This dissertation investigates the literature that is available on methodologies in early childhood. These are basic guidelines that are geared towards finding solutions to particular problems through proper analysis of the methods that have been employed by a discipline.
Methodology in Early Childhood
The methods applied in early childhood education define what children would be as they get older and prepare them for academic and social success. In order to prepare their children for adult life, countries design childhood education methods that are considered to best suit their societies. This dissertation compares the methods adopted in Colorado (USA), Germany, and Netherland. In the United States, the state of Denver, there is a strong belief that children learn best when they are allowed to explore widely using materials that interest them.
Thus, American kindergarten teachers constantly adapt their teaching procedures so that they can meet the needs of children and indeed, the expectations of their parents regarding their education. For instance, they strictly follow their teaching schedules; increase their individual interaction with every child every single day. In addition, they allow the kids to freely walk throughout the classroom exploring everything that seems to interest them.
Lately, considerable interest has shifted to their emotional as well as social development. In order to ensure a smooth transition into responsible adulthood, kindergarten teachers provide the children with adequate developmentally appropriate play toys, especially those that encourage creativity and involve risk-taking. Ideally, such an environment creates a sense of self-esteem and expands their communication skills as a way of giving them a balanced social and cognitive lifestyle (Shapiro & Nager, 1999).
In Germany, childcare is hardly available due to the popular belief in Germany that mothers should stay at home with their children till they are old enough to go to school. Although most children are legible for the public and publicly-subsidized facilities for childcare, mothers prefer to stay at home and provide full childcare for their young ones. This implies that children get most of their social and emotional values from their mothers and not their teachers.
It’s definitely advantageous considering that mothers care so much for their kids that they would try to give their kids their best. It is the reason Germans generally produce a responsible young generation despite not having a clear childhood education policy. Essentially, the mothers have had to devise methods of teaching their children good morals as well as equipping them with the right academic and social values (Farquhar, 2007).
Unlike in Germany, the Dutch have a clear early childhood education for children between the age of 5 and 18. The system insists on compulsory education for all irrespective of nationality or region. In fact, the law explicitly states that childcare in the Netherlands should focus on developing well-being as well as giving a healthy environment to children. In most cases, childcare services are provided by private agencies in different locations of the country.
They also greatly focus on observational learning where children are let free to explore different things of their interest as they learn. In addition, the interaction between the children is never restricted as this allows for proper emotional development. Essentially, it enables them to get a better understanding of the languages that their peers use, thus preparing them for future linguistic development (Casper & Theilheimer, 2009).
In conclusion, the methods applied in the three countries could be very different. However, they are all geared towards making a future generation that is more socially and emotionally responsible and one that is able to use simple language in their daily lives.
Casper, V., & Theilheimer, R. (2009). Introduction to early childhood education: Learning together. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Farquhar, S. E. (2007). Assessing the Evidence on Childcare/Early Childhood Effects. Child Forum, New Zealand.
Shapiro, E., & Nager, N. (1999). The Developmental-Interaction Approach to Education: Retrospect and Prospect. Occasional Paper Series. New York: Bank Street College of Education.