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The significance of early childhood education is continually growing leading to establishment of more pre-school centres. However, there are a number of issues affecting the early childhood education today at the national level that need to be addressed in order to improve or make early childhood education effective to the learners, teachers, curriculum developers and society in general. This articled reviewed the contemporary national political issues affecting early childhood education such as; poor working condition and remuneration to pre-school teachers, ignorance or little emphasis on the children non-academic skills and limited or no integration of technology into the lesson plans.
The leaders of state as well as federal policies have started a journey towards realization of quality education to enable all children have a successful lifetime of learning. In Kentucky, a twenty-eight member political task force proposed establishment of not only a model curriculum but also screening tool for kindergartens. Bright Hub Education focused on the pre-school teachers calling for their need to emphasize on the provision of supportive learning activities, fundamental concepts and social skills. This cannot be achieved without discussing the issues affecting pre-school teachers while carrying put their duties. One of the findings made by Bright Hub Education is that the pre-school teachers are suffering from long working hours, poor remuneration and poor working conditions (Krause.M, 2012). According to the data obtained from the United States Department of labor, the average wage per hour for a pre-school teacher is only $12.35 (Krause.M, 2012). Poor working environment make it difficult for these teachers to stay in the field. The pre-K teachers ought to be physically fit to enable them lift, bend, and run; unfortunately, health insurance as well as retirement account are nearly nonexistent (Krause.M, 2012). The context of this research was situated in classroom where the issues affecting teachers were studied.
The scientific researchers have suggested that experiences children undergo during the first years of their life have a lasting effect on how the brain develops; this information encourages healthy learning and development (Krause.M, 2012). The pre-school teachers are supposed to be well educated, at least for the bachelor’s level, since proper training will enable them provide excellence performance in early childhood education and obtain restrictive allocated funds from both the federal and the state (Krause.M, 2012). This discussion is significant to the field of early childhood education in ensuring the new pre-school workforce is well educated to the teaching standards on the basis of the latest research which is sensitive to the cultural diversity. Monetary incentives and proper remuneration for teachers will ensure all children get accessed to high quality pre-K required for a meaningful and successful studies as teachers will be fully focus their attention in class work instead of engaging in other income generating activity to boost their meager pay.
As an early childhood educator I will use this information to improve the quality of education in classroom by ensuring teachers get well remunerated and well trained up to bachelor’s level. The working conditions for teachers will be improved to enable them receive high status like other people who are under formal employment. From the information I have learnt in this website, two things will be implemented in a class setting. One, restructuring of the class schedules to minimize the long hours of working teachers have been through. This is to ensure they don’t get fatigued while executing their duties due to long working hours. Two, furnishing the classroom with learning materials to enable teachers have all the necessary resources for proper learning. The classroom will be well ventilated, painted and have a fan to cool the room when temperature is high. All these will be aimed at improving working condition for the teachers.
The findings of pre-K study released just recently show that kindergarten programs spend more time on activities focusing language, pre-literacy, together with the concepts of mathematics and ignore or less emphasize on the social-emotional skills of children. The US News focuses on kindergarteners where it discusses little emphasis given to the social-emotional skills as one of the current issues affecting early childhood education. The basic academic skill scores of the kindergarteners is not the goal of early human development. We still lack evidence linking basic academic skills to wellbeing and achievement in school or beyond. In fact, some studies have shown that early non-academic skills may be more significant to the long-term achievement of children (Stevens.K, 2017). According to one of the studies conducted recently, more than half of over 9,000 children admitted to kindergarten in the public schools of Baltimore did not have non-academic capabilities such as; following directions, adhering to rules, self-emotional control, solving personal problems, organizing and finishing assignments as well as interacting with others (Stevens.K, 2017). All these are the social-emotional skills that are essential for learning in a classroom setting. Those children admitted to kindergarten lacking social-emotional skills were up to 80% or more likely to repeat their fourth grade or taken to special education services, while some are more likely to get suspended or expelled at least once (Stevens.K, 2017).
Social-emotional skills are important to the field of early childhood education since they can be used to speculate the kindergarteners’ academic, economic, as well as social impacts into adulthood. Appling clusters of indicators of social emotional skills like; ability to solve peer problems, listening to other people, sharing materials with others, and cooperation with others are essential for a successful early childhood education and journey towards upbringing a responsible adult. The US News suggested for the need to narrow the gap between the social-emotional skills of the kindergarteners. This is because the wider the gap between the social-emotional skills of the kindergarteners, the greater the distinction in their outcomes by the age of twenty five. For instance, children who recorded a higher score and the end of the spectrum are more likely to obtain a college degree as compared to those who recorded a lower score (Stevens.K, 2017). This means that the curriculum for the kindergarteners should not only focus on the academic skills scored in mathematics and literacy examinations but also the non-academic skills such as following instructions and interacting with others.
As an early childhood educator, based on the information learnt from US News, I will implement two things in a classroom situation. First, train kindergarteners how to interact with others through role play and dramatization during the lesson, and two, towards the end of the lesson I will be teaching life skills where the topic of discussion will include; how to solve personal problems, importance of forgiving others, generosity and sharing our belonging with others, respect for others, honesty, faithfulness and humility. Since practice make perfect, I will rehearse with the kindergarteners all the social-emotional skills until they get adapted to them to ensure I raise not only responsible adults but disciplined as well. These non-academic skills form the foundation of early childhood development and can be used to predict the kind of an adult the society should expect in future. Furthermore, discipline as non-academic skill cannot be divorced from better academic achievement; therefore the two “marry” each other for a successful early childhood education to be realized. The context of this study was situated in both classroom and at home to evaluate the effect of non-academic skills on the early childhood education and adulthood life.
Educators, lawmakers as well as researchers have spent more time and effort to analyze the exact significance of early childhood education. Researchers conducted previously have come to a conclusion that, when early childhood education is done in the right manner it provides long-term benefits to all students with students hailing from low-income families becoming the greatest beneficiaries. The field of education is constantly facing numerous issues affecting early childhood education due to different times. The Rasmussen College discussed the need to integrate technology in early childhood education with more emphasis put on the learner. It found that integration of technology can be one way of narrowing the gap between classrooms in the early childhood education in order to make learning more effective to learners (Jones.A, 2017). To enrich the present learning materials for learners we need to develop the software together with resources that can satisfy their needs.
Even after effectiveness of integrating technology in the classroom, the early childhood educators are left with questions to answer; “What is the best technology?” “How should technology get integrated into lesson plans?” and “How many times can learners use technology?” (Jones.A, 2017). In response to these questions, it was suggested that instead of the learners left to work with their personal computers alone, they might form groups to work around an element of technology provided each learner has practiced with a computer program. This will provide a platform not only for peer tutoring but also for cooperative learning activities (Jones.A, 2017). This is possible because social skills get developed very fast in children during their time in classrooms. The best technology remains to be the one that is easily accessible and effective.
Integrating technology into lesson plans will make learning effective because it is more widespread making it possible to avail numerous resources for learning to public. For example, even the low-income homes are capable of accessing computers and internet. According to the Pew Research Centre findings, 84% of the US homes are in possession of a computer and 73% of the US home have acquired computers with a broadband connection to the internet (Jones.A, 2017). These finding show that learning will not only take place ta school but also extended to homes once every child has been practiced with a computer program. Integration of technology into classroom is very significant to the field of early childhood education since it can enable children explore the outdoors as well as community, socialize with age mates, and learn fine motor skill through hands-on activities (Jones.A, 2017). Technology also reduces the monotony of teaching as a teacher will often be substituted with computer, television, radio, etc.
As an early childhood educator I will incorporate technology into classroom in two ways. First, playing recorded video lessons during the lesson for the children to watch and playing music at the middle of the lesson. This will break the boredom resulting from monotonous learning, that is, teacher-student learning. Two, using new tools that can develop positive behavior such as one a tool that allows the leaner to enter into a competition for an exam and the winner is awarded a trophy. In this case, every child would like to record a better score that the peer and as a result will always be working hard aiming at becoming the winner and lift the trophy. The context of this study was situated both at home and classroom, where the study was looking at how to make early childhood education effective both at home and school. Therefore, we can conclude that for effective early childhood education, we need to address all these issues mentioned in the article.
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