Friday, March 19, 2010

What is Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Education?

“A child’s play is a child’s work."

I have often looked at ‘early tools’ in museums done by skillful cave dwellers. Today we still have difficulty replicating them.
In the Montessori, play is viewed a bit differently, but there is a history behind it-I am not so quick to judge methods to learning for children because we all learn in so many different ways in early childhood settings. I know I learned many thing in unconventional ways, and many things I never learned in school.
I am often concerned when I see children made to ‘big kid work’ before they are ready or even interested. Early Childhood theorists have stated there are no tools out there today that will make any child smarter despite their claims, yet those marketing tactics are still out there. The fact still remains that the natural way children learn is through their work/play. In early childhood education this means bonding with the child, allowing the child to take healthy risks, enjoy meaningful activities, gain confidence in their skills/abilities and setting the child up for success in social situations.
Children recognize when they do something well. They appreciate when others notice it as well.
As a little girl I received lots of encouragement for certain skills and intelligences I had and I pursued them. It proved to be quite lucrative for me in the long run.
I have always seen compliments and encouragement as verbal hugs…
What kind of verbal hugs do you get or give?


Jenni said...

My favorite things are high fives and telling them, "You did it ALL BY YOURSELF!" It really gives them the pride in themselves to do it over and over and to try other things they thought they couldn't do.

Of course, if I had to help a little I change it a bit to, "You did most of that all by yourself." I am always very careful about giving false security in any task (physical or mental). It doesn't help them at all.

High fives work for any situation and the children everywhere seem to love them. The smile on their faces when they get high fives are awesome.

Barbra The Bloggess said...

Hi Jenni,
I like hi fives, too. It's amazing how kids play is how they work on the mastery of their skills. Us adults just look on the fastest (hopefully) more efficient way to do things. Kids aren't in such a big hurry as we are.
Hope your all settled in your new place, Jenni.
It's good hearing from you again!

Jenni said...

Settling in very well and glad to be around these parts. I love watching children figure things out in various skills. It is so much fun and, I have to admit, at times I've learned better ways to do something by watching them!

Barbra The Bloggess said...

I'm so glad.
Same goes for me, too. I had a recent move and I am still learning from the kids.
If they knew how much I actually learned from them they may conspire to take over the class,lol.