My “Philosophy of Education” in Early Childhood Education Pre-primary institutions mark the beginning of schooling for early childhood on their critical stage of growth. Teachers of kindergarten are going on a mission to promote the whole-person development of the early childhood. During the teaching process, both experiences and theory are embraced in order to provide early childhood a good quality of education. “Cerebration is the foundation of action and theory is the controller of practice. Educator wants to achieve the improvements on education need to sure that the improvement can endure the time and trials. It needs to assist with philosophy of education” (Lin, 2011, P.3). Teachers should have their own philosophy of education in order to achieve a good performance on education. For me, “encourage”, “children-centered curriculum” and “promote critical-thinking” are the three main philosophies.
For “encourage”, it implies two indications. They are providing an encouraging environments and giving children encouragements. The definition of the former one is to ask teacher to decorate a pleasurable and welcoming environment previously. For example, to decorate the classroom with colorful flowers like a garden. It can make children relieve without any fear. My idea is supported by Reggio Emilia’s approach. He recognized environment is a teacher. In addition, teacher should reset the environment while celebrating festival or teaching new unit in order to allow children to learn under a harmonious environment and boost the learning efficiency.
Alternatively, if the classroom is lacking of entertaining decoration, it will give children the feeling of solemn and create stress which make them can not behave well. The definition of the later one is to give children encouragements by appreciating what they have done. When children finish the task or answer question, say “good”, “well-done” to them. Even they get the wrong the answers, teacher can still give them a smile and ask them to try again. Children may feel confident after getting the encouragements from teacher. As children want to get teacher’s praise, they may present on their best way and will be more participative. As a result, children can learn peacefully during school days.
Besides ‘encourage’, I promote curriculum to be children-centered. That is to teach what children prefer. “Children’s aspirations are their free will. That is inborn, but unluckily being destroyed” (Montessori, 1972, P.56). This philosophy is affected by Reggio Emilia as well. He promoted child-centered which was to plane according to children’s interest. Children in early childhood are full of curiosity. As a teacher, we should satisfy their learning desires and plan curriculum based on their interests. Teacher may ask children what they want to know during circle time, or though daily contact and observation. By planning corresponding curriculum of what children desired, it can prove that children will be interested on it. On the other hand, children may feel that their views are being understood and accepted. A better relationship will be built between children and teacher.
Furthermore, I would also like to promote critical thinking in my philosophy. By implementing the 334 new academic structure on 2009, liberal study became an obligatory subject. It implies that Hong Kong highlights critical thinking on our next generation nowadays. There are no doubts that skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking are in the key learning area. However, it is reminded that critical thinking should not be absent in early childhood. “Children are initiative inborn, to develop children’s initiative is an important mission for teacher” (Lin, 2011, P.165). For children in early childhood, teacher may arrange experiment for children to do and guide them to record down the result. Besides, small project can be hold frequently in order to give chances for children to learn from themselves.
It is vital that teacher guide children to respond on certain unit but not by teaching though spoon-fed education blindly. “The major premise of the educational innovation is student, based on assisting everyone to achieve whole-person development though lifelong learning” (Kennedy, 2011, P.53). The cultivation of critical thinking can help children on problem solving and learn more efficiently in their study. As result, achieve and support the goal of lifelong learning.
I assent Montessori and my philosophy are greatly affected by it. It highlights the importance of providing environments and giving freedom to children. Well-prepared learning materials can attract children to learn, environment is the first element to be drive learning. Moreover, I insist that freedom should be given to student for what they want to learn. Creativity and problem solving talent can cultivate in the meanwhile for children.
Besides the above discussed philosophy, here are other thoughts about my opinion on ‘philosophy of education’. One of my secondary school teachers said that education is distinct with other career as teachers are constructing “heart to heart” relationship with students. That is so true since teacher need to work with their sincere mind. For me, I do think that passion is one of the main elements of being a teacher. Without the passion, teacher may feel dull and fatigue of the job easily. Yet, a teacher work with enthusiasm may review and alter the measurement all the time depending on the needs of children. Teacher is having a role of educating and socializing children, what teacher did will have positive effect on children’s personal growth.
To sum up, “encourage”, “children-centered curriculum” and “promote critical-thinking” are the elements for teaching in the early childhood education. Since children may cause psychological and emotion frustration on adapting a new ecological environment from homes. So, teacher should provide encouraging environments and give children encouragements. Curriculum should be plan accord to the interests, developmental characteristics and learning needs of children but not the teacher. Also, critical thinking is necessary
to be trained in children’s early age.
Lin, Y.T. (2011). Philosophy of Early Childhood Education TW: WU-NAN.
Montessori, Maria. (1972). The Secret of Childhood NY: Ballantine Books.
Kennedy K.J. (2011) Interpret the new trend of HK’s education HK: The Chinese University Press.