Play And Learning For The Preschool Child

3180 words (13 pages) Essay in Education

25/04/17 Education Reference this

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Consider what you have read and viewed this week with regard to the meaning and importance of play for preschoolers. Then summarize the relationship between developmentally appropriate practice, play, and learning.

Through the week’s study, play for preschoolers has proved indeed necessary. In definition, developmentally appropriate practices can be looked at as the emphasis of development and learning of a child (Wouter Haaften, Wren & Tellings, 1999). In essence, the areas of learning include touch on the physical aspects of the child, his/her social, and emotional needs together with their cognitive needs. In this view, learning is made practical. A child for instance; in this process, is able to develop self understanding of their physical and social environment through firsthand experience.

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In efforts to achieve a complete child development, scholars of early childhood management recommend that play, learning and developmentally appropriate practice be married in an appropriate relationship. For this reason, scholars of this subject further recommend that the three issues be set in patterns to provide opportunities for inter-child relationships. The inter-child relationships are to be explorative and practical in nature (Wouter Haaften, Wren & Tellings, 1999). In setting the programs, student interest, activity relevance and formality of instructions are to be considered.

As you have been learning, play has the potential to foster growth in all areas of children’s development. Select two developmental areas (cognitive, language, social/emotional, and/or physical) and explain, using examples, how growth in the areas you chose can be fostered through play.

In the 21st century, parents, backed by several other anti- child play argue that the noise and mess involved in child play is enough evidence that play is totally un-beneficiary and therefore a clear way to waste a child’s valuable time for studying. In this view, these parents advocate for a lot of school work in form of home work, in an effort to eradicate any time for play for the kids. This is a question of perception.

Studies hold contrary grounds. From the studies in class, scholars have evidently proved the importance of play in various aspects of child development. In terms of the cognitive aspect of it, child play has been known to enhance desirable skills such as problem solving, creative and critical thinking, spoken and written language, minor management skills such as organizing and planning and generally, success in the child’s endeavors not to mention success in their academics (Bracken & Nagle, 2007).

In the video program, “Play in Early Childhood,” Dr. Bredekamp underscores the integral role that adults play in fostering quality play. Imagine that you are an early childhood professional in a preschool classroom. Identify and explain at least three ways you could foster quality play in your setting.

Dr. Bredekamp is clear in his video program; “Play in Early Childhood” that adults play a key role in fostering quality play. Indeed, this responsibility is majorly laid upon a child’s parents or guardians and his or her teachers (Bracken & Nagle, 2007). If I were a professional in early childhood development in a preschool class setting, then there are three key strategies to foster quality playing.

First of all, I would draw a program on socio-dramatic play. This enables a child take roles practical roles in life and this has a benefit of developing a child’s cognitive aspect. Secondly, I would encourage physical play in form of indoor and games. This helps a child develop their physical fitness as well as preparing their psychology to withstanding challenge. Third and last, I would draw a socialization program for the children. In this program, I would let the child’s interact informally, by themselves. This would help them learn how associate within a social setting, encouraging them to open up their minds to exploration and adventure. This is indeed as a basic three program child development strategy.

Week 2

Decisions with regard to creating optimal preschool physical environments involve much more than thoughtful consideration about where to place classroom furnishings. Considering what you have learned about preschooler’s needs and dimensions of quality environments, use examples to explain at least three ways that optimal physical environments can foster opportunities for growth and learning.

Creation of a healthy learning environment for preschool student indeed entails more than random locations of the class and its furnishings. Further, the geographical location of the class rooms ought to be carefully selected. A suitable location would be one away from the daily life socio-economic activities. The suitable location ought to be literary isolated from the industrial and urban hustle.

Essentially, of importance to consider are; aspects surrounding the child’s senses. For instance, to enhance learning through the sense of sight, placement of study materials such as charts and pictures should be at visible locations. In the same way, other senses necessary for normal learning such as smell, touch and hearing have to be relevantly considered. If the senses are suitably addressed, then learning for such kids is made easier (Barbarin & Wasik, 2009).

Based on what you know about how preschoolers learn and what you read this week, explain how well-designed physical environments can support children’s initiative, creativity, and self-control.

A child’s development is undoubtedly a three dimensioned process. All these three aspects are subject to the child’s physical environment during the learning process. For a child to develop creativity, the engagement of their senses needs to strike a balance. This balance is a factor of physical setting of the furnishings and study materials placed in class. For instance, a creative florist in the future needs to exercise expertise in colors as early as preschool.

Initiative on the other had can also be influenced by the physical setting where a preschool child learns. For a child to develop effective initiative skills, he or she needs to be well versed with the external environment. A lot of this is gained through exposure. If a class is set in a place where environmental exposure where the child can experience on their own is limited, then their initiative is equally limited and vice versa.

The issue of self-control can be associated to the physical location of the learning center as well. Much as the children need seclusion so as to attain self reliance, they also need integration among themselves to learn how to associate and socialize (Talay-Ongan, 2005). Similarly, much as a preschool class needs to be isolated from the day to day hustles of normal life, they also need to be near the same so as to expose the children to the realities of life hence encouraging development of self control.

Explain how effective learning/activity areas both foster the development of children’s self-control and offer opportunities for active exploration, choice, and learning.

As highlighted above, the learning areas both foster the development of a child’s self control and offer opportunities for active exploration, choice and learning. If a child’s exposure to the physical environment in its study is well balanced for instance, the child is able to develop desirably in fields of self control (Talay-Ongan, 2005). With an efficient and effective studying environment, a child is further able to develop self discovery, skills in decision making and overall; learning.

Week 3

Developmentally appropriate social/emotional environments for preschoolers nurture the individual identity of each child. Pages 270-283 of the Gestwicki text outline strategies for supporting children’s gender identity, cultural and racial identity, friendships, and prosocial behaviors. Select one of these, and explain how nurturing development in this area contributes to positive individual identity and strong classroom communities.

Developmentally appropriate social/emotional environments for preschoolers nurture the individual identity of each child. One of the ways through which a child can develop positive individual identity is through socio dramatic play. As observed in various analyses of play contexts among children in play, socio-dramatic play has proved its role in cognitive development of any child. Despite the little chance that teachers and parents are giving to child students as time for their play, the little that have taken place have successfully taken a relevance in shaping the relevance of socio-dramatic play in a child’s cognitive development.

Sure, everything or anything cannot make it to a tight schedule as the one for a class, but at least, everything needs a chance in the same schedule. In terms of the cognitive aspect of it, dramatic child play has been known to enhance desirable skills such as problem solving, creative and critical thinking, spoken and written language, minor management skills such as organizing and planning and generally, success in the child’s endeavors not to mention success in their academics (Dunn, 2001).

Reflect on the video, “Socio-dramatic Play.” Then, explain three reasons that you believe socio-dramatic play is integral in quality early childhood programs and what early childhood professionals can do to ensure that children are involved in quality socio-dramatic play.

To curb the problems facing socio dramatic play today, there is need first of all to create awareness to both parents and professionals about the topic of socio-dramatic play. There is need for a campaign to change attitudes of both the professional and the guardians of children in this stage about play. Schools and other authorities should be engaged to ensuring that there are ready play grounds and set times for children to play and act. Generally, majority teachers being part of the parent body in the schools today have joined hands with other parents in their argument. This way, majority of schools are slowly eliminated play time from their daily schedules. This is evident in two perspectives. One is that many schools have greatly reduced time previously set for breaks which implies play as well as time specifically set for play.

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Such periods have been replaced with teacher instruction based learning sessions. This has done no better than make learning for children in schools a one way communication process, where the kids have to sit and listen, in minimal chance to participate. Surely, this process is slowly turning education into a boring monotonous process. The second way in which play is being eliminated from school timetables is ignorance of play materials and space. There are either minimal or no budget allocations for play material in majority of schools today (Dunn, 2001). Play grounds are being unmaintained or adopted for other uses such as parking yards. The situation in majority of homes is no different either. Most parents will encourage study for their kids round the clock to improve grades. In fact, it is no surprise that out of every ten study materials bought for a child hardly will any of them be a “toy” or in this case, any other plays material. Overall, play has died down on these bases and dramatic play has not been spared.

Preschoolers “are experimenting with the social skills that lead to friendship…” (Gestwicki, 2011, p. 278). Summarize how adults can help preschool-age children develop and maintain friendships.

According to Gestwicki, adults can help preschool-age children develop and maintain friendships. This is through creation of an enabling environment and provision of necessary advice. Adults can create time and opportunities for their children or any other children under their responsibility to interact with other children in form of playing or working together. A common method is when children are made to move out at certain specific time. Another time is when children are taken for trips, visits and amusement parks. Whenever these settings; the feeling of discovery in a child’s heart keeps them talking or willing to talk.

Secondly, adults could facilitate child interaction through offering advice to their children. Advice could be in form of talks or lectures. The advice is meant to encourage good relations, discourage he bad ones and warn on the effects of the undesirable relations (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2009). Further, the advice is meant to prepare the child psychologically of the waves in relationships.

Week 4

“Language is an inseparable part of the play and learning of the preschool classroom” (Gestwicki, 2011, p. 375). Imagine that you are asked by a new parent or family member to explain how language and literacy development is fostered in a preschool setting. Based on pages 375-386 of the Gestwicki text, identify three practices a preschool teacher can employ that respond to this question, as well as why each of the three practices are important.

Language is an integral part in learning for small preschoolers. It is incorporated together with literacy wayward from infancy. These skills are acquired through socialism with the kids. To foster these skills in a preschool setting the teachers are encouraged to get more up-close with the pupils in both phonologically and giving of formal lessons. These could be given naturally through playing and daily experiences with a mature adult and also through administering of instructions from their teachers.

The skills that can be employed in developing language and literacy skills in preschoolers could be by use of alphabetic principle. Letters of the alphabet could be read out loud to the kids learning, or written on wall charts for the pupils to be able to observe daily and read even by themselves. Secondly, a teacher can use phonological awareness this would create awareness for the pupils to relate the letters to the form of sound that makes up the letters. Lastly, for the purposes of literacy, the pupils would be taught how to write, these are the basic concepts on printing and reading (Bracken & Nagle, 2007). These three practices are important as they are the basic skills imparted concurrently to make up the basic foundation of the future of the pupils’ learning.

“The natural vehicle for extended communication in the preschool classroom is group time” (Gestwicki, 2011, p. 386). Review pages 386-389 of your course text. Explain five components of effective group times and how all of these components, working together, support children’s development and learning

Effective group times enable the child to create self awareness through interactions with fellow children. Through these group interactions the investigations emanating from their interactions trigger different stimuli to the pupils. They are also able to learn problem solving when faced with simple challenges.

Interactions within a group enable the pupils to equip themselves with skills on making, decisions, experimenting, and also communicating (Barbarin & Wasik, 2009). Lastly group time experiences could be employed in extracurricular activities like puppet playing, telling stories and musical dances. All these incorporated together, still aid in upgrading the sense of discipline in the pupils general lives.

An integral responsibility of preschool teachers is selecting appropriate literature for young children that is reflective, respectful, and supportive of the rich diversity of how people live their lives. Based on your readings, summarize three criteria that you feel are key in selecting books for young children and explain your understanding of the potential impact of literature on children’s perspectives about others.

The choice of books to be read by the preschoolers is of immense consideration as people have very diverse lives. A laxity on this could give the pupils a bad impression on some different category of people. The choice of these books should be based on the contents in the books that they contain daily activities, occupations and objects. These could for example feature normal daily activities like baking cakes, kicking a ball, taking a bath and so on. Another important criterion for the selection of books for preschoolers is by considering the use of images by the book authors. Clear appealing and relevant pictures are of greater use in making the kids understand the ideas that the writer is trying to convey.

Week 5

“[Developmentally appropriate curriculum] planning is not the traditional kind, where a lesson plan is quickly filled in, based on narrowly defined objectives of what children will learn by engaging in tasks designed and controlled by teachers” (Gestwicki, 2011, p. 65). In your own words, summarize what developmentally appropriate curriculum planning is and why observation and note taking are critical components of this process.

A developmentally appropriate curriculum is a curriculum that is on toes with the progress of the children’s growth. To develop an appropriate curriculum to follow for learning one needs to understand the likes, interests and passions of the pupils and the topics relevant to be taught to the pupils. These should then be incorporated together, depending on the growth stage of the pupil to come up with relevant topics of discussion appealing to the students and constructive, according to the teacher’s experience (Talay-Ongan, 2005).

Observation, note taking and patience are critical in this as they are the best ways to pinpoint the likely interests of the pupils and then noting them down. Through patient observation, the teacher is able to assess the level of children’s development and also the popularity of a passion. The knowledge of these would help him draft well the best curriculum for his pupils.

You have been presented with two concepts central to fostering preschoolers’ development and learning: integrated curriculum and emergent curriculum. Explain the difference between these two concepts and any ways in which these concepts overlap.

Integrated curriculum is a concept for development and learning where the pupils learn by working on projects and learning centers that are planned by teachers and emphasized mainly on the interests of the pupils and their activities. The concept of emergent curriculum is planned from the interests and passions from the pupils and at the same time not overlooking those of their teachers (Talay-Ongan, 2005).

These two concepts overlap in a way that, as much as the teachers would want to impart the most important and relevant skills into the students, in the Emergent curriculum, they still have to consider the views and interests of the pupils which they may view as way off the relevance track.

Based on what you know about child development and what you have been studying about developmentally appropriate practice and how children learn, explain why the ability to develop emergent curriculum is a critical skill for early childhood professionals?

Children learn from their smallest ages just by their five senses. They gain their skills by interacting with those surrounding them and trying out their investigations so that they could understand. Emergent curriculum puts the interests of the pupils into consideration. For the teacher to identify these children’s interests it needs patience, documentation and flexibility with the pupils.

In early childhood, children learn more from what interests them. Taking into account the passions of the children, the teacher ought to think of a way to blend them with his to come up with a relevant study topic.

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