Social Changes Their Influences Over The Past Century Education Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Just as fashion changes in a response to changes in society and public perspective, so do the views of children change in response to the same issues. There are Four major factors that tend to have the most profound impact on the views and treatment of children in society.

1. Historical Events

- World War II

- Progressive education movement

- Educational program practice/practice scrutiny

- Social care vs Developmental care

- Social pressures to keep mothers at home


2. Changes in Family Life

- Increased number of women in the workforce

- Rise in the number of single parents

- Increasing mobility


3. Evidence of the Benefits of Early Childhood Education

- Research indicates quality care has positive effects on development

- Children at Risk Benefit: greater schooling success, decreased need for special education, lowered delinquency and arrest rates, decreased welfare dependence.


4. Advocating on Behalf of Children

- Many families face extreme poverty

- Scarcity of affordable, high-quality of care

- Children's rights advocates

- Has become a political concern

Educational Theories and Their Influence on Early Childhood Programs

Questions to Consider

What is developmentally appropriate practice? Why is it an accepted practice in teaching young children?

What is an educational philosophy? How does it relate to developmentally appropriate practice?

There has been a distinct trend to push children to achieve academically. Our schools are under constant criticism regarding poor academic preparation and literacy. Perhaps this is a result of conflicting educational philosophies and practices.


Philosophies of Education

When educators express their strong feelings about how children should be taught, there are expressing their philosophies. Philosophies of education incorporate our strong beliefs about how children grow and learn; in turn, they help us determine the activities and materials we consider most beneficial.

Philosophies are based on theories. Two major models are:

1. Psychometric Model

2. Developmental Model


Psychometric Model

Psychometric Model is composed by specific measurable abilities.

It states that children learn best by being screened, evaluated and moved through a predetermined sequenced of teacher-directed learning experiences having predictable outcomes that can be measured and tested.

Instructional strategies:

- encourage the acquisition of specific academic skills

- educators carefully and deliberately lead children's learning episodes

- emphasis is placed on subskills associated with reading, writing and math

- learning is reinforced with workbooks,worksheets; paper and pencil seatwork focuses on memorization of letters, word, etc.

- art projects imitate models

- classrooms find little time for play, creative thinking, group or individual problem solving, risk or exploration


Developmental Model

The Developmental Model seeks to offer a safe and nurturing environment that promotes the 'Whole' child, or SPLICE.

Quality is determined how developmentally appropriate it is, both in terms of age and individuality.

- follows Interactionist/Constructivist theories of learning

- Curriculum planning emphasizes learning as an interactive process. Teachers prepare the environment for children to learn through active exploration and interaction with adults, other children and materials.

- Learning activities and materials should be concrete, real and relevant to the lives of young children.

- Teachers provide a variety of activities and materials; teachers increase the difficulty, complexity, and challenge of any activity as children are involved with it and as children develop understanding and skills.


Programs From Educational Theories

Behaviorist Programs

Early Childhood Program Names:

- Direct Instruction

- Bereiter-Engelmann Model

- Engelmann-Becker Model

- DISTAR (Direct Instructional System for Teaching Math and Reading

The Educator's Role is very important because it is a teacher directed program. it requires model or exemplary behavior from teacher and students. It uses techniques such as Prompting (hand signals) to gain the desired behavior or action.


Curriculum and Program Organization:

- academic emphasis

- learning is hierarchical

- task analysis breaks down concepts into small steps

- steps are sequenced

- use prompts and reinforcement of behavior

- uses-fast paced lessons and drill techniques

- uses small-group instruction

- follows a set timetable each day

Physical Environment:

- small rooms available for group work

- minimal visual distraction

- token awards such as star charts encouraged


- frequent criterion-referenced testing

- mastery of concepts allows for movement to next level


Developmental Programs

Early Childhood Programs:

- traditional nursery school

- Early Head Start

- British Infant School

The Educators Role is to guide and facilitate learning. There is also a heavy promotion of all aspects of SPLICE/Development.


Curriculum and Program Organization:

- sees children as explorers

- curriculum is child-centered and often child driven

- two key features: Integrated Curriculum and Integrated Day

- integrated subjects throughout the day

- encouraged creativity and self-expression through a strong use of the arts

- schedules are flexible

- encourages children's interests

- considers development as a natural unfolding:pressure is not appropriate

- uses common environmental materials

- considers play essential

- considers social and affective development important

Physical Environment:

- integrates the indoor and outdoor environments

- child-centered and child-friendly; lots of evidence of children's work and children's interests

- classrooms organized around interest or learning centers


- observation and anecdotal notes

- developmental samples of work provide developmental record

- periodic formal parent conferences


Cognitive Interactionist Programs

Early Childhood Program Names:

- Constructivist programs

- Cognitively-Orientated Curriculum

- High/Scope Curriculum (extensively used in preschool programs in Eastern Canada, originated in Ypsilanti, Michigan)

Educator's Role is one of facilitator and open-ended questioner to facilitate thinking and problem-solving. They provide open-ended materials for the classroom environment which offer the child appropriate support and challenges. Observation and interaction with children occurs to discover how each child thinks and reasons. As well, there are hands on participation activities, along with conversations with the children.


Curriculum Program and Organization:

- based on Piagetian Theory (Jean Piaget)

- organized around key experiences in the three areas of cognitive development, socio-emotional development, and movement/physical development:

creative representation

language and literature

initiative and social relations





space time

- requires large blocks of time for problem-solving and communication, so timetable of day is build around 'Plan-Do-Review'

- purpose of 'Plan-Do-Review' is to facilitate children's thinking and planning as well as to encourage their reflective thinking

Physical Environment:

- organized into interest centers

- materials in interest centers are organized in logical manner that enables children to use and return materials independently

- suggestions for suitable materials:

practical, everyday objects

natural and found materials


messy materials

heavy large materials

easy-to-handle materials


- High/Scope Child Observation-Record for Ages 2-6 - organized around key experiences and assesses initiative, creative representation, language and literacy, social relations, logic and math, and music and movement.

- High/Scope Program Quality Assessment used for rating programs on learning environment, daily routine, adult-child interaction, curriculum planning and assessment, parent involvement and family services, and staff qualification s and development


Politics and Early Childhood Education

Canadian Governement Regulations

Retrieved on 15-Nov-2010

Saskatchewan Child Care Regulations

Retrieved on 15-Nov-2010

First Nations Head Start -Standard Guide

Retrieved on 15-Nov-2010


Public Education and Advocacy

Some early childhood educators are reluctant to take an active role in public education and advocacy, and others feel powerless to do anything. There are three types of advocacy-personal, professional, informational.

Personal Advocacy

- Help your neighbors understand what you do at your job.

- Refer yourself as an early childhood educator.

- Encourage friends/family to think about why care costs as much as it does.

- Identify how care helps them in their own job

- Read and explain early childhood research.

- Join professional organizations.

Professional Advocacy

- Lobbying - groups that advocate for quality early childhood programs

- Groups work toward greater public understanding and support for high quality child care, by broadening the base of support to include other groups such as pediatricians and business community.

Informational Advocacy

- Attempts to raise public awareness about the importance of early childhood, and the capacity of high quality programs to strengthen families and proved opportunities for optimal growth and development.

- An effective advocate requires first-hand knowledge for the issues facing children, families and staff.


Engagement | Exploration | Application | Connection | Top

created 12-Oct-2009

modified 17-Nov-2010