Situation Analysis of Early Learning Environment
During early stages of life the principal sources of children’s supportive relationship and learning experiences are the parent, the family, the immediate environment 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.
During the three weeks spent in the children’s setting there were key issues which were observed from them in terms of how they learn, how they communicate and how they respond to environment.
Weekly reflection – EYLF number one: Children were found to have a sense of wellbeing, Weekly reflection – EYLF number two: children have a strong sense of identity; and weekly reflection – EYLF number three: children are good contributors to the world around them.
In general children were observed to be actively involved in the learning process which could be evident with their desire to learn by doing, imitating and observing objects. There was observation made on the different age of between 2-3 years where observation was different when it came to their interaction environment which showed that they were more curious and explored their surrounding more.
The Situation Analysis
Family, environment and community information
Family interact with their children at different stages of development and some of the crucial roles of the family is the provision of emotional; psychological attachment to the children which enhances their cognitive and psychomotor development as they grow into adults. The role is realized due to the fact that it is the parents and the family at large who identify the unique strengths; weaknesses in their children; and their needs at that early stage of human life which they can use in molding the children to responsible members of the community (Charlesworth, 2008).
Children also react with the community and from the reflection in the children settings showed that children have a strong sense of identity and well-being; and that 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 (Charlesworth, 2008).
Apart from community and the family social settings, the environment in which the child grows also have great impact on the affect the learning and development process as the young people always interact more with the physical surrounding in which they grow and this interaction provides a key role in the cognitive development.
What it means
Early child learning and development depend centrally on the family and the community at large where in the settings of family or community, learning is influenced by the capacity, support and opportunities of the family and community at large; the ability of the caregivers to properly nurture the children well and give adequate care (Charlesworth, 2008).
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 (Barnard, 2004). 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).
It is important to note that community setting defines a child’s identity as they develop to become responsible citizens and for this to be achieved, socio-cultural contemporary theorists have suggested that children experiences of society can be used extensively as a basis for curriculum development and design of the appropriate learning methodology which would recognize the social and cultural values of the society (Barnard, 2004).
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 (Anning et al, 2004).
The way forward
The parent and the family interaction necessitates a strong working relationship in the development of child’s curriculum and documentation 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. 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 (Charlesworth, 2008).
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. 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 (Goodfellow, 2009).
Focus child documentation and evaluation
From the observations made during the time spent in the children setting for the three weeks and the subsequent situation analysis, there are key attributes which need to be considered in making effective planning and documentation and evaluation. It should first be noted that documentation involves all those methods which a teacher can apply to obtain information about a child, identify and analyze learning process, and also plan and perform evaluation of the process to enhance curriculum implementation.
From the reflection it can be shown that effective documentation can be achieved if observations made during the time spent with the children are used in identifying the documentation tools aligned to the assessment (Goodfellow, 2009). This is because using children’s data improves decision making to achieve certain tasks such as completing an assessment exercise, determination of effective instruction, develop intentional lesson plans to focus child observations, and coordinate well with the family and the community for the child’s benefit as well as helping to plan a stimulating and engaging learning environment (Barnard, 2004).
Appropriate child documentation should have a reflection on the family and the community of the child, and should be shared with children and family to inform future plans. Documentations of child’s learning and development should therefore be carefully interpreted and properly analyzed to ensure it provides clear information on the progress of children towards EYLF learning
out comes and other developmental areas.
The effective documentation should promote the desire of children to get connected and contribute to their world.
In which case it should involve current documentation and assessment methods; involve educators, children and families; and develop effective assessment methods. The documentation should enable learners to have sense of wellbeing as this contributes to their physical and mental development.
International methodology 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.
There are more outcomes attributes which can be observed in the children when they are observed in a friendly environment which include children being effective communicators, and that children are confident and involve learners.
An appropriate curriculum and methodology of teaching should all children to explore these concepts about children (Goodfellow, 2009). 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 (Anning et al, 2004). A methodology that have been found to be very effective in achieving these outcomes is known to be the Belonging, Being and Becoming which is a framework used for EYLF in Australia. For the methodology to be effective the education leader must be very competent in the procedures and processes in the content to be able to offer proper guidance to the learners in the planning and implementation with excellent skills in EYLF. The methodology takes a holistic approach and pays attention to the physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well as cognitive developmental aspects (Goodfellow, 2009). The following are some of the aspects found in an international methodology and they include, learning through demonstration; role playing and modeling, explaining, scaffolding, listening and affirming which enhances comprehension of a concept (Goodfellow, 2009).
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.
Goodfellow, J. (2009). Early Years Learning Framework: Getting Started. Early Childhood Australia.