Youth Media and Communication Initiative (YMCI)
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Early childhood education


The history of early childhood care and education (ECCE) refers to the development of care and education of children from birth through eight years old throughout history. ECCE has a global scope, and caring for and educating young children has always been an integral part of human societies. Arrangements for fulfilling these societal roles have evolved over time and remain varied across cultures, often reflecting family and community structures as well as the social and economic roles of women and men. Historically, such arrangements have largely been informal, involving family, household and community members. The formalization of these arrangements emerged in the nineteenth century with the establishment of kindergartens for educational purposes and day nurseries for care in much of Europe and North America, Brazil, China, India, Jamaica and Mexico.

For State of Early Childhood Education Bornfreund, 2011; Kauerz, 2010 says that the teacher education and certification requirements does not manifest the research about how to best support development and learning for children that are in kindergarten through third grade. States are requiring educators who work in open pre-kindergarten to have specific preparing in Early Childhood Education. As per the State of Pre-School Yearbook (Barnett et al., 2015), 45 states require their educators to have a specialization in Early Childhood Education and 30 states require no less than a Bachelor's qualification. As indicated by NAEYC state profiles (NAEYC,2014), just 14 states require kindergarten instructors to be confirmed in early youth; in the rest of the states, kindergarten educators might be authorized in basic training. Less states require ECE affirmation for first grade educators (Fields and Mitchell, 2007).

In a more contemporary approach, organizations such as the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) promote child-guided learning experiences, individualized learning, and developmentally appropriate learning as tenets of early childhood education. A study by the Ohio State University also analyzed the effects of implementing board games in elementary classrooms. This study found that implementing board games in the classroom "helped students develop social skills that transferred to other areas." Specific outcomes included students being more helpful, cooperative and thoughtful with other students. Negative outcomes included children feeling excluded and showing frustration with game rules.

Vygotsky argued that since cognition occurs within a social context, our social experiences shape our ways of thinking about and interpreting the world. People such as parents, grandparents and teachers play the roles of what Vygotsky described as knowledgable and competent adults. Although Vygotsky predated social constructivists, he is commonly classified as one. Social constructivists believe that an individual's cognitive system is a resditional learning time. Vygotsky advocated that teachers facilitate rather than direct student learning. Teachers should provide a learning environment where students can explore and develop their learning without direct instruction. His approach calls for teachers to incorporate studentsí needs and interests. It is important to do this because students' levels of interest and abilities will vary and there needs to be differentiation.

According to Piagetís theory, when young children encounter new information, they attempt to accommodate and assimilate it into their existing understanding of the world. Accommodation involves adapting mental schemas and representations in order to make them consistent with reality. Assimilation involves fitting new information into their pre-existing schemas. Through these two processes, young children learn by equilibrating their mental representations with reality. They also learn from mistakes.

Kolb breaks down this learning cycle into four stages: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation, and active experimentation. Children observe new situations, think about the situation, make meaning of the situation, then test that meaning in the world around them.

Many states have created new early childhood education agencies. Massachusetts was the first state to create a consolidated department focused on early childhood learning and care. Just in the past fiscal year, state funding for public In Minnesota, the state government created an Early Learning scholarship program, where families with young children meeting free and reduced price lunch requirements for kindergarten can receive scholarships to attend ECE programs. In California, Senator Darrell Steinberg led a coalition to pass the Kindergarten Readiness Act, which creates a state early childhood system supporting children from birth to age five and provides access to ECE for all 4-year-olds in the state. It also created an Early Childhood Office charged with creating an ECE curriculum that would be aligned with the K-12 continuum.




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