacy. It is very important in their development during preschool. The language is an important tool for the child to be able to deal with conflict, deal with a peer, provide them with power, and help them to express happy and sad feelings. They are better able to express themselves and to deal with life situations. All these factors combine to make it important to assess the child’s spoken language skills at the beginning of the year.
This type of environment does not jive with what Froebel believed. He stressed the importance of allowing the child to have their own activity, and guide their own development. He believed that it was important to the child develop their own learning at such a young age (Barr, 2002). He might approve of having books out for the children to read if they wish, but he did not believe in specifically designing a lesson for such a young student around reading or writing, for example.
Which of Erikson’s stages of social development seems most important? Why?
I think the most important of Erikson’s stages is the preschool (3 to 5 years). At this stage, it is important that the child begin to have some control of their surroundings, and this is the point where the parents have to step in and make sure that the child does not overstep their boundaries. The parents need to ensure the child is aware of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. When the parents are successful at this, I believe the child will grow up to be a person who is considerate of those around them, and less self-centered.
What aspects of his theory would you suggest are most important for parents to understand?
I believe ego identity is the most important component of his theory. With ego identity, it is important that a child has a sense of competence, so that they have motivation for their actions and behaviors (Cherry, 2013). This is a very important stage for parents to know because a child needs to be allowed to develop some components of themselves by themselves. While parents should guide their children in the right direction, it is important not to create a mold and try to force them into that mold.
Review the curriculum approaches: Montessori, High Scope, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf.
Which one appeals to you most/feels right to you and why?
In taking a look at Montessori’s approach, I find it makes the most sense. I particularly like the freedom components that are included in his approach. He believes in the freedom to choose the activities according to the child’s inner needs, the freedom to explore with the learning materials, the freedom to communicate, and the freedom to achieve individual potential (The Montessori, 2009). This nurturing environment that Montessori explains can help the children to realize their true potential. Instead of having information crammed into their brains, the children are able to be more of an active playing in the process.
Which appeals to you least/doesn’t feel right to you and why?
I find that the high scope approach is the least beneficial. I do think that working with people is very important to most children, but I think kids who are more independent could benefit from having their own space. I do not think a strictly social approach is the best way to go for all children.
Which aspects of your “favorite” do you think you will you feel confident implementing in your future class?
I would feel most comfortable implementing the Montessori approach in my classroom, and this would be the “freedom” style that he uses. While I do not think the children should be given free reign to do what they want – nor does Montessori – having some freedom that allows the children to choose the activities they wish to participate in will help them to achieve their goals (The Montessori, 2009).
How does being a teacher differ from age group to age group?
Being a teacher varies from age group to age group in a few ways. First of all, there is a considerable difference in the material that is being taught. When the students are older, only the lesson needs to be spoken, and then the students are able to pursue the class in the way that they want. However, when the children are young, they need to be much more nurtured than an older student would be. So, the two main differences are the complexity of the information that is being taught, and the way that the information is being communicated to the students.
What are some factors to consider in deciding which age group you want to teach?
I have to consider the fact that older people are likely already stuck in a particular learning style. This would limit my ability to be creative in my teaching styles. That is an important component, because I believe I am the type of teacher who would nurture students. I would like to work with them, rather than simply teach them the material, and let them do with it what they want, which is what is done frequently in adult learning.
Share some examples of how you have seen:developmentally appropriate practice implemented in a classroom
The same example of the teacher who would meet with me after class in Grade 7 comes to mind. I had a challenge taking school seriously at this young age, and I was going through an adjustment period where homework was becoming a necessary part of my education. My teacher was very clear and caring in explaining what I needed to do, and she treated me with respect, which is something that I did not feel a lot of when I was a young student.
Developmentally inappropriate practice implemented in a classroom
The example of the teacher in high school who was disrespectful to me when I asked a question that she had apparently already answered comes to mind. She made be feel unintelligent, and made me lose faith in the school system and in my own abilities to learn.
What are some ways that a teacher can organize his/her learning environment and daily schedule to prevent behavior problems and enable children to do their best?
I think setting up a nurturing environment is the best way to ensure that the students are doing their best. When the students feel safe in their school environment, they will be better equipped to handle the various struggles of the day, and they will be able to proceed in the class with confidence. It is important for teachers to respect their students, so that the students feel more like they are at home when they are in school, rather than feeling they are in a prison camp.
Tell us your theme and age group. Then, list five changes you would make to your classroom environment to incorporate the theme (i.e. changes to the dramatic play area, configuration of the room, adding a center, etc.)
My theme is reading. The changes that I would make are adding a reading center, adding more books that have large pictures, creating a set reading time for students, reading interactively with the students in class, and having one-on-one reading time with the students. This would be for the preschool age group.
Imagine you are a teacher in a private preschool. A parent approaches you at the end of the day, complaining. “All the children do all day in this class is play! When are they going to start to learn? My son needs more academics if he is going to be ready for kindergarten. I’d like to see him come home with some homework, letter worksheets and the like. Why aren’t you giving him the advantages he needs to succeed next year?”
After you take a deep breath, you need to respond! Please share what you would say to defend how you run your class, and play in general.
Thanks very much for your input. I assure you we offer the best education for the preschool students and everything is very carefully designed so that they are well-prepared for kindergarten. A considerable amount of research has gone into the education style that we have here, and I am a well-qualified professional in this field. I understand that you have concerns and you want everything that is best for your child. At this age, it is important that we allow the children to play, so that they can learn to develop on their own. Giving them that type of independence will help them to develop effectively, and will result in positive outcomes during kindergarten. Our track record speaks for itself.
Remind us again of your age and theme. Then list four ways you will integrate each of the following into your theme:
The age is preschool and the theme is reading.
· Music, Movement, & Fingerplays
· Drama Connection
· Social Connection
I would incorporate music, movement and finger plays into the curriculum by having the children act out stories that they are familiar with in finger puppet shows. They can also act these plays out in drama, which would add the drama connection to the reading lessons. Furthermore, I would have the children do these activities in groups so that they are learning how to be more social. We are going to share about ourselves while relating to culture and family. 1. Please tell us Languages spoken at home: English How birthdays are celebrated: Balloons, cake and presents Foods eaten at home: Chicken, broccoli, bananas, avocado, eggs, rice, beans, and grapes. How respect is expressed: The words please and thank you are said often. How affection is expressed: Hugs and kisses
What are expectations of girls vs. boys?
Each gender is considered equal and there is not preference given to one or the
other in any activity.
2.Have you ever been discriminated against because of your race, gender, or religious beliefs? If so, what were those experiences like and how did you feel about them?
No, I don’t think have not been discriminated against because of my religious beliefs, race or gender. There may have been times when someone felt that I possess certain qualities because I am a man. Men are supposed to act strong and be the rock. They are not supposed to have strong emotions. However, I did not take note of anyone every holding me to these obligations.
3. When you were growing up, what did your family and significant others say about people who were culturally, ethnically, racially or religiously different than your family?
I have heard a fair amount of racism in my time spent in a small town for a couple years. However, I have also heard positive things about people of other races from my family. I have heard that multiculturalism adds to the vibrancy of the community because it creates a society full of various perspectives and ways of life. However, I have also heard racial slurs from one member of my family about the smell of some people in other cultural groups. I have also heard racism about the work ethic of people in another cultural group. I heard about the amount of alcoholism in another cultural group. These comments were either ignored by me, or I took a stand against those who were saying these things.
A new preschool teacher asks you the following questions. Answer to the best of your ability, based on your readings and personal experience.
1.Why should I write what the children say and display this dictation in my class? The children can’t read!
The only way that a child can learn how to read is by making them familiar with the words and letters.
2. I’ve opened a writing center with paper and pencils and my children are still not writing! What should I do?
It is best if you show them what type of activities they can do with those writing utensils.
3. Why should I put up a “turn-taking” list when all the children can do is scribble their name?
Even scribbling their name is teaching the children very important building blocks
Then share your thoughts on the video lesson. Be sure to include the following: the math/science concepts the children learned, the teacher’s use of open-ended vs closed questions, how she managed the children, etc. What did you like/not like about the lesson and why?
I thought the lesson was great. The math lessons that the kids learned was how to measure the tadpole. They also learned the science behind metamorphosis. The teacher was very good by allowing the children to come up with many of their own responses, and giving them hints about what happened to the tadpole’s tale, for example. She was very calm and collected with the students, and this made for a very effective learning environment. She also used hand contact with the students, and this is a great way to build their trust.
2.Reflect on your experiences learning math in school. What do you feel were positive experiences in your math education? What were negative experiences in your math learning?
I really thrived in math during my early years, but them I came across some teachers in high school that I do not think did a good job at cultivating my abilities. I did not feel comfortable approaching the teachers with what I needed to become more efficient as a learner. However, in elementary school I think I had some of the best teachers. Some of my fondest memories are of my teacher reading the top three achievers on the math tests, and I was always on the list. I tried so hard to be at the top of the class in elementary school, and that was thanks to great teachers.
3.Choose a children’s picture book that relates to math. Briefly summarize the book and the mathematical concepts presented within the story. 1. Complete the following Multiple Intelligence questionnaire:
The book that I chose is “Quack and Count.” Essentially the book teaching children how to count based on how many times the duck quacks.
What kind of learner did it say you are? Do you agree with this “diagnosis”? Did your teachers’ teaching styles suit your individual learning style? Please describe.
It said that I am a linguistic learner. I agree with this, because I feel like sometimes I do not want to learn, and other times, I want to learn a lot. So, reading is my learning method of choice, which makes the linguistic learner style appropriate for me, rather than the more intimate learning styles.
2. Sharp observation skills are probably the most important assessment tool a teacher can use. Watch this video clip of three boys building with blocks:
I noticed that the students were telling each other about their experiences when they were building with blocks. They were also working well together because some of the kids were using their own blocks, and they told the others that those specific blocks are theirs. That prompted the one kid to go get blocks somewhere else.
1.Read the “articles for discussion board” in Course Material section for this week. Then reflect on the following:
* What do these two articles state regarding what teachers need to focus on in order to become good, effective teachers?
The articles state that it is important to focus on cultivating the student’s learning, particularly when they are in preschool. This can be done through play, or simply allowing the child to go at their own pace with learning.
* What do you think about the different attitude and tone of the two articles and where the sympathies of each of the authors may lie?
I think the sympathies are different in the amount of play time the children need.
One article certainly was more concerned with the amount of guidance that a teacher should give.
* Based on your own experiences as students and/or teachers, what do you think makes a good teacher?
A good teacher is a person who listens to their students and takes into consideration their needs and preferred learning styles. It is important to cultivate the student, rather than impose a set lesson plan.
2. Read the article on Finland’s successful educational system and share your impressions. What do you believe can we learn from the Finnish?
I like what Friedrich Froebel has to say about respecting the individual that is being taught. That is essentially the same as the idea that I have about the needs of teaching. Erik Erikson is also a great mind. We are able to learn from his research that it is important to recognize the stages of human development and design curriculum based on those stages. I think we can also learn from Montessori, and his concept of freedom. I believe this is particularly important during the preschool years when the children need to play and use their imaginations to promote the development of their brains.