Archive for the ‘It's not just about academic!’ Category


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.


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


Integrated, Involvement & Immature

January 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.


Children: Unique Individuals

January 1, 2010

Noble Children wishes all of you a blessed new year!


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.



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.