Teaching Practice: A Guide for Early Childhood Students

By Rosemary Perry | Go to book overview

FOREWORD
In areas of professional education and training, provision is made for students to undertake periods of practical professional experience. While this may take a variety of forms such experience has a specific objective: to assist the aspiring professional to make realistic connections between the lectures, tutorials and other on-campus experiences and the world of professional practice. In other words, such practical experience is aimed at inducting students into those realities of professional activity to which lectures and tutorials can only allude, because no matter how well prepared or delivered, they will always lack the immediacy, complexity and reality of ‘real life’ work. This poses a dilemma. Short of a return to the classic model of being apprenticed to a master before acquiring ‘journeyman’ status, how does the student in a teacher education programme progress from student to competent beginning practitioner without succumbing to ‘staff room’ culture? This culture maintains the process of stasis: what has worked becomes what will continue to work. Unless student teachers are guided by motivated teachers who have a capacity to contribute to new ways of teaching—and new ways of interpreting children’s responses, their progress towards becoming a competent practitioner is jeopardized. The capacity to view teaching as a dynamic process is essential, because:
• early childhood teaching has as much to do with relations and interactions as it has to do with organization and presentation of content;
• early childhood teaching is concerned with holistic development of children as individuals and members of groups and involves attention to social- emotional development as much as to cognitive- and physical-motor development;
• early childhood teaching involves the formation of valued partnerships with colleagues, parents and the wider community;
• early childhood teaching is not bounded by the classroom but involves learning both within and away from its particular physical setting.

Katherine Read, whose textbook The Nursery School was used for several decades, described the early .childhood classroom as a ‘human relations

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Teaching Practice: A Guide for Early Childhood Students
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword x
  • Preface xii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • 1 - Teaching Practice in Early Childhood Settings 1
  • 2 - Ways of Knowing and Understanding Children 21
  • 3 - Early Childhood Curriculum 50
  • 4 - Creating Environments for Learning and Teaching 77
  • 5 - Developing a Practical Theory and Practical Skills 103
  • 6 - Working with Adults in Early Childhood Settings 127
  • 7 - Making the Most of the Teaching Practice Experience 153
  • References 176
  • Index 181
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