Teaching Practice for Early Childhood: A Guide for Students

Teaching Practice for Early Childhood: A Guide for Students

Teaching Practice for Early Childhood: A Guide for Students

Teaching Practice for Early Childhood: A Guide for Students

Synopsis

This fully updated new edition of Teaching Practice for Early Childhood will help student and recently graduated early childhood teachers to make the most of their teaching in a variety of early years'settings. Chapters cover vital topics such as ways of knowing and relating to children, the early childhood curriculum, and working collaboratively with colleagues and parents. In addition, this new edition takes into account the current demands for quality, accountability and continuity in the early childhood curriculum and includes fresh material on: * The importance of social and emotional development * The role of observation in assessing children's learning and growing, and the use of documentation as a form of accountability and teacher research * The value of socially responsive learning environments. This authentic, trustworthy and engaging text is written in a style that talks directly to its readers. By presenting the experiences of student teachers, as well as those of beginning and experienced teachers, the author brings into focus real situations, dilemmas, issues and rewards which student teachers are likely to face.

Excerpt

To be an early childhood teacher, you require practical wisdom. You are, very often, the first teacher with whom parents share the care and education of their child. Your sensitivity to their concerns can shape how the child adjusts to the world beyond the family. You must be empathetic and a skilled communicator, creating a shared agenda for the child based on acknowledging parental aspirations and responsive to the concerns of the inexperienced mother or father.

You must have a knowing eye that can 'see' possibilities in the most ordinary actions of the two-year-old, in the expressions of a three- or four-year-old and in the seemingly foolish experiments of a five-, six- or seven-year-old trying to understand the world. To make good teaching decisions you need to understand the minds and personalities of each child and develop a keen eye for possible teachable moments that make each child's contact with valued cultural traditions, including reading, writing and arithmatic, exciting growth-producing events.

To be able to make such wise practical decisions you require more, much more than knowledge about the practical implications of theories about children, families and subject-matter. You need to know more than how to apply a range of instructional techniques.

Herein lies a major dilemma. The usual tools of teacher educators - lectures, tutorials, texts and practice teaching sessions - seldom bring students face to face with the realities of having to make the best possible decisions within a certain time frame and within competing and often conflicting expectations. Opportunities to critically examine the types of incidents, events and situations that practising teachers typically face, are essential. Without them students will be ill-prepared for the realities of their work.

This is a dilemma that the author of this text knows well from her many years of practical experience as a teacher, teacher educator, researcher and supervisor of beginning teachers. Her search for ways around the dilemma . . .

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