Early Childhood Education

Essay by mvirgoUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2009

download word file, 8 pages 5.0

Each one of the early years educators has played an important role in setting the foundations that is the basis of the main curriculum's and foundation frameworks in schools today. This paper will look at several of these educators' theories, philosophies, and concepts and how they relate to early childhood education today.

Maria Montessori, an Italian educator that developed the Montessori method, which focuses on the development of the intellect through the exploration of materials, believed in independence in childcare and that children should be taught to use their senses first rather than just educating their intellect with subjects such as math and science. Children's educations main focus within Montessori centers is to develop observational skills through the environment and learning outdoors, and to provide the children with carefully organized preparatory activities rather than repetition as a means of developing competence in skills. Montessori believed children should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, enabling them to become more independent.

In a typical Montessori nursery there is a general atmosphere of children doing things for themselves carefully and competently some of this practice is reflected through the children's play such as tidying away independently at the end of activities and being responsible for making sure toys are put away before a new activity is begun, children are encouraged to pour their own drinks and are given small jobs such as handing out the lunchboxes and folders. These are just a few ways that the children are encouraged to be independent within the school day as well as managing their own hygiene by washing their own hands independently. (Jordan, 2005)Friedrich Froebel's 'kindergarten' is the modern day nursery, playgroup or parent and toddlers group. He wanted parents to be fully involved with their children's learning and play an active role...