Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Paper 6: Early Childhood Education

Paper 6: Early Childhood Education
Q. 2. What is the role of a good kindergarten teacher?
Ans. A kindergarten teacher wears many hats. As the children's primary teacher through most of the school day, she sees them through many activities and moods. To keep things running smoothly, she must be able to act and react in a variety of roles as the need arises.
Before a kindergarten teacher can teach the class, she must organize what, where, when and how she will teach every subject. She plans all the lessons and organizes each day's schedule. Since kindergarten involves lots of hands-on learning, the teacher designs stations within the classroom where they will learn different skills. She decides what supplies she needs and sets up the room, from the layout of the desks to what's on the bulletin boards and walls.
The kindergarten teacher's main job is to teach her class the skills they need, not only for a successful school year but also to prepare for first grade and beyond. She decides when to teach the entire class and when to work with small groups. She must be aware of different learning styles and try to reach each student in the way he learns best. Part of her role as instructor is to help students practice their skills and assess what they have learned.
One of the skills kindergarten students must learn is how to get along with others. The teacher outlines the rules her class will live by and is responsible for keeping order in the room so learning can take place. She decides in advance what rewards and consequences will be given for keeping or breaking the rules.
Private Tutor
Sometimes students need extra help beyond classroom instruction and practice. The teacher needs to discern which students need one-on-one help in each lesson and schedule time for them accordingly.
Kindergarten is a year of adjustment. Even students who have attended preschool recognize that kindergarten is different. It's often at a new school, with different classmates and a longer day. The expectations are higher. The children's immaturity, combined with their increased responsibilities, can cause small problems every day. The teacher must be able to soothe hurt feelings, tears and sadness -- sometimes with parents, too, who are concerned for their children.
The exuberance of five- and six-year-old children easily leads to injuries, in the classroom and on the playground. Kindergarten teachers need to know when just a hug and word of encouragement will heal the hurt, and when it's time for a trip to the school clinic.
Kindergarten children can be both excited and hesitant in their learning. Along with teaching them new skills, the teacher stands back as they try them out, cheering them on all the way. Children sense the confidence adults have in them, and the teacher's "you can do it" attitude teaches them that, indeed, they can.
The kindergarten teacher is the liaison between other adults in the school -- special teachers of art, music and physical education, as well as cafeteria workers and office personnel. She must also communicate closely with every child's parents. Research has shown that the more parents are involved in their children's education, the more successful the children are. Kindergarten is an adjustment period for parents, too, and keeping them informed helps them as well as the children.
Q. 7. What is the necessity of emphasising on problem solving? Explain.
Ans.  In part, the answers to the question as to why schools need more emphasis on a problem solving approach is very clear. Four answers are discussed below:
1.    Schools have not been as effective as they should be in training students to think rationally:
2.    Education is only meaningful when it opens the door to learning as to how to cope with life:
3.    Problem solving can be a major motivating force:
4.    Problem solving helps a teacher make material relevant to students:
Q. 8. What are the methods by which values could be inculcated in children through the process of early childhood education?
1.    Gradual Development
2.    Through the situation
3.    Through Exposure
4.    In the child’s terms of reference
Q.10. Write short notes:
Ans. Maturation and problem solving:
The teacher, who has worked with first grade children and then with older children, will notice many differences in their rate of learning and their methods of problem solving. Usually, the older the child the more involved he can become in working through a problem. Not only will he want to go into it more deeply, but he will be able to stay with a project longer. In addition, he will be able to work independently to learn more of what he needs to know. In short, the older child has additional abilities that he can apply to a subject.
In part, problem solving is different as children grow older because they have increased skills and knowledge. Nursery children do ask questions, but they have difficulty in understanding and in expressing their ideas. Kindergarten children and most first graders are capable of learning more by questioning, and can report many things with a high degree of accuracy. They have a better chance to learn and apply their learning to the solution of problems. Third graders may not only be able to ask more probing and relevant questions, but they can, if necessary, write the information. They are more able to read references material and make notes on what is needed.
Problem solving is different as children grow older because they are increasing abler to work together. They cooperate with the teacher in the search for solution. More and more frequently they use the inductive method to solve problem. For example, in the study of phonic the teacher can cover a chalkboard alone or with the cooperation of the children with word containing the letter “c”. The children will then attempt to feature out when and why the letter “c” sometimes represents the speech sound of the letter “k” and other times it represent the speech sound the letter “s”. From this discussion they can generalise to formulate working principles. Thus, when appropriate, most primary children can cooperate as a class in problem solving activities.
Problem solving is also different as children grow older because they are increasingly abler to engage in many kinds of group activities. They can, for example, engage in simple form of “brain storming” in which all children express ideas which are received without criticism, then the ideas are reconsidered to find the ones which can be tried out. Third graders ordinarily enjoy committee work. Within the group they show leadership, ingenuity, and persistence in group projects. A worthwhile project effectively conducted develops responsibility and discipline. One fourth grade teacher was regularly assigned children below grade level, including many categories as including “trouble makers”. Many of these children were under privileged. To encourage the interest of her class the teacher made use of appropriate projects. It took as few weeks, but invariably a transformation occurred in the classroom. Those frustrated, trouble making children welded into a purposeful, cooperating group. The teacher’s immediate attention for purpose of discipline was no longer required. The children were deeply and personally involved. Leadership developed. Skills and talents appeared that other teachers had not been able to bring to the surface. Class members made more than expected academic progress almost without realising that they were learning anything.

Structure and creativity in discord:
Generally we only examine the positive relationship between structure and creativity. Unfortunately, life rarely evolves so that only positive results occur when structure and creativity mesh.
1.    Pressures
2.    Rigidity
3.    The absoluteness of Authority
Q.6. What are the various resources available to the teachers to make children learn. Discuss in detail and put forward all the resources that could be used by the teachers for this purpose.
The various resources available to the teachers to make children learn are:

Literacy-rich classrooms surround children in environmental print such as calendars,
schedules, signs, and directions to show how words are used purposefully in everyday
activities. Collaboratively written texts from circle time and words of songs and poems
can be written on charts and posted on the walls.
A library corner can be filled with books of different genres — stories, poems, information
books, and magazines. Aboriginal stories about environment, traditions, and history can also be included. Literacy materials can be available in learning centres.
Numeracy develops when children are given opportunities to engage with early
numeracy concepts such as classification, magnitude, enumeration, dynamics, pattern,
shape, measurement, and spatial relations. Found materials such as buttons, beads, and
small stones are useful for counting and sorting. Open-ended materials such as wooden
blocks, tangram puzzles, measuring tools (cups, measuring tapes, scales), can be provided in a math centre, along with board games, card games.

Physical activity enhances brain development, coordination, social skills, gross motor
skills, emotions, leadership, and imagination. It also helps children build confidence and
self-esteem, and learn to enjoy being active. Kindergarten children learn through all
their senses, so the learning environment must accommodate hands-on, whole body learning and the physical activity needed for healthy development.

Learning centres are designated areas where materials are arranged to guide children’s learning. Play at learning centres can be exploratory, with hands-on learning using sand, blocks, dress-up clothes, water, collections, paints, puzzles, musical instruments, and more. Interactive play occurs when children explore the learning centres together.
Learning centres can take many forms and may include the following:
* dramatic play area with dress-up clothes, table and chairs, props such as puppets and dolls, toys and other objects (e.g., food and kitchen set for a playhouse, stethoscope and bandages for a play hospital, food boxes and cash register for a play store)
* construction centre with wooden blocks, soft blocks, carpentry bench, tools, railway set, natural and found materials
*games and puzzles centre with straws and connectors, puzzles, simple board or
matching games
* creative arts centre with easels, paint, crayons, paper of various kinds, beads and
string, and reclaimed materials such as cardboard rolls and plastic tubs
*music centre with pitched and non-pitched classroom instruments (e.g., rhythm
sticks, xylophones, slide whistles, finger cymbals, hand drums), music recordings,
space for movement
*science/nature centre with nature materials (e.g., rocks, seeds), magnifying glasses, sand table, water table and objects that sink and float, light table or overhead projector
*outdoor centres, such as a garden corner (e.g., bean planting, herb
planting), bubble play, parachute play.

Teachers also need to situate learning centres in ways that accommodate movement patterns, allow for access to relevant supplies, and ensure that noisy activities do not disrupt quieter ones.

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