E6 – Describe the initiatives which influence the provision of challenging environments for children C1 – Evaluate how the two initiatives contribute to the provision of an enabling environment for the children Rudolf Steiner was an influential initiative for the provision of challenging environments for children. Steiner designed a curriculum that is responsive to the developmental phases of childhood and the nurturing of the child’s imagination in a school environment. Steiner thought that schools should cater to the needs of the child rather than the demands of the government or economic forces, so he developed schools that encourage creativity and free-thinking. His teaching seeks to recognise the individuality of the child and through a balanced education, allows them to go into the world with confidence. "The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility – these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education."
Teachers who truly value the family’s role in a child’s education, and recognize how much they can accomplish by working with families, can build a true partnership (Dodge, Colker, and Heroman, 2002, pg. 211). The curriculum is based around the theories of: Abraham Maslow (basic needs and learning), Jean Piaget (logical thinking and reasoning), Lev Vygotsky (social interaction and learning), Howard Gardner (multiple intelligences), and Sara Smilansky (play and learning). These theorist help mold the foundation for the curriculum that is used in many classrooms today. The Creative Curriculum enhances social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development.
Inclusion and inclusive education are quite broad in definition, however with the support of this unit my professional understanding of inclusion has been formed by research and practices such as all student engagement, asking the question how? we can provide for diverse needs (Spandagou, Lecture 2), also Standard 1 of the Disability Education Standards (2005) identifies the need to know our students and how they learn, thus the need for personalised learning plans. The IPAA is an incredible framework, a reflective tool to assist teachers in achieving an inclusive approach to education, teaching and learning which helps to achieve standards 5 & 6 in the Disability Standards for Education (Florian, 2014, p.293). I agree with Foreman (2008) in his argument for inclusion as a concept which extends beyond the immediate environment and education to society itself. It is not ignorable the fact of discrimination and unsettlement of people around others with disability and lack of education about various disabilities and additional needs is concerning.
This approach was inspired by a group of preschools in the Reggio Emilia area of Italy. The main features of this approach are, Children need some control over their own play and learning with teachers acting as facilitators. Children need to learn from and enjoy being with other children. Children need a rich environment so that they can learn and express themselves in a number of ways. High/Scope.
Montessori suggests… “To aid life: this is the first and fundamental principle of education” (p. 16, The Formation of Man). "This is education, understood as a help to life; an education from birth, which feeds a peaceful revolution and unties all in a common aim, attracting them as to a single centre.” (p. 15-16, The Absorbent Mind). To that end, education as an aid to life should have a prepared environments that correlate to each plane or period of development that a child goes through. We should relook traditional educational methods and focus on II. Definition: The Four Planes of Development were used by Maria Montessori to describe the path of development that every child must pass through on his way to adulthood.
Its success with children from all social strata, and even those with special needs, has attracted wide interest.Montessori teachers know that children learn more by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, and exploring than they do by just listening. Under the Montessori theory, teachers are prepared to create dynamic, interactive learning environments that encourage each child to reason, create, collaborate, negotiate, and understand. The goal for teachers as well as students is the development of an autonomous individual, competent in all areas of life, not merely someone with the "right" answers.Who Was Maria Montessori? (Content courtesy of the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association. © NAMTA.
They felt that it was in the early years of development that children are evolving who they are as an individual. This led to the creation of a program centered on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery. In a supportive and endowing environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon these key components: children need to have the control over the direction of their learning; children must be able to learn through the participation of moving, seeing, touching, hearing, and listening. Children must also be permitted to explore and have infinite ways and opportunities to express themselves.
My Educational Philosophy is to educate the whole child. So my Philosophy is that of an Idealist, and somewhat of a Realist. I believe each child is a unique individual who needs a safe, loving, and stimulating environment in which to grow and mature mentally, intellectually, spiritually, physically, and socially. (Metaphysics) It is my desire as an educator to inform, tutor, to educate occurrence, ideas, and generally awaken student’s creative expression, giving them all the knowledge and tools they need to learn. In order to accomplish this, I would have to act as a guide for each of them, allowing their natural inquisitiveness to direct his or her learning, giving the opportunity for achievement, the giving of challenging responsibility, along with the growth in stature and peer recognition should all be appropriate, worthwhile, offered sincerely and done in public, for example; the teacher’s individualized goals for the child, the child’s goals for him or herself, and the family’s goals for the child, which will then promote
DISCUSSION PAPER Maria Montessori: The Woman and The Method Many schools and teachers from around the world claim to follow the "Montessori Method," an 'auto-education' method conceptualized by Maria Montessori for young children, primarily from the ages of three to six (although, in more recent years, the Method been expanded in some places to accommodate both older children as well as adults). The Method focuses on "the pupil’s liberty as the basis for developing independence, his freedom to work when and for as long as he wants to on a given task and to progress at his own rate" (Kramer, 1976:295-6). Not only did Montessori alter the way schools viewed children’s learning, she also transformed the role of the teacher to that of an observing facilitator at the back of the classroom. She spent many years traveling around the world, including India, and received many eager students who wanted to learn the Montessori Method and establish their own schools. Her ideas were not influenced much by her interactions with many different people, nor by the major economic, political and societal changes of the first half of the 20th century.
The thought process that went into this make-believe learning environment stemmed from the wonderful experiences I had in elementary school. It was those experiences that sparked my desire to enter into the teaching field. As I got older and entered into middle and high school things began to change. The pizzazz that school once possessed had begun to slowly fizzle out. The work became more vigorous the teachers seemed agitated to be there and my enthusiasm was plummeting at an exponential rate.