Learning Approaches, Theory, and Practice
Becoming a professional in the field of early childhood education requires you to become familiar with the various developmental theories as well as research that studies the effectiveness of various learning approaches. Throughout the last two weeks, you have learned about these different theories and approaches to learning. After engaging in discussions with your classmates, you now have ideas about which theories and approaches you would like to use in your work with children. Using the steps below, you will sort through these theories and approaches to shape who you are as a teacher and what you believe about how children learn best. This assignment will also help you prepare for your final assignment.
Prior to beginning work on this assignment, access the APA template for assistance with the writing process, formatting, documentation, and citations in your written work.
Step 1: Reflect back on your initial response in the “Aspects of Theories” discussion from Week Two and the “Learning Approaches” discussion from this week.
- Using the theories and approaches that were discussed, fill in the table below by ranking each according to how you connected with them (“most connected” at the top and “least connected” at the bottom). Be sure to delete the example row provided.
Step 2: Using the table as a guide, research your top two theories and top two learning approaches. You will create a Prezi or a PowerPoint presentation that contains your responses to the points below as they are applied to each of your top two theories and top two learning approaches.
- Summarize the underlying principles or ideas for this theory/approach.
- Explain why this theory/approach is important to understand and how it will benefit your work with children.
- Discuss how this theory/approach will help you to be an effective teacher.
- Explain why this theory/approach is ranked at the top of your list.
- Summarize the similarities you see between the theory and model of those you ranked first. For example, if Piaget’s theory of cognitive development was your top theory and the Reggio Emilia approach was your top learning approach, share how these two ideas support one another.
Step 3: Submit your assignment to your instructor as a Word document that contains your table from Step 1 and the hyperlink to your Prezi from Step 2 that includes your responses to the questions from Step 2. Or you can submit your assignment as a Power Point that contains your table from Step 1 and your responses to the questions from Step 2. Whichever option you choose, you will also need to follow APA format and include title and reference pages. In addition, the information in your assignment needs to be supported by the textbook and at least two additional scholarly sources. Be sure to cite your sources in the Prezi or PowerPoint and list them on the reference pages/slides. If you need assistance with making sure that your paper or references are properly formatted in APA, please utilize the APA Guidance link that is located within the Learning Resources tab on the left hand side of the course or visit the Ashford Writing Center.
Please include all info to Prezi incase i need to access it again… I’m also including “Aspects of Theories” discussion from Week Two and the “Learning Approaches” discussion from this week.
After a closer look at the five main approaches of learning which are Creative curriculum, direct instructions, High scope, Montessori and Reggio Emilia, I can determine that the classroom approach that I most likely attended while in school is the Direct Instruction approach. This approach is described by a neatly arranged classroom which consisted of tables that were used for a small group work and rows and columns of desks that were used individually by each student. I learned through lectures where the teacher was seen presenting scripted teachings in front of the class while we as students sat back and listened from our desks.
I enjoyed this approach of learning because the teacher was able to communicate any complex information at a level where every student could understand. This approach went further to communicate enthusiasm in me as a student for a particular subject and hence always aroused my interest as a student. Through this approach I was able to understand the teacher who focused our attention on contents that were relevant and through this I was able to get assistance to connect new information to the current knowledge not forgetting past experiences.
High Scope is a learning approach that aligns with that type of learning approach I would like to create for my students. This approach involves the students bringing up their unique habits, preferences and attitudes as they interact in their classrooms giving room to explorations. This approach involves students and teachers on a personal level where the teacher makes observations of the students, interact with their students and also try to extend the thinking of the students by bringing up open ended questions. This approach may include new and innovative approaches, projects, movements and also music. At the end of every day the teacher calls for meetings with the students to inquire if there is any progress on each and every student and also knowing how the day was.
This approach centers learning on independent projects that are chosen by students which are based on individual interests and as a teacher I would like to see my students engaging in this projects that will demonstrate the initiative to explore the world they are living in. Another example of a scenario that I would like to see in my class is my students engaging in a problem solving activities in class that they have encountered when they are playing in the classroom or outside in the field. This will be done by the students in my class reflecting on their life experiences and then using the resources in the classroom to study and coming up with the solutions. Last but not least my classroom is supposed to have students that are totally engaged and focused on the activities that are of interest to them by gathering information then formulating ideas to understand the knowledge behind every material provided in the classroom which will be organized, labelled and categorized in groups depending on every student’s needs and preferences.
High Scope learning approach is an effective model for an early childhood education since it offers a balanced approach for toddlers and their teachers where there is an integration of all aspects of youth development. This approach facilitates the growth of young people by bringing up students that have better foundation in class or academic work and also other creative areas where the student is talented. A good example is a student who is good in music is able to work on the interest while at the same time engaging in academic work. Moreover this approach is suitable in early childhood where it fosters physical growth, social-emotional and creative areas. Through adoption of this approach, it has been seen that many early childhood educators and caregivers all over the world make a difference in lives of children, families and youth. It helps the students learn well through working with materials, ideas and events that are real hence making them to be able to learn real life problems through experience for instance training models.
A Tale of Five Classrooms
Yanus Burton, (2008). Early Childhood Education: Issues and Developments. Nova Publishers. Pp. 178-182.