Epiphany - Dr. Wanda Roundtree Henderson
General ECE Principles
Posted August 4th 2013

Most early childhood programs are built on certain premises or underlying beliefs about young children’s growth and development, what constitutes optimal programming for children and their families, and what is deemed as best practices in the field of early childhood. Early childhood educators do not always agree with each other. Below is a set of beliefs to peruse. What is your opinion regarding the beliefs indicted below. Do you agree or disagree? What additional beliefs/premises would you like to add?

  • Development is sequential and orderly and all children, including atypically developing children, acquire skills and abilities at their own natural pace;
  • Educators of young children must be intentional in their efforts to scaffold children’s development and must recognize that children possess multiple intelligences, unique temperaments and approaches to learning;
  • Educators must also view themselves primarily as facilitators, mediators and enablers of children’s learning and must understand the merits of creating constructivist learning environments for all children;
  • Families must be supported and valued for their bonds, traditions and dreams for their young children as well as their commitment to work, home and community;
  • Parent engagement in program planning, administration and decision making is essential to the healthy growth, development and ongoing academic success of all children;
  • Effective teachers of young children are continuous learners, visionaries, set high expectations for children—and are always intrigued with and delight in children;
  • The distinct, racial, ethnic, cultural and linguistic differences that exist among educators, children and their families in the early childhood setting can be instrumental in fostering a community of mutual respect and numerous opportunities for learning.
Reply to the above post
Reply from Christina A posted on August 25th 2013
• Child development usually happens in an orderly sequence and definitely at a child’s own natural pace. Scaffolding a child’s development will encourage their natural development. • As an educator of young children I feel it is very important to intentionally scaffold a child’s development. Children possess so much knowledge inside before they are able to share it with words and actions. It is our job as educators to provide the proper outlets that will show children how to express themselves. • As an important facilitator, second to the child’s parents/caregivers, to a child it is our responsibility to provide an environment that will allow them to explore, feel secure, and validated. The space they accompany needs to be theirs as much as it is ours. • A child’s family is the first and most important part of a child’s community. Learning as much as possible about a child’s background will help the child and family feel valued and welcome to one of the larger parts of life. Each milestone in a child’s life can leave an everlasting impression. Make the most of each child’s experience a positive one. • Parents love to stay informed of their child’s success and challenges of their time away from home. It is important to assess the child’s development on a regular basis. Documentation is a time consuming duty but the communication is truly important for parents. • As an effective teacher it is my responsibility to show my passion and enthusiasm for their development. It is crucial that the children feel the delight I have in their accomplishments and expectations. • Our education provides children tools they will need for the real world. In our country and all around the world we have many cultural influences. It is important to realize that we all different in a positive way. The difference we all have make us unique and special individuals. Showing the respect for the differences will set a solid foundation for their future experiences.
Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Christina
Reply from H Bonino posted on August 23rd 2013
I agree with the above principles, I think that if I were to add something to them I would include that the skills required to be an effective teacher requires continual training and practice because the assessment strategies are difficult to put into practice at first but are so beneficial to students that the effort is valuable. Also, that teaching practices have changed even in the last 10 years in what is considered best practices and though they seemed to work they were not the best way to encourage child development.
Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from H
Reply from Christina A posted on August 23rd 2013
Child development usually happens in an orderly sequence and definitely at a child’s own natural pace. Scaffolding a child’s development will encourage their natural development. As an educator of young children I feel it is very important to intentionally scaffold a child’s development. Children possess so much knowledge inside before they are able to share it with words and actions. It is our job as educators to provide the proper outlets that will show children how to express themselves. As an important facilitator, second to the child’s parents/caregivers, to a child it is our responsibility to provide an environment that will allow them to explore, feel secure, and validated. The space they accompany needs to be theirs as much as it is ours. A child’s family is the first and most important part of a child’s community. Learning as much as possible about a child’s background will help the child and family feel valued and welcome to one of the larger parts of life. Each milestone in a child’s life can leave an everlasting impression. Make the most of each child’s experience a positive one. Parents love to stay informed of their child’s success and challenges of their time away from home. It is important to assess the child’s development on a regular basis. Documentation is a time consuming duty but the communication is truly important for parents. As an effective teacher it is my responsibility to show my passion and enthusiasm for their development. It is crucial that the children feel the delight I have in their accomplishments and expectations. Our education provides children tools they will need for the real world. In our country and all around the world we have many cultural influences. It is important to realize that we all different in a positive way. The difference we all have make us unique and special individuals. Showing the respect for the differences will set a solid foundation for their future experiences.
Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Christina
Reply from Cheryl posted on August 22nd 2013
Yes I think for the most part development is sequential and orderly, but not every child will develop in the exact same way or path. An infant for instance, generally develops the ability to crawl before he learns to walk. This does not mean that the child can\\\\\\\'t learn to walk before he crawls. There is a sequence, but development doesn\\\\\\\'t always follow it. Yes all children acquire skills and abilities at their own pace, and depending on what they are exposed to. Children with limited interactions and opportunities will grow and develop (in general) at a slower pace because they are not able to make the connections in their brain to expand their knowledge. A child with many opportunities to explore, play, engage in literacy, music and movement, who bonds with caregivers has the environment that supports learning. Yes I agree that all teachers need to be intentional with the activities and materials set up and set out for children. They need to be continuously providing scaffolding to help the child get to the next level in their development. In an achievable way challenge the children, but not to a point that the child cannot succeed. Every child is born with different talents and temperaments. The teacher should be able to set up the environment and curriculum to support these talents and nurture them to fulfill their potential. Yes educators should view themselves as someone who facilitates the child\\\\\\\'s learning. Someone who fosters and scaffolds, to give the child the best environment and to inspire the child to embrace learning. Families are very important for and to children. Getting families involved in the child\\\\\\\'s education is crucial, even if it means the parent helps out in the preschool, or brings in a dish that is made from a family recipe, or shares a holiday or about a tradition in their home. The more children feel validated, appreciate, and proud of who they are, the higher the child\\\\\\\'s self esteem and self worth. Ask the parents what they want their child to know, and incorporate it into the curriculum. I agree that effective teachers are continuous learners. I have been going to school for a long time (taking things slow) and I am learning so much about how to best serve the children in my care. There is so much information that I still don\\\\\\\'t know, or still don\\\\\\\'t understand. Autism is a big question for me. I have heard a lot about it, I\\\\\\\'ve seen some children who have been diagnosed, but haven\\\\\\\'t had the chance to dive in and learn about it more in depth. I think this is important because it is something I am seeing more and more of. I want to be prepared to best serve and support the child\\\\\\\'s learning if I am presented with the opportunity.
Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Cheryl
Reply from Christina A posted on August 21st 2013
• Child development usually happens in an orderly sequence and definitely at a child’s own natural pace. Scaffolding a child’s development will encourage their natural development. • As an educator of young children I feel it is very important to intentionally scaffold a child’s development. Children possess so much knowledge inside before they are able to share it with words and actions. It is our job as educators to provide the proper outlets that will show children how to express themselves. • As an important facilitator, second to the child’s parents/caregivers, to a child it is our responsibility to provide an environment that will allow them to explore, feel secure, and validated. The space they accompany needs to be theirs as much as it is ours. • A child’s family is the first and most important part of a child’s community. Learning as much as possible about a child’s background will help the child and family feel valued and welcome to one of the larger parts of life. Each milestone in a child’s life can leave an everlasting impression. Make the most of each child’s experience a positive one. • Parents love to stay informed of their child’s success and challenges of their time away from home. It is important to assess the child’s development on a regular basis. Documentation is a time consuming duty but the communication is truly important for parents. • As an effective teacher it is my responsibility to show my passion and enthusiasm for their development. It is crucial that the children feel the delight I have in their accomplishments and expectations. • Our education provides children tools they will need for the real world. In our country and all around the world we have many cultural influences. It is important to realize that we all different in a positive way. The difference we all have make us unique and special individuals. Showing the respect for the differences will set a solid foundation for their future experiences.
Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Christina
Reply from Linda A posted on August 14th 2013
I agree with all of the points listed in this blog. The only point I would add is that we need to practice what we preach with each other. As a professional in the field of early education, I have experienced, witnessed or heard about teachers not being treated with the same kind of respect and care that we offer our children and families. Teachers take on a big responsibility and most do so with a positive, respectful attitude. What I do not like to see is for a teacher to get burned out because they are giving to others without receiving the care they need. We need to remember to care for ourselves too and to take time with our families so we can be present and continue providing exceptional educational experiences to the children we serve.
Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Linda
Reply from Sheila Kennedy posted on August 9th 2013
An effective teacher realizes that she is the most important part of the classroom environment, who sets the stage for an optimal learning environment, and has high expectations for her students. An effective teacher also realizes that teacher evaluations points out the teacher\'s strengths as well as areas of improvements for an optimal learning environment. An equitable and valid system to a teacher evaluation should be more than just a one day shot. The evaluation should happen over a period of time - perhaps a few days in order to see a more complete process. The evaluation tool should consider the various teaching styles and approaches.
Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Sheila
Reply from amanda dragon posted on August 6th 2013
I agree with all the points made. However, I would add that there should be an emphasis on developmentally appropriate curriculum. When considering curriculum to implement each students' capabilities must be considered. I agree that the diversity of students and educators is to be appreciated. The linguistic and ethnic diversity can be integrated into the classroom through books,food, and sharing. Also it is an important point that effective teachers are excited about and enjoy learning. This is passed to the students. It cannot be faked as children are highly perceptive and will "read" the instructor if they are not sincere in their enthusiasm.
Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from amanda
Reply from Kirsten P posted on August 4th 2013
I agree that children develop at their own pace. We have so many parents come in and ask if a certain behavior is 'normal'. Its so hard to answer that question because every child is different. I also agree that teachers must be intentional and that children have different intelligences and temperaments. No temperament is 'better' than the other, they are just different. Teachers are definitely facilitators of learning. I also believe that the environment can be a teacher as well. A developmentally appropriate environment with multiple provocations can do a lot for young children. Families are so important, especially in the early years. It is so important for teachers to bridge the gap between home and school. I agree that parent engagement is also very important. We hold regular parent meetings where we discuss matters with families. I agree that teachers need to set high expectations of children. I work with two year olds and we have subs come in who are doing so many things for the child that the child can do for themselves. I also say "Try on your own first and if you need help I will help you." I always like to give the child a chance to do something themselves before doing it for them. Yes, our differences are what make teaching young children so exciting. Mutual respect is huge! I love it when I see teachers being respectful with families and the families being respectful in return. I also love hearing thank you from a parent at the end of a busy day. I also like seeing mutual respect between teachers.
Reply to the original post | Reply to this comment from Kirsten
 
Latest Posting
Archives