Early Childhood Education
All parents work hard to give all the best to their children. They want their sons and daughters to succeed in their life, get a good education and a job. However, not all of them understand that the foundation for a good education should be laid in early childhood, when a child’s brain is the most sensible and flexible. That is why nowadays early childhood education attracts a great attention of teachers and psychologists. Early childhood education involves teaching children counting, talking, reading, and so on. A child’s brain learns lots of new information during the first three years of life. Jill Harness writes, “Many people think kids do not really start learning until they are in pre-school, but the first three years of a child’s life are actually their most formative”. The effectiveness of this teaching process in early childhood education depends on how new material is presented to children.
Psychologists and teachers argued about what actually makes the human brain learn whether genes or environment. The struggles ended up when Shinichi Suzuki proved the environment to be a key factor of the learning process, e.g. if a baby of Chinese parents is put into English environment and grows up in it, he or she would eventually speak English, not Chinese, even if the parents do not know a single English word. So environment turns out to be the main thing that influences the process of learning. Every human is born with 10 billion neurons, which are never replaced. During the learning process, new connections between neuron cells appear. Children learn through what they see, hear, touch, smell, do, and taste. Accordingly, creation of an appropriate learning environment is essential.
A great attention is paid to called levels of the early children development and the brain development. There are four of them, namely emotional, sensorimotor, cognitive and social. All of them are extremely important for a comprehensive development of a child’s personality. Only this development makes early childhood education possible and defines how effective it would be. Social level involves the development of basic social skills. Sensorimotor level stands for kinesthetic skills and involves a lot of movement, which is extremely important for a child’s brain development. Cognitive level presupposes the development of cognitive skills. Emotional level involves the formation of the emotional part of the personality. This level determines the way other three levels are developed.
Some years ago, the whole educational and learning process for children was very strict. The workbooks were black and white, and children were punished and criticized if did something wrong. Then the education has undergone dramatic changes and now great attention is paid to the emotional level of the early children development. One can single out two basic types of emotions, namely positive and negative emotions. Good emotions can be a powerful and helpful tool in a process of early childhood education since they help to put acquired knowledge in a long term memory. Some scientists even insist that strict learning can ruin psychics of a child. So the first very important thing to be kept in mind is the importance of comfortable relaxing emotional atmosphere for children to learn. Parents should avoid screaming and correct mistakes in a good way. Early childhood education shows children how to learn. DiSalvo argues that, eventually, children, who got “high quality preschool into kindergarten education, have better results in their schooling and careers”.
A friend of mine works as an English teacher in the learning center for little kids. I asked her, what she thought about early childhood education. This is what she told me: “We teach children English through playing interesting games and having fun. They have a wide range of different activities on each lesson: we sing different songs, paint, and dance, play marvelous games and spend time in a fun and pleasant way. They also have so many colorful toys, flashcards, books and stickers to play with. Sometimes smaller children do not actually realize they come to learn. They think that they just come to play. One of the main principles we follow is that kids can learn anything if it is presented in a right way. We do our best to create the most appropriate environment for learning. That brings brilliant results and in a short period of time. Moreover, early childhood education influences the academic and life progress in the adult age. Definitely, it is a very important thing.”
To sum up, early childhood education is the field that attracts more and more attention of psychologists and teachers nowadays. Teaching children is rather difficult and requires knowing special techniques and approaches. However, early childhood education determines the level of a person’s progress in further education and job. It is definitely worth efforts and time spent on it.
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