Early childhood education and teaching are considered highly essential for the physical, mental and social development of children (Kohan, 2014). For this purpose, teachers in educational institutions are supposed to adopt admirable practices, which may assist children with the development of skills and abilities. Different teachers exhibit different styles and practices to educate children (Farquhar & White, 2018). These variations in teaching practices are mainly due to the teaching philosophies adopted by teachers.
The purpose of this essay is to present the personal philosophy statement, which should be considered by teachers during early childhood education and teaching. The essay includes personal views on education and the philosophy suitable in educational institutions. The essay also develops an understanding of the purpose of education and link the proposed teaching philosophy with that purpose. Further, the essay sheds light on specific theories relevant to early childhood education and teaching to justify the personal philosophy statement. Lastly, some examples of teaching practices are also given in the essay, which suggests the proper implementation of the teaching philosophy.
It is essential to teachers and educational professionals to establish their philosophy statement, which can reflect their image of a teacher. My philosophical statement on teaching and learning is given below.
I believe that teachers are required to adopt different approaches to educate different children in early education. It can be challenging for teachers to educate all children with only one approach or a single style of teaching. I have realised that different children have different needs, which should be evaluated by the teachers, and actions must be taken accordingly. I can say that analysis of the specific needs of children may allow teachers to resolve their issues and improve their learning. As an early childhood teacher, I would adopt this philosophy and will focus on evaluating the specific needs of children in the classroom. I will ask children to communicate freely and express themselves, which may help in analysing their specific needs related expected to learning and teaching outcomes. At the same time, these practices may assist in developing individual growth plans for children.
Along with evaluating the needs of children; I will also concentrate on creating an atmosphere of stimulation. I will put efforts in establishing an environment in which real-time activities can be performed in the classroom. These activities can be enthusiastic to children, and their physical, mental and social development can be targeted. I have a dream to become an exemplary teacher with whom children can explore their full potential and learn new things quickly. Therefore, I will focus on generating curiosity among the children about the things discussed in the classroom due to which they can take part in real-time activities and learn new behaviours. Also, I will focus on the practices of rewards and appreciations while educating children because these may boost their morale and build confidence.
Another practice that I believe essential to become an early childhood teacher includes an environment in which children can share their ideas. I have a clear understanding of the significance of social learning and how it may affect the behaviours of children. Therefore, I will try to provide a platform in the classroom where children may indulge in the activities they love most. It may include co-curricular activities such as singing, playing, art and many others.
According to Mueller and File (2019), the core purpose of education is to develop skills, abilities and behaviours among children, which may direct them towards physical, mental and social wellbeing. Institutional knowledge allows children to learn new things and skills, which can be used in acquiring a life worth living. Education develops the abilities among children to think critically and take independent decisions (Noddings, 2018). On the other hand, uneducated children lack such abilities due to which they might spend life miserably. Physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing are the main objectives, which should be targeted at the elementary level by educators. It can be understood that education assists children in distinguishing between rights and wrongs (Kohan, 2014). Hence, teachers and educational professionals are required to develop the abilities of rational thinking among children.
The teaching statement presented above illustrates the approaches for multidimensional development and growth of children through early education. The statement covers all aspects of education for children. Practices adopted by the teacher in the classroom, such as stimulation may help children in developing mental and physical abilities (Farquhar & White, 2018). In the same way, considerations for co-curricular activities can be effective in developing social skills among children such as assistance, collaboration and many others. In this manner, the teaching philosophy statement appears to fulfil the purpose of education as described by Mueller and File (2019).
Further, the teaching statement also describes that the teacher must believe in the exploration of the specific needs of children during early education. It is a sublime practise that must be considered in childhood education in current times. Children exhibit different behaviours due to their surrounding environment. Therefore, teachers are supposed to be flexible while assisting children. Analysis of specific needs may allow the teachers to understand the areas of concern while developing cognitive and behavioural skills. This way, the purpose of education can be served through the practices illustrated in the proposed teaching philosophy statement.
The developmental theory describes that teachers or educators are required to plan activities in classrooms according to the developmental stage of children (Nolan & Raban, 2015). The theory emphasises on a structured approach that must be considered by teachers while educating children. Intense focus on the developmental stages of children may assist teachers in identifying the needs to be fulfilled. It can be analysed that children belonging to different age groups; skills, interests and backgrounds can be classified under different developmental categories. If, a teacher would deploy a single approach to educate all children; then, there are vital possibilities that only children having complying needs are benefitted. The above teaching philosophy statement describes the flexibility that can be considered by the teacher. Approaches such as analysis of specific needs and development of complying teaching plans indicate that the teaching philosophy adheres with the developmental theory.
According to the socio-cultural theory, children learn from the communities and the surrounding environment. Behaviours and practices adopted by their friends and peers have significant psychic impacts on children (Lantolf, Thorne, & Poehner, 2015). Due to the environmental or social effects, children take an interest in different activities, which gradually improves their cognitive and social skills. The teaching philosophy statement presented above completely abides by the socio-cultural theory of child development. It can be analysed that the teacher has the intent to focus on educating children by getting them involved in social activities such as playing, singing and many others (Nolan & Raban, 2015). These social activities may allow children to learn from the experiences of their friends and communities. Therefore, the teaching philosophy can be said credible and trustworthy as far as socio-cultural development of children is considered.
The socio-behaviourist theory emphasises the importance of experience in changing the behaviours of children in educational institutions. As per this theory, educators may set provisions for rewards and recognitions while educating children (Hedefalk Almqvist, & Östman, 2015). From the teaching philosophy statement; it can be understood that focus on appreciation and recognition will also be laid. Small aged children get fascinated and encouraged when teachers recognise their performance or behaviour in the classroom. These practices may enhance their commitment to classroom activities as well as improve their confidence (Nolan & Raban, 2015). At the same time, recognition and appreciation given to one student may also provoke others in the classroom. Therefore, the teaching philosophy also adheres to the socio-behaviourist theory of child development.
There are many real-time practices, which can be considered to implement the above-described teaching philosophy. To evaluate the specific needs of children in the classroom; mock tests can be performed in which all children can be asked to participate. Variation in answers and response time can be recorded and analysed, which may indicate the specific needs of children (Mueller & File, 2019). Along with this, some co-curricular activities can be performed in which students can be allowed to express themselves freely. For example, an art competition can be arranged in which children in early education can be asked to draw the things of their interest. Likewise, discussion sessions can be arranged in which children may raise their concerns (Kohan, 2014). These practices can be remarkably effective in exploring the areas of interest and potential challenges being faced by children. Teachers can modify their teaching methods after speculating the interest levels of children, and the purpose of education can be served.
Further, provisions for rewards can be considered by the teacher in the classroom to encourage children to take part in curricular activities. These rewards may have profound impacts of the psyche of children due to which they can be motivated towards learning and acquiring new skills (Ryall, Russell & MacLean, 2013). For example, rewards given by the teachers in the form of verbal appraisal or a small toy or candy may encourage all children to learn new behaviours. Also, these practices can be useful in enhancing the confidence level of the children, which would be rewarded.
It can be concluded from the essay that teachers are required to adopt a credible teaching philosophy during early childhood education. Beliefs and practice adopted by teachers may directly affect the development of children. Teaching philosophy that I will consider includes creating an environment of stimulation to children and the evaluation of the specific needs of children by teachers. Also, teachers must consider provisions for rewards and other practices, which may encourage children to learn new behaviours and skills. This teaching philosophy, if considered, may efficiently serve the purpose of education, which is to develop skills and abilities through which physical, mental and social wellbeing of children can be achieved.
Besides, it can also be said that the teaching philosophy described in the essay stands fair on different theories of childhood development. Practices described in the teaching philosophy adhere to developmental theory, socio-cultural theory and socio-behaviourist theory. Certain practices that can be considered by the teacher can be arranging co-curricular activities in the classroom, such as art competition and many others.
Farquhar, S. &White. J. (2018). Philosophy and Pedagogy of Early Childhood. USA: Taylor & Francis
Hedefalk, M., Almqvist, J. & Östman, L., (2015). Education for sustainable development in early childhood education: A review of the research literature. Environmental Education Research, 21(7), 975-990.
Kohan, W. (2014). Childhood, Education and Philosophy New Ideas for an Old Relationship. USA: Taylor & Francis
Lantolf, J.P., Thorne, S.L. & Poehner, M.E., (2015). Sociocultural theory and second language development. Theories in second language acquisition: An introduction, 1, pp.207-226.
Mueller, J.J. & File, N. (2019). Curriculum in early childhood education: Re-examined, reclaimed, renewed. UK: Routledge.
Noddings, N., (2018). Philosophy of education. UK: Routledge.
Nolan, A., & Raban, B. (2015). Theories into Practice Understanding and Rethinking Our Work with Young Children. Australia: Teaching Solutions.
Ryall, E., Russell, W., & MacLean, M. (2013). The Philosophy of Play. USA: Taylor & Francis
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