Child development has many different theories and methods. It would only make sense that there would be different philosophies on what is the best way to guide a child. In this paper, I hope to express and detail my personal philosophy on how I believe children between three to five years old should be guided. Theorists that coincides with my philosophy are Abraham Maslow with his theory of the hierarchy of needs which is comprised of a five-tier model of human needs, and Lev Vygotsky who theorized that development is influenced through interactions with family, friends, and culture. Unfortunately, a limitation of my paper will be my inability to thoroughly explain in detail the theories and theorist that support my own philosophy.
To start the discussion part of my essay, I’d like to explain how children can learn from their environment and activities. To begin with a child’s classroom, it should have different centers to stimulate different types of play, be clean, have appropriate furniture sizing, give an appropriate amount of space, be welcoming and safe. The child’s environment can affect a child’s ability to engage in activities and their progress in development. This is because a child’s experiences are limited by their surroundings which has a major impact on the way the child’s brain develops (Strong-Wilson & Ellis, 2007, p. 43). A good environment will create adequate amount of space for different types of play. Play is known to be a big part of a child’s development as it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, as well as their emotional well-being (Kenneth R. Ginsburg, 2007). H
aving areas with enough space and equipment for the distinct types of play will garner their attention and be welcoming. A child’s space also needs to be clean. A well-kempt environment allows children to maintenance a good health which gives them the ability to focus and attend school. In Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs theory, if a person does not have their basic survival need met, it will consume all their interest and concern. A person who is cold, sick or hungry will not be very interested in socialising, learning or working. A child can not focus or learn while not being physical being well. The next being the safety of the child which Maslow also states is needed before reaching the next tier of a human’s needs. Which I believe is why a securing the basic needs of the child through their environment is of the utmost importance (Saul McLeod, 2017). Another aspect of a child’s environment is that the furniture is apparently sized. If table tops and chairs are not designed for a child’s small size it would be impossible for a child to engage in an activity even with a sufficient amount of space. I believe that most children will learn best through a combination of indirect and direct guidance. The indirect guidance follows my belief in the importance of the environment as things like room arrangement, consistent routines, and class rules will help guide a child. It will help them with their self-control and discipline. While on the other hand direct guidance which includes verbal guidance and redirection which can straightforwardly influence a child’s behavior. I also believe a child will learn best if the “whole child” approach is used. Not only supporting their intellectual and physical development but they’re social and emotional as well. Activities that allow children to have social interaction that requires participation with their peers. As noticed by Lev Vygotsky, relationships and interactions with other children and of adults will enrich their cognitive understanding.
Having play and interaction with adults like their parents, caretakers, and educators play a significant role as they can extend the child’s thinking while problem-solving. Using this theory of Vygotsky, an activity that can be done with a toddler would be a group activity like the Hokey-Pokey. Participating with peers and instructors will help them learn where their body parts are by having collaborative learning. With the children and instructors have different levels of ability as those with more advanced knowledge can help improve a child’s zone of proximal development. I think children can have varies reason that motivates their behavior. My personal philosophy is that each child will have a unique reason as they all will have different experience and environment. One reason for possible acting out is to receive some sort of attention.
The issue is they may not know other more effective ways. For example, a story told in class is of a young boy who was known to push and be physical with the other children. He’s “acting out” if not observed can be mistaking for something else. But with a proper observation and communication, it was found out that the boy just wanted to play. He wanted attention and involvement from the other children but unfortunately did not know how to properly express his needs. His personal experience and environment may have prevented him to gain social interaction skills that are needed to relate to his peers.Though this may not be the case for all children. For some, a large motivation for their behavior may be to gain reward. When I worked as an enrichment instructor, I would have some children who willingly and happily did what they were told.
For the praise and reconciliation may have been their motivator, but for the rest they always wanted something. I would need stickers or goals that would promise a reward of some kind. Though the reward themselves was not extravagant or immediate the feeling of gaining something is what made them listen and follow rules.When thinking about what a child needs to learn to succeed later life, my first thought’s are not academic skills. I personally believe one of the necessary skills children will need throughout their life is the ability to socialize with others. To have the skill to communicate with those they will like and dislike, with those they agree and disagree with it. Socialization is a lifelong process, that they will have to continually be developing and learning(Shepard, 2009, p. 90). To create any kind of relationship children will need to be able to communicate thoughts and feelings. Through this process, children will learn about what is acceptable within their culture and how to live within it. They will learn values, beliefs, and norms of the culture they live in. It is a skill they will need and learn all throughout their life. Another skill I believe a child should learn is independence.
We should slowly but continuously be encouraging them to do things on their own. They will develop confidence in themselves, gain perspective on their lives, and become self-reliant. With this quality, they will be able to achieve more of their goals despite diffuucltitiess that may hinder some else who is more reliant on others.When is come to the adult-child relationship, I again believe that depends on the children. Each child’s situation may require the adult to be the leader or vis versa. But when speaking of a general or good starting point for figuring out the needs of the child I believe that adults and children should be co-learners. My views on children are they are much more capable and competent then we give them credit for. An instructor can help them just by observing and participating in the children’s ideas. This will lead to scaffolding learning as the adult will ask questions while interacting with the child. Lev Vygotsky’s theory of learning also supports a sepct of this.
He found communication and interact with others is vital to helping achieve critical thinking skills. I believe this can be applied to the relationship between a child and adult. As the adult can help direct and guide the child but also let them develop as an individual. Though as stated before there may be children who may need more involvement in leadership, for example, children with more severe disabilities who may not be able to develop certain skills on their own. In this case, it would be understandable why an adult should be an authority figure and the child should learn and obey them. For some who would not want to stifle a child’s creativity and independence by being an authority figure, may choose to have a more hands-off approach. Allowing the child to be the leader in the relationship while the adults support their interest. Every child will have different circumstances and needs, so depend on those factors, any one of these types would be fitting.
There are 3 goals I find most important for guiding young children. I think a child’s Language and Literacy Development is vital to interacting with others. A child will be able to reach their potential with a good ability to clearly communicate with others. For example, my brother has a learning disability and was not able to speak. When frustrated when he could not express his needs he would bite. The ability to communicate allows children to express their needs, wants, feelings and opinions. Without this, they can become frustrated and act out. My second goal would be to help guide children to grow self-regulation skills. Self-regulation encompassed many important aspects like Self-Comforting, Self-Control of Feelings and Behavior, and Engagement and Persistence.
By guiding young children to improve their self-regulation they will learn socially appetite strategies to interact with others and to deal with themselves. Lastly a children’s social-emotional skills. These skills will help children realize their own emotions as well as the emotions of others. They will learn emotions such as empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Understanding that the same way they can be upset or sad, someones else may feel the same as well. To go along Each stated goals, I have created the following objectives. To start improving a young child’s language skills an objective can be to enhance their ability to recognize words that rhyme and Encourage simple one or two-word responses to questions. This objective of being supported by an activity involving a Dr. Suess story that has a companying matching rhyming words worksheet. I support this skill by also using verbal cues, such as “remember that rhymes are words that sound the same” and “you can recognize them because many rhyming words end the”.
To measure this skill you will use the worksheet they and see if there were able to correctly match all the rhyming words. Though rhyming words may not initially improve communications with others, it is a starting point to learn words and create interest in their literacy ability. To improve children’s self-regulation there will have an observation made to see what are difficult situations for each individual child. When presented with frustration the instructor will do “scaffolding” by encouraging the more apparate behavior. An example of how this can be applied. If a child was acting out when being asked to stop using a toy, the scaffolding would be used to practice approve behaviors when confronted with something stressful, like a removal of a toy. In the begin to make sure to not overwhelm the child, in this scenarios he should not be overly invested or attached to the toy. For each successful response to a stressful situation, children should get point towards some kind of reward. On the opposite side of the spectrum of using rewards as a motivation to achieve this objective, there should be consequences. If children do not listen to requests, they will have to go to a place where the child can go to relax and calm down.
Once calmed down a conversation can be had on what they did and what actions lead them there. You can measure this by creating a sheet of how many times a child choose a calm behavior when given minimum cues. Lastly To improve children’s social-emotional skills create scenarios where the child will make to interact with other, like a group project. With this type of activity there van is a benchmark listed where there can be a measurable date on how many time children will initiate communicative interactions with others.Guidance techniques I would use to guide young children would include direct guidance. Which can be incorporate by influencing a children’s behavior by saying verbal cues that for example may lead them to a more appropriate way to deal with confrontation and stress. Like say a child wants to grab a toy some else was using, if not using self-regulation by asking for it first, but instead goes and grabs it, and instructor by saying something about how do we use toys some else id playing with. This will encourage the child to think of pieces appropriate behaviors and hopefully resolve it on his own. There is also include indirect methods like the arrangement of the environment, to encourage for example reading. Creating a quiet space that is that has books and pillows will encourage children to develop their literacy skills. Though not directly telling children to read, an instructor can create a space that they will willingly go on their own and use what is there, like the books. Another technique depending on the child will be using motivations to maintain certain behaviors. Using positive phrase and acknowledgment will give them positive attention encourage children to continue similar actions.
In conclusion to my philosophy paper in guiding young children, I believe there needs to be a proper foundation. A child’s need to that starting off with the safe and engaging environment. It should stimulate all parts of their development while supporting their basic needs. Important skills that children will need to succeed later in life are their ability to socialize but be able to remain independent. My three important goals are linked to their ability to deal with other and themselves, with their language, self-regulation, and social-emotional skills. This takes away large factors of frustration and helps maintain a healthy mental state for children as interactions with peers and others have a large effect on their cognitive ability. these skills will also be used throughout all there lives and be used in all aspects.
Overall I believe in a balanced approach to guiding young children as reflected in this paper. Children need indirect as direct guidance to cover all areas of influence, and children need to have the ability to take leadership roles, but an adult can help direct the child toward for acceptable behaviors. Children’s motivation is also dependant on the child, observation needs to be made and track to correct identify motivation. A theme of my philosophy on guidance is that everything is dependant on the child and their needs. Theories and methods all have their benefits but not for all children or all scenarios. Children between the ages of three and five are at a critical stage where they are learning skills and behaviors that they will carry with them for the rest of there lives. Each child is the unique difference in strengths and weakness, so this is the stage where it can be corrected, or strengthen. Leading them to become hopefully the best person they can be.