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Emerging Philosophy: Early Childhood Education Curriculum (Essay Sample)


Write a position paper/essay and articulate your emerging philosophy regarding early childhood education curriculum, the significant influences, theorists, and literature that have influenced your position, and provide examples of how this philosophy would be experienced in practice by the centre community. The essay should be analysed with reference to critical texts (6 plus) relevant to the study of early childhood education curriculum.


Philosophy Essay
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Philosophy Essay
My emerging philosophy concerning early childhood education curriculum is based on the view that every child is unique in his or her own way. As a result, it is important to teach students in a differentiated manner in order to address the needs and interests of every learner. A lot of times, teachers teach students through direct instructions, which have the capability of reducing the participation of slow learners. I also feel that children require a caring, secure, and stimulating setting to enable them grow their social, emotional, and intellectual capability. My desire, as a teacher, is to assist learners to attain their potential by providing a safe environment in which they can express their individuality while cooperating with other students. Overall, my philosophy is based on three guiding principles: using the teacher as a facilitator, promoting respect among the learners, and emphasizing natural curiosity in learning.
I feel that teachers should not be sources of knowledge but ought to take up the role of facilitating the learning process. To do this, the instructor has to change his or her mind-set towards teaching. Firstly, it is vital for the teacher to stop relying heavily on the front-of-the-class paradigm. Essentially, when he or she stands in front, all the students look up to him or her as a source of information. In most cases, the teacher might dictate notes as the students write, which is highly ineffective when the objective is to improve knowledge retention. Secondly, the teacher has to help learners discover knowledge by asking them probing questions in order for them to think creatively and critically.
Thirdly, grouping is an essential aspect of teacher-facilitated learning. Ideally, a teacher should perceive learners as different based on their thought processes and the knowledge they possess. Therefore, grouping provides an opportunity for students to learn from each other. In fact, when a learner explains a concept to another student, he or she is likely to retain that information over a long period of time. However, it is important for the teacher to use small mixed groups to give each learner a chance to participate effectively. Furthermore, the teacher-facilitated approach emphasizes the value of utilizing technology in the classroom. Apart from facilitating the teaching process, technology helps in enhancing learner interest and involvement in the class. Lastly, teachers should emphasize informal assess as they provide remediation and enrichment.
Respect is an essential virtue that should be promoted in school. Generally, a philosophy of a curriculum should align with the values of the society. In fact, the role of a curriculum is to foster behaviors that support peaceful human co-existence. Therefore, I feel that a teacher should help learners develop and grow the respect they have for themselves and for others. Besides helping to bring up law-abiding citizens, fostering respect makes learning easy and enjoyable. In essence, without respect, it would be impossible for the instructor to implement collaborative learning effectively. When a learner feels a sense of respect, he or she would be able to fully participate in the classroom. To model the right behavior, the teacher ought to possess effective and suitable classroom management skills. One way of achieving this is by setting simple rules and enforcing them consistently. As a result, each student will know the standards of behavior expected of him or her.
Natural curiosity is imperative when it comes to self-discovery. Since children have an inert desire and capability of learning, the teacher should provide a chance for them to learn relevant and meaningful information. Essentially, the goal of every educator is to stimulate the intrinsic motivation for learning among students. To make the learning interesting to learners, a teacher could give them an opportunity to discuss the subjects and lessons of the study at hand. In my view, involving children in developing lesson objectives and assessments fosters ownership as they feel that the learning goals are for their own benefit. The teacher should also include fun activities. For example, he or she could let students sing their favourite songs in the middle of the class.
My philosophy aligns with the principles of an emergent curriculum as it is based on the premise that learning occurs naturally and the role of a teacher is to deliver content in a manner that interests the students and captures their passion. According to Arthur, Beecher, Death, Dockett, and Farmer (2018), emergent or negotiated curriculum focuses on the learning of children in the potential curriculum and retrospective curriculum of what takes place during the class instead of implementing pre-planned experiences. It is a way of planning in a manner that is in line with the passion and interests of not only the students but the teachers as well. It is premised on the view that engaging in learners’ interests offers a chance to focus on subjects that are valuable to them.
The emergent curriculum emphasizes the need to build social relationships in the classroom and outside of it. In addition, it encourages teachers to value diversity and implement strategies that would ensure that every learner is accommodated. In addition to differences in the pace of learning, learners are diverse in terms of race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, and other cultural elements. Moreover, emergent curriculum builds on learning dispositions that students already have. According to Nimmo (2002), it provides a chance for children to examine their curiosity and concerns in an appropriate setting. Besides investigating meaningful content, it stresses the value of deep understanding as well as connecting learning across diverse disciplines.
My philosophy has been heavily influenced by progressivism. Generally, this perspective focuses on advances in economic development, science, and technology to enhance living and democracy. As the name suggests, it is founded on the notion of progress, which argues that advancements that the society is witnessing in different spheres are critical to the improvement of societies and people’s lives. The progressivism approach requires educationists to develop subjects that are integrative, interdisciplinary, and interactive. The curriculum should also focus on the interests of learners and the affairs of human beings. The progressivism perspective is particularly attractive to me as it stresses “learning by doing”. In fact, it advances the argument that students learn best when they pursue and satisfy their individual needs. It also perceives learning as being progressive. Finally, I like this philosophy as it encourages teachers to see a student as a whole person. In practice, a student cannot do well in school if he or she is experiencing family or societal problems.
Student-centred learning is another concept that has influenced my emerging philosophy. Increasingly, research literature has been encouraging a shift towards a learning approach that focuses on the students. Traditionally, teachers used direct teaching using lectures and strictly controlled the learning environment. As a result, the learning that was taking place there was mostly passive. In contrast, student-centred learning encourages independent knowledge acquisition, collaboration, creativity, active engagement, and student responsibility (Jony, 2016). In addition to promoting discovery learning, the student-centred approach strengthens learner motivation, discourages negative behaviors in the classroom, promotes communication among children, and builds teacher-student relationships. Evidently, this method exhibits features of the progressivism philosophy.
Theories offer frameworks for examining learning and provide insights that could be utilized in creating the most effective curriculum. One theory that has influenced my philosophy is the cognitive constructivism approach. Overall, this theory argues that learning entails active accommodation and assimilation of new knowledge to pre-existing cognitive abilities. It asserts that for the process of learning to occur seamlessly, children should be able to develop their mental models for knowledge discovery (Brandon & All, 2010). What stands out in this theory is the view that the motivation of learning is intrinsic, which means that students should be able to set their individual objectives and motivate themselves to learn. The implication of this theory to learning is such that teachers should be facilitators. Consequently, the instructor should provide content in a structured manner and foster an environment that is conducive to learning. Instead of being the source of knowledge, the teacher should only focus on building the learners’ capacities to learn.
David Kolb is a theorist who developed a theory in the cognitive constructivism field. According to the Kolb’s learning cycle, learning is experiential in that people learn from their day-to-day experiences (Cates & Jones, 1999). The theory also asserts that refection is imperative to learning. Kolb developed a four-stage cyclic model that allows active learning. The model starts with having a concrete experience that is followed by reflective observation. Thereafter, students should engage in abstract conceptualization in order to conclude or learn from the experience. Lastly, the theory provides active experimentation in which students try out what they have learned.
Another theorist, Benjamin Bloom, made vital contributions to the study of educational psychology. He developed a hierarchical system called the Bloom’s taxonomy. At the top of the pyramid, the model identifies the need for creating or producing original work. Thereafter, the ed...
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