Situation Analysis of Early Learning Environment
In initial phases of life principal sources of children’s supportive relationship and experiences are parents, family, surroundings and the community. At this stage of vigorous brain development scientists have shown that the process is not only genetic, but significantly influenced the early encounters with people and their immediate surroundings. Positive parent-child relationships and close interaction provides better basis for children to learn. A proper understanding of child’s development is essential for stake holders to come up with appropriate pedagogy for early learning. This paper looks in to the situation and provides analysis of information available as well as the way forward on the early learning of a children setting.
The Situation Analysis
Family, environment and community information
For over the past three decades, many studies have come up with associations between family’s socio-economic status and the high probability of delayed cognitive development, behavioral problems and undesirable life course outcomes for the children, for example educational performance. Family is therefore very important in the early learning forum as the first anchor for children in early development and this is the unit which interacts with the infants and young children from birth through different stages of life (Barnard, 2004). Parents and family identify distinctive strengths and prerequisites of kids at their early stages of life. Family interacts with child to strengthen cultural values being the natural and primary educator of the child (Charlesworth, 2008).
The parent and the family interaction necessitates a strong working relationship in the development of child’s curriculum with other stake holders in the child’s education due to the following reasons: parents spend more time with children; it makes family value to be taken into account in designing curriculum; it provides emotionally secure environment for the children. In a given setting of children or a program family and other family members are very much crucial in providing array of information regarding their respective children. These could be information regarding the child’s temperament, health history, and behavior at home; the family expectations, fears and hopes about the success or failure of the child; culturally rooted beliefs about child care during their growth and development; parents also bring a sense of authority and control (Barnard, 2004).
The community interacts with children to provide socio-cultural guidance supported by socio-cultural theory which proposes that children are observed within a dynamic and evolving cultural context. The public setting defines a child’s identity as they mature to become accountable residents. Socio-cultural contemporary theorists therefore suggest that children experiences of society can be used extensively as a basis for curriculum development (Barnard, 2004). The aspect, therefore, depend centrally on the kinfolk and the public at large. This makes the programming and planning of children curriculum and pedagogy to be grounded on a blend of the family and the community which is known about the best environment for better development and traditional child rearing practices.
Apart from community and the household, environment in which the juvenile grows affect his/her learning and growth. The setting could be defined as the circumstance where learning and growth takes place. At initial stages especially below two years, infants are in the phase in lifespan where they develop preferences, discover objects, mimic other people’s actions and experiment with things. Above this age (2-3 years) children gain curious feeling as compared to infants (0-2 years) (Charlesworth, 2008).
The environment interaction therefore becomes important and each age set requires special unique attention. Children thrive in different environmental context that invite them to solve problems and make meanings out of their life encounters (Charlesworth, 2008). The environment therefore should be favorable and protective to help foster the value and importance of early child learning through legislation and advocacy.
The family, community and the environment is therefore critical in coming up with a pedagogy and curriculum for child’s early learning stages. The curriculum should therefore incorporate the society values, encourage children interaction with their immediate environment and by a great extent foster the socio-cultural values. It must be noted that the child’s learning is shaped by the environment, family values and beliefs (Anning et al, 2004).
In a learning environment there is a great need for information sharing between the parents, care-givers, family, community and the teacher leading the learning program. The objective of knowledge sharing between teacher and parents is to support the program staff to assist kids in understanding the different facets of life. This will enable the teachers to adjust the way of teaching and family support accordingly, also this increases the trust parents have on the teacher.
International methodologies for early child teaching
From the practicum, it was observed that children have a strong sense of wellbeing; children are connected with and contribute to their world; and children have strong sense of identity. An appropriate curriculum and methodology of teaching should all children to explore these three concepts about children. As children interact so much with nearby object, the curriculum which promotes such activities would be appropriate.
The methodology should ensure that there is active participation of the children in the learning process as being passive makes them dull and this affects healthy development. Kids in most cases learn through imitating the actions of their colleagues an aspect that requires that the learning environment should always keep them busy (Anning et al, 2004).
Recommendations on the way forward
In the planning and design of curriculum for early child development and learning, there is need for the stakeholders to come up with a creative curriculum which will foster the community value, parental and family value, and enable environmental interaction for appropriate healthy development and learning. There should be enhanced knowledge, attitude and practices for appropriate child care as well as the development of social and economic opportunities to provide appropriate care for children in early childhood.
At the community level there is need to strengthen core values, knowledge base and the collective commitment to early learning. Teachers and curriculum developers must observe carefully so as to plan well engaging educational experiences that will inculcate good values and provide children with new skills and make them learn more about the world. At the national level there should be appropriate policy formulation which helps to promote healthy growth of children and good legislation to enhance a good learning environment.
Barnard, W. M. (2004). Parent involvement in elementary school and education attainment. Children & Youth Services Review, 26(1), 39–62.
Charlesworth, R. (2008). Understanding child development (7th edition.). Clifton Park, NY: Thomson/Delmar Learning
Anning, A., Cullen, J. and Fleer, M. (eds.) (2004). Early childhood education: society and culture. Delhi, New York and London: Sage Publications.