Episode #: 74
Show: TBD
Airdates: TBD (see Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)


The psychology behind early childhood education
 

The need to provide the best possible learning environments is something all responsible parents seek. The Jewish Centers of Los Angeles explains the goals and elements required for a successful Early Childhood Experience. 

 

 
Broadcast Excerpts

Our children. Our most proud expressions of our likeness. The need to provide the best possible environments which give birth to the opportunities we all wish were afforded us, is an inherent facet of our persona. The primary goals of the Early Childhood Experience is to develop each childĂs self-esteem, to promote positive feelings toward learning and to encourage positive social interaction.

Today we are going to look at the philosophy and teaching methods of preschools and make a special visit one of Los AngelesĂs more recognized centers, The Jewish Community Centers of Los Angeles. Renowned for its educational philosophy, the JCC prides itself in providing a warm and creative environment within which children are able to grow and develop the interactive skills necessary in attaining a positive identification with all cultures. 

Although a Jewish environment, weĂve uncovered that all children of all religious denominations are welcomed and in fact attend the JCC. 

It is said that early learning is best accomplished through active exploration, experience and interaction. Activity centers that provide this type of environment provide children with endless possibilities for creativity, exploration and discovery. The JCC is just that type of environment. WeĂve uncovered several interesting facets of this center. Philosophies like, "Learning is self-rewarding, joyous and non-competitive". The entire family is an integral part of the educational process at JCC.

And as we all know, the social interactive problems of adolescents today translate themselves into sometimes horrific events and end up as the latest tragedy on the 6 oĂclock news. The retrospective question of, what could we have done to prevent this, normally haunts us for a long time. But lifeĂs experience teaches us that prevention is better than cure. So maybe addressing the potential problems early on and providing the type of social environment uncovered here in our investigation is the answer.

Early Childhood Education, usually beginning at age three, is intended to prepare children for elementary grades. Many educators have found that children who have been enrolled in preschool centers develop positive self-concepts and basic understandings and skills that make them better able to apply their efforts to intellectual tasks when they enter school. Studies of children revealed the importance of the early years in physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development.

Every Child Care Center has the ability to incorporate a variety of activities into a childĂs daily experience. Some schools may choose a variety of easy indoor projects, while others may decide to simply revamp the playground, and still for others it will be a matter of creating a full-scale childrenĂs garden. 

Most teachers say they remember the excitement they felt as they approached their first early childhood teaching assignment. But many educators have reported that some teachers' contentedness or lack of contentedness is based on the control or lack of control they have of instructional design and the curricula they use. Discontentment often leads to low morale and loss of interest in providing an excellent learning environment for children. When teachers are unhappy, their classrooms lose vitality. Some administrators state that worksheet-based curricula provide a great resource for teachers who have little enthusiasm, energy, creativity, or curriculum knowledge. 

What these administrators fail to recognize is that worksheets, because they are teacher-directed, do not take into account the unique interests and skills of specific teachers and children. Most early childhood professionals agree that curricula should be child-driven. Most also realize that it takes a great deal of time and creativity to allow the children to discover and explore, while finding the materials and resources to support each childĂs interests. This is thought to be worth the effort for both the teacher and the child.

 

 
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