h1

Social Interaction & Moral Instructions

January 31, 2010

Social Interaction

Clear and accurate oral expression by children validates their learning

Learning must take place in a community of learners where thoughts are clarified and exchanged through verbal interactions with teachers and peers that are more competent. The language of children symbolically represents what they are experiencing and understanding. Clear and accurate oral expression by children validates their learning. Play provides dynamic opportunities not only to demonstrate and practice new concepts and vocabulary but also to develop social skills. Thus a well-designed playground and classroom activity centers are comparable well-equipped high school science labs.

Moral Instructions

Respecting the teacher and obeying his and her rules contributes to children’s moral growth

Young children need to learn to respect (honour) and obey in order to grow Christlikeness (Ephesians 6:1-3), and for the non-Christians, in order for the children to grow in a noble way. All learning takes discipline, and the will and attitudes are influenced early in life (Proverbs 22:6). Children must learn rules of conduct and the behaviours that are appropriate in school. “The child’s respect for [parental] authority is the single most important moral legacy that comes out of the child’s relations with the parent” (Damon, 1988). The teacher’s authority and the school’s rules of conduct are likewise essential to the classroom’s functioning. Thus, respecting the teacher and obeying his and her rules contributes to children’s moral growth. Educators must therefore view time spent in teaching behavioural expectations and responding to children’s inappropriate behaviour as integral to, as opposed to a distraction from, the curriculum.

Reference:

Damon, W. (1988). The Moral Child: Nurturing Children’s Natural Moral Growth. New York: Free Press.

h1

Integrated, Involvement & Immature

January 4, 2010

Integrated

Young children must learn to move and move to learn, and this learning results in a grater capacity to think.

As mentioned in the previous posting, each child is involved in an integrated development process. The Christians and many other people believe that each child should and must be viewed as an integrated whole (Luke 2:52). Growth in one area- whether cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual, or physical- is dependent on and integrated with growth on other areas. An over-emphasis in one mat take place at the cost of timely development in another. Young children must learn to move and move to learn, and this learning results in a grater capacity to think. For example, a preschooler’s social emotional skill development is dependent on interactions with real people. In turn, the nature of these interactions changes and it is enhanced by the child’s physical growth and language development.

Immature

“…children think and speak like children…”

Children are all in the process of growing; therefore, their teachers must evaluate and accommodate children’s readiness for a given skill. Because children think and speak like children (1 Corrinthians 13:11), content must begin with concepts that are in the scope of the children’s past experience and present understanding.

Educators must avoid making assumptions about children’s essential prior experiences and prerequisite skills. Therefore, early educators have the task of thinking in terms of activities that promote growth and readiness as apposed to instruction that is dependent on an unrealistic level of cognitive and physical maturity.

Involvement

Early education is … noisy and messy

Learning takes place through sensory involvement and immersion in each concept. As children are exposed to and interact with concrete, firsthand experiences, their minds form mental models that are necessary for understanding and future learning (Jensen, 2005). If thinking is the goal, active processing must be the means. Early education is therefore often noisy and messy. Children learn by encountering lots of stuff located in carefully designed spaces.

Next posting will discuss about children’s social interaction and moral instruction.

Reference:

Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

h1

Children: Unique Individuals

January 1, 2010

Noble Children wishes all of you a blessed new year!

Individuals

All children are uniquely created on an individual development timetable, and each one has a different experiential and cultural background. They have wonderfully different genetic blueprints, learning styles, and talents. Their development is uneven. Though they may excel cognitively, as often evidenced by their oral language, they may be delayed physically, socially, or emotionally. Early experiences influence readiness and brain development, and these experiences are different in every home.

Yes, children should be treated as individuals as all livings on earth are of God’s unique creation.

As such, early learning educators must address these variances in each child as well as in the group. The next blog posting will discuss about children’s integrated development process.

  

h1

To the educators

December 22, 2009

Best instructional practice for young children remains an unresolved issue in many preschools. Are preschools practicing proper developmentally appropriate strategies, and if so, what might these be? Many concerns are about the dumbing of syllabus and curriculum in trade for the mentioned strategies. Hence, the issue is about an earnest desire to provide an effective program for young children, a program that does not compromise today’s high expectation standards of early education.

How can educators best teach the whole child in order to fully prepare him or her for a future, that will demand not only the mastery of intellectual standards but also the curiosity, creativity, big picture thinking social competence, and love for learning that futurists predict will be highly valued in tomorrow’s economy? Or as simply as, “How to raise a noble child?” The answers to such a question lie within what characterizes excellence in early education.

“In order to establish a foundation for a preschool’s curriculum, educators must know about the nature of young children and examine their beliefs regarding how they learn.”

According to Thomas Armstrong in his book “The Best Schools: How Human Development Research Should Inform Educational Practice”, the direction an educational program takes depends on its leadership’s “discourse”, or overarching way of thinking about education and the teaching and learning process. Two dominant views were identified, or discourses, that influence educational practices today. Academic achievement discourse, human development discourse, or both influence the classroom environment of a program, that program’s daily practices, and ultimately its curriculum and expected outcomes. Contrasts within these belief systems often create a conflict because what we do in a classroom and what we believe about the nature and needs of the young child may not be in alignment.

Academic achievement discourse focuses on the cognitive, or academic, aspects of schooling. Standardized tests measure achievement, and educators use group norm norms to evaluate the results. The need for uniform rigorous standards and preparation for the future heavily influence the program’s design and the children’s educational experience. The demands of the future push curriculum expectations downward.

On the other hand, human development discourse places the greatest emphasis on human beings rather than on academics. An emphasis on human development suggests a process involving the growth of the whole child across all strands of development: cognitive, emotional, social, physical, moral, and spiritual. Because children are on varying developmental timeliness, instruction is flexible and more individualized. Evaluation methods focus on each child and measure an individual child’s growth over time.

In order to establish a foundation for a preschool’s curriculum, educators must know about the nature of young children and examine their beliefs regarding how they learn.  The next blog posting will discuss about young children’s nature being, which are integrated and immature individuals, and they need involvement, social interaction, and moral instruction.

h1

Parental Preference for Preschool

November 14, 2009

This link will lead you to a survey on parental preference for preschools.

Your participation helps provide a guideline in meeting the needs and desires of parents seeking for the best preschools.

Thank you much and we are looking forwards to serving you and your children better 🙂

h1

Children: Speech and Language Development

March 20, 2009

This is an example of good parents-child interaction. As Myra speaks, her cognitive skill was developing rapidly.

“Interview after the first day of Preschool”

Children start learning at a very young age. There are numerous stages of development for all children. Such stages do not necessary happen one after another. Parts of the most crucial developments are the social and cognitive development, where concurrent development occurs most of the time.

Social Development

Conversations with children improve not just their social skills, but language as well. Children need the attention and nurturing from adults to enhance their self-esteem and sense of worthiness. To help children building their social and cognitive development, plenty of interactions are needed.

Here are a few tips for a good interaction with children:

Adults do not necessary have to engage in a “child conversation” with their young children. Sometimes children want to feel and need to discover their ability to interact in a mature way. Children will also learn proper vocabulary when interacting maturely.

Always ask children open-ended questions to help stimulate their thinking (cognitive) and structuring their words for a sentence (language). Examples of open-ended questions would be:

  • How did you do that?
  • Tell me about your day at school.
  • What is it like?
  • Do you like your new bag? (Next question should be “Why not?” or “What do you like about it?”)

Adults can also offer suggestions and comments while asking, or leading one question to another. This would help children to link topics together (this is how most children are trained into developing various plot ideas, generating a totally new story). Examples of such questions:

  • Did you make any new friends today?
  • What are their names?
  • Do you like them?*
  • Would you want to see them again?

Dedicate all your attention while communicating with children; even adults do not like to be ignored.

Avoid using colloquial language; colloquialism might bring harm to a child’s judgement ability in the proper use of language; affecting (or damaging) both syntax and morphology. This scenario is particularly applicable to many children in Asia. However, such exposure is inevitable. Therefore, parents need to set a good example through their daily communication, and explain where necessary of certain colloquial languages that children might come across to.

Avoid movies that are not healthy to a child’s language development. One must always take note that children are pure and innocent. They are still lacking the ability to make proper judgement, hence adults supervision and daily education is essential.

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner.

h1

A Domicile of Love

February 2, 2009

Spending quality time together with your children is beneficial, but many a time it is not always handled wisely. Having lunch at McDonald doesn’t count if it doesn’t involve communications that strengthen a relationship. Staying home during the weekend does not count either, if each room is capable in fulfilling the entertainment needs of both children and parents. Quality time, according to many worthwhile experiences, refers to times SHARED by all family members, partaking the common interests (can be anything:- cooking, cleaning, watching favourite movie, decorating, wedding preparation, singing, sharing thoughts and feelings, etc) and developing the special relationship of a family. Therefore, activities/choices of entertainment can’t be delighted in the bedrooms of a house, but rather in the “Family room”.

A “Family room” differs from a “Living room” by the variance of ‘a mess’ and ‘a formal-get-together-room’. Yes, a mess! It is a place for family members to mess things around and create a lifetime memory in every corner of your Home. Similarly, a “House” and a “Home” varies between ‘a shelter’ and ‘A Domicile of Love’. In the hope of a healthy family relationship, a shelter, therefore, is not sufficient. Each of us, including children, has the need of belongingness- a place for them to turn to, be it for good or bad reason. As parents, we ought to provide them with the domicile to return to anytime, and they must know that they are always welcomed with love- hence known as the ‘domicile of love’.

There are a few suggestions to create a lively home, a place where children (and adolescence) would love to be at all times:

  • Do not have television in the bedrooms (not even master bedroom!)
  • Invest in your family room, and make use of it!
  • Never lock your door unless needed, as that would hinder your children from coming to you.
  • Never place the computers in your children’s bedrooms, unless you want to see them hiding most of the time.
  • Eat together.
  • Cook together.
  • Clean together.
  • Play games in the family room.
  • Please be home.
  • Never, I repeat, NEVER ignore your loved ones who demand for nothing but more love.
  • Remember, an extra-marital affair will “kill” your family. Losing a family for another is a “vicious cycle of unhappiness.”