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Philosophy of Early Childhood Education

A Personal Philosophy of Early Childhood Education

My own beliefs about early childhood education are based upon the knowledge that children's growth is developmental. It seems very clear to me that a high quality early childhood program must provide a safe and nurturing environment which promotes a broad spectrum of support for the child's physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. I strongly agree with the tenets of the National Association for the Education of Young children--that high quality, developmentally appropriate programs should be available to all children (Bredekamp & Rosegrant, 1992, p. 7). Children under the age of eight have enormous potential for growth and achievement, and it is my belief that they have rights to fulfill their possibilities. A separate statement of the NAEYC divides the concept of appropriateness into two aspects--age appropriateness and individual appropriateness (Bredekamp, 1987, p. 2). This statement coincides with my belief that children are unique individuals who may or may not reflect the usual characteristics of other children of their same age.

Furthermore, I believe that a developmentally appropriate curriculum for young children is correctly tailored to the specifics of each age group. Different ages have different needs, interests, and developmental tasks, and the curriculum should reflect those variations. The most effective early childhood curriculum offers creative expression, social and emotional interaction, child-adult communication, child-child communication, physical expression, knowledge acquisition, reasoning practice, risk-taking, and personal autonomy. Early childhood learning happens through play. In this case, play is a serious matter, although it is quite fun to all involved. Children learn by doing and actively participating. When given the opportunity to explore, children flourish. They experiment, make choices, achieve strength and a sense o...

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