Integrated, Involvement & ImmatureJanuary 4, 2010
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.
“…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.
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.
Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.