School of Education
EDEC102 - Foundations of Early Childhood
This unit provides an introduction to the historical, theoretical, and developmental foundations for educating young children. The study of children and early childhood is viewed from a socio-historical perspective with an understanding that childhood is socially constructed and experienced in specific time and place contexts that may vary considerably. The unit provides opportunities for critical reflection and comparison of the student’s own concept of childhood with that of others, including comparisons of their personal perspectives with theoretical and philosophical perspectives. Current discourses of children and childhood are examined in the light of legacies from the past and new influences in the current social context. The unit is also designed to introduce the students to foundations of early childhood practice that will be extended in other units, including roles and responsibilities in early childhood settings and working with families.
As there is a historical component to this unit, students are exposed to a combination of texts written prior to this century, on or by seminal thinkers, as well as more contemporary texts.
Course Unit Outline
Work-integrated learning activity
If the unit includes a work-integrated learning component (where completion of the unit requires students to undertake learning in a workplace outside of their higher education provider), provide details including the rationale, the specification and methods for assessing the learning outcomes, monitoring arrangements and whether the work-integrated learning is required for professional accreditation. If necessary or preferred, you may provide this information in a separate document.
Also, if available, upload copies or templates of the formal agreements with third parties for the work-integrated learning activity.
(see examples noted below)
(% of total marks for unit)
|Cross reference to learning outcomes|
|Essay: 2000 words|
Students write an essay on their understanding of the parallels between the foundations of a biblical worldview and the foundations of early childhood education with reference to notions of childhood and theories of early childhood education.
(1) Examples of types of assessment tasks include: assignments; examinations; group projects; online quizzes/tests; presentations; work-based projects; and reflective journals. Ensure that details of the types of assessment tasks are included such as specific topics, duration / length / word limit of assessment, and any specific formats
FOUNDATIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD
The essay aims at analysing the similarities between the basics of childhood education and the basics of the biblical worldview. Esqueda (2014) stated that the combination of learning and faith is considered as a significant characteristic of Christian education. The universal call for combination proposes that Christian teaching and learning come from various areas of practice and knowledge. Hence, there is a necessity of bringing the two areas together. The biblical worldview offers a strong basis for an inclusive worldview, providing suggestions for Christian faith and higher education. Greenleaf (1978) stated that early childhood education or ECE includes all types of schooling encompassing informal and formal, offered to the children of up to near about eight years of age. This education creates the base of child development and can influence the later life of the child significantly.
The study involves applying the concepts of childhood education and theories relevant to early childhood education for identifying the parallels between the foundations of ECE and biblical worldview.
The foundations of a biblical worldview lie in the idea that the Bible includes God's words, and all these words are right. It teaches children the expert of scripture and the infallibility of scripture. If they believe or doubt the biblical words, they believe or suspect God eventually. It shows the children about the adequacy of the Bible. God has provided us with just what he desired us to identify through his divine word. It tells pre-schoolers all that they require to know for being saved and for living in the dainty of that great redemption (Chang & Boyd, 2016). As opined by Poulter et al. (2017), Christian schools carry on worldview education, which starts in culture and home. A private school having a biblical foundation can offer an atmosphere, which is mentally educational, with instructions and prospectus developed for accomplishing the explicit goal of supporting the students evolving a Christian worldview and relating this idea to life inside and outdoor the schoolroom. The teacher can share their faith openly with students and teach the biblical worldview in schools. Thus, they can live Christianly within their teaching quality and their bonding with learners and contemporaries in public schools. The informal education or early childhood education mainly takes place at home, at the church and the greater local community and in the background of a culture, which incorporates different types of media like magazines, music, marketing, movies, websites, books, discussions, television, radio and lectures.
As commented by Otto & Harrington (2016).), the basics of biblical learning and teaching courses are deepened on biblical perceptive. It also relies on the exercise of the process, which from Christian character, the expertise of the biblical, traditional approach that noticeably creates the biblical worldview for all life. Besides, it also considers preparation for becoming a physical textbook for the children, using Christian allowance to nurture appropriate communication skills, the rise of teaching skill that improves the individual, communicates a vision for the realm and reconstructs the philosophy of Christ. Under biblical worldview, education encompasses acquiring knowledge and developing knowledge in the analysis. It is based on experience and scripture. However, head knowledge is not sufficient. Proper worldview education has to be a whole-life experience, as the worldview one thinks he/she has is not how he/she considers the world except it is the leading stimulus determining his/her actions and decisions in everyday life. Thus, the individual is living his/her worldview. In this perspective, Gonzalez-Mena & Widmeyer (2009) opined that the purpose of early education is enhanced the quality of life. Worldview has a fundamental framework of the concept of worldview and the reason for giving worldview importance for understanding society and its people. Hence, it is perceived as a psychological model of truth, a bunch of theories on what is present and why and how things occur and their meaning. Thus, it provides a basis for humans’ thoughts, activities and decisions. Similarities can be found between the biblical worldview and ECE, as all the Christian parents use to teach the Bible and its spiritual disciplines to their children at home. Thus, whether the children are taught in a private school or a public school or home school, the basis of their education is the biblical worldview.
As per the viewpoint of Chandler (2015), the essential parts of the biblical worldview are common in all the people under the Christian religion. These similarities take place, as a traditional Christian worldview relies on values, which are visibly imparted in the Bible. However, some of the sharing-of-parts are particular to Catholics and to the people, who are non-Christian nevertheless have familiarities with it, some by individual experiences and almost all the people by being swayed by what they come to know from their friends, media or their religion frontrunners. His faith and belief profoundly influence the Christian worldview of an individual. Other factors include their natural characteristic, background experiences, abilities, life context, attitude, habits and values they have established over time and the way other people persuade them. These factors differ from person to person. Hence, it is not right to consider the biblical worldview while talking about the worldview people use in daily life, as every individual has a distinctive personal worldview. Aslanian (2015) stated that in several American societies, an agglomeration of schools provides private, public, charter, magnet, home school and online education. The reason behind adding a Christian school into the group is the belief that Christianity is factual and only among religions completely satisfy people’ needs. It means that Christianity only offers an exact guideline of the locus for learning. Education, which overlooks this setting of orientation, is imperfect, inaccurate at best, deceptive and incorrect at worst. The frame is often called a Christian mind or Christian worldview. Biblical thoughts think and behave like Jesus.
As commented by Holloway (1999), the biblical fact cannot influence learners until they acquire ad understand it. Contextualisation is a word lent from missionary and hermeneutics doctrine is the activity of expressing Christian reality in such a manner that it becomes expressive and relevant to a particular addressee. Academic contextualisation needs a school to show a Christian viewpoint on every topic area in a way, which is significant and evocative to children. In spite of good intention, many schools fail to contextualise their educational instruction. Some are confused between the combination of community life and faith with the combination of academic and teaching. Some have mistaken the formation of a separate academic subgroup with academic contextualisation.
Berk (2013) stated that ECE often concentrates on learning by playing applying the philosophy of Jean Piaget. It postulates that play satisfies the PILES (physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social) needs of children. He concluded that children think contrarily to adults. Although it is a widely accepted idea at present, it was regarded innovative at the time. He posits that children categorise the skills they obtain from their interactions and experiences into groups called schemas. When they acquire new knowledge, they integrate it into their present schemas or put up by reviewing a current schema or forming a completely new information group. Piaget is famous for his study on the cognitive development of children. He researched the intellectual growth of his three children and developed a theory including the stages a child goes through in the event of formal thinking process and intelligence. Bruce & Meggitt (2006) commented that the sensorimotor stage of growth persists from birth to near about two years of age. At this point in growth, children identify the world mainly through their motor movements and sense. Early child education starts at this stage. Next comes, the preoperational phase, which lasts from 2 years of age to 7 years. This stage is symbolised by the development of symbolic play and language development. In the concrete operational stage (7-11 years), children start thinking logically. However, they struggle with theoretical and abstract thinking. The last step is the formal operation stage (12 years to adulthood), when children become highly skilful, nonconcrete thought and logical reasoning.
As stated by Cunningham (1995), ECE is a part of education theory, which links to the schooling of children from birth to the age of 8 years. Children's imagination and curiosity naturally induce learning when freed. Learning by playing enables a child developing cognitively. It is the first type of cooperation among children. Here, children acquire knowledge by interacting with others. Hence, they learn more competently and obtain more knowledge through activities like art, social games and dramatic play. Some of the play opportunities develop particular areas of growth. Hence, teachers promote the development of children in the preoperational stage of Piaget by involving them in different types of plays every day. Berk (2013) stated that directors of every school eloquent cultural models, which guide the vision of proper practice and school curriculum. The time pent particularly to learn about Christianity are different from one school to another. However, most of the schools embrace a morning prayer daily and prayer prior and afterwards meals. The Christian schools are also devoted to attending a church service once a week. Apart from that, a selected time is there for listening to the stories of Bible. During Christmas, children are engaged in several activities such as obtaining literature samples from catholic preschools. The Christian directors develop their programs across the idea that God’s love is the main note of Christianity.
Vygotsky’s socio-cultural learning theory can be introduced here. The approach focuses on the effect of cultural and social experiences on individual thinking and growth of the psychological process. The method is applied widely for improving and restructuring the educational activities. The purpose of learning also includes the theory of zone proximal development. It draws in with children developing prior knowledge and obtaining new skill linked to their existing skills. The method shows the way new skills of education are taken if they are not learned thoroughly, but are beginning to develop. Once the knowledge is starting to be gained, it needs to be reinforced and taught to the individual. Every child has distinctive areas of proximal expansion as they grow. In every zone, they develop knowledge and grow by acquiring more skills in their range of proximal growth. The parents and teacher guide them to build their skills. Besides, Vygotsky contends that as cognition takes place in social background. Heywood (2001) commented that the social experience of people influence the way they think and interpret the surrounding environment and the world. People like teachers, grandparents and parents play an essential role in the development of children to competent adults. Vygotsky is a social constructivist, who believes that the cognitive system of an individual is a quiet learning time. Teachers facilitate and do not direct the learning of early education that has similarities with a biblical worldview, which also gives the necessary knowledge and skills of living life. In this situation, Van der Walt (2017) opined that biblical worldview is essential for thorough understating and living based on the Christian faith. It is the belief system, which guides people's behaviour. Therefore, the Christian worldview is taught to the children at an early age, so that the learning influences the expression and growth of the children positively. Children require detail, as they know about Bible. Therefore, teachers and parents play a more significant role in the early education of children in making them understand the facts of the scripture in clear language.
Similarities are evident in the foundations of ECE and biblical worldview, as both focus on the cognitive development of children accurately. Therefore, in home schools and preschools, children are taught about the facts of the Bible for helping them to develop their character correctly and being the right person in the later life. The biblical worldview guides their behaviour and decision-making abilities positively in the future.