Archive for the ‘Children are…’ Category

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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.

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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.

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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.