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Early Childhood Education: Teachers’ Perspectives Effective Programs and Impacts on Cognitive Development 2015

Early Childhood Education: Teachers' Perspectives Effective Programs and Impacts on Cognitive Development 2015

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Description

This book assesses self-regulated learning and its relation to cognitive education; teaching and learning in natural environments; factual teaching and conceptual understanding in early childhood education; metacognition and student-centered teaching styles; and reciprocal teaching. Chapter 1 – While current education policy emphasizes academic achievement, the authors argue for the importance of social-emotional learning (SEL) and cognitive abilities as foundations of early academic success. This chapter reviews positive interrelationships among social-emotional learning (SEL), cognitive abilities, and academic achievement in early childhood. The authors first discuss how specific social-emotional competencies promote and are promoted by cognitive abilities. The authors then explore how SEL and cognition work in concert to promote academic achievement. In conclusion, the authors describe two promising preschool SEL programs: and review teaching strategies known to support SEL in preschool. Chapter 2 – Assessment of cognitive skills and metacognitive selfregulated learning strategies is important in order to discover students’ level of cognitive processing, and be able to intervene through the teaching process to mitigate any existing problems. The objective of this study was to assess the use of metacognitive, cognitive and motor strategies on a given task. A total of 68 five-year-old pupils enrolled in Early Childhood Education participated in the study. The assessment was carried out with an ad-hoc instrument based on the think-aloud technique, and having adequate reliability and validity values. Descriptive, associative and inferential analyses were performed. The results showed greater use of cognitive and motor strategies than of metacognitive strategies. A significant association was also found between the use of strategies at each moment of the task and final performance. Implications are discussed for the teaching of cognitive skills and meta-skills during this stage of education. Chapter 3 – In this chapter the author discusses his findings from an eighteen-month research study of the experiences of young children and early childhood teachers involved in out-of-centre nature adventure programmes. This is an area of growing interest in early childhood education that has developed out of the Forest Schools movement. Little comparative data is available on how the affordances offered by different natural environments impact on teachers practice and children’s learning. The study involved spending six months as a participant –observer in each of three distinctive environments; a forested area, a sub-tropical bush setting, and a tidal harbor beach location. The author describes the particular intellectual and social learning that these experiences and natural environments afforded the children and also how teacher’s perceived the programme influenced their pedagogy. The author examines how teacher’s confidence and risk-taking developed over time and the manner in which their interactions with the children assumed a different character than the interactions within the early childhood setting. In conclusion the author suggests some strategies for centres and teachers interested in developing an out-of-centre nature experience for the children. Chapter 4 – An increasing number of early childhood curricula around the world place greater emphasis on the development of conceptual understanding than they did in the past. Teaching from a conceptual framework helps students make connections by focusing on the powerful ideas that underpin the content. An emphasis on conceptual learning also gives meaning to factual knowledge, the kind of knowledge that school education traditionally favors. The shift from teaching factual knowledge to a more conceptual way of teaching is easier said than done. Enculturated in the traditional fact-based approach to learning, teachers feel more comfortable with teaching and assessing knowledge that is typically learned faster. Both anecdotal evidence and the few studies that exist about Greek early childhood teachers’ practices indicate that, like colleagues in other countries, Greek teachers are more concerned with coverage of facts and skills than with students developing conceptual understanding of topics and curriculum subjects. The study presented here recorded the efforts of a group of early childhood teachers to develop lesson plans using a concept-based model. Teachers’ attempts were made in the context of a professional development course which aimed to introduce practitioners to a new early childhood curriculum. According to the model of ‘developing concept based teacher’, proposed by Erickson & Lanning (2014), the course aimed to help teachers understand the differences between working at the knowledge level and working at the conceptual level and ‘see’ what concept-based instructions looks like in practice. It involved a combination of theory and practice using models, examples and exercises. The results suggest that shifting from factual teaching to conceptual teaching is a process that needs time and has to overcome a number of challenges that relate closely to teachers’ past practices and beliefs about teaching and learning. In their effort to teach conceptually, the teachers of the sample faced the following conceptual obstacles: a difficulty to actually ‘see’ key concepts and generalizations related to the topic they had selected, a difficulty to express clearly what they felt was important for children to learn and a difficulty visualizing learning as a sequenced process. The chapter ends with a discussion of the implications of the findings for teacher education and professional learning. Chapter 5 – Metacognition is considered essential in the acquisition of learning skills and knowledge transfer. This chapter reviews of literature on metacognition in early childhood for the primary reason that fundamental forms of metacognition are developed after the age of 3. An effective way of developing metacognitive skills in this age is via participation in physical education and sports program. Preschoolers use movement to learn concepts, to express their feelings and thoughts, and to communicate with others. Physical education activities particularly the use of student-centered teaching styles such as reciprocal, self-check, convergent and divergent style could help students to learn, think and solve problems, to develop basic elements of metacognition such as planning, monitoring and evaluating their actions. At the end of the chapter physical activities are presented during studentcentered teaching styles. These teaching styles help young students to reflect on their own learning, and by implication, helping them to become autonomous and effective individuals throughout their entire life. Chapter 6 – The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the reciprocal teaching style in promoting metacognition in early childhood. Thirty eight students aged 7 years old participated in the present study. Students were divided into two groups: (i) the experimental group consisted of 22 students (9 boys and 11 girls) and (ii) the control group of 21 students (8 boys and 10 girls). Teachers in the intervention classes used the reciprocal teaching style during the execution of physical education activities and within the control group the command style, was used. Metacognition was assessed pre and post-intervention through interviews. The results imply that reciprocal teaching style is an effective way to improve metacognitive processes in early childhood.

 

Product details

Product details

  • Hardcover: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Nova Science Pub Inc (1884)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN : B01FJ0V5M2

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