Teaching Practice: A Guide for Early Childhood Students

By Rosemary Perry | Go to book overview

3

EARLY CHILDHOOD CURRICULUM
In this chapter the nature of an early childhood curriculum will be explored by:
• considering its many aspects and meanings;
• thinking about the factors that influence it;
• examining views about the learner and the learning—teaching process;
• looking at ways in which curriculum ideals can be turned into reality.

MANY DIFFERENT MEANINGS

I’ve lost count of the number of students, who, when reviewing their teacher education course, recall that the word that most filled them with confusion was ‘curriculum’. James gave these reasons for his confusion. He wrote:

Well, before my first lecture on curriculum I thought, ‘That’s easy. That’s just what you’ve got to teach.’ Was I in for a shock! At the first lecture the lecturer brought in a large cardboard box. She asked us what the box could be. People said, ‘a car’, ‘a dishwasher’, ‘a television set’ …. I wondered what she was getting at. It’s all rather obvious now - curriculum can be different things to different people. I think that’s what makes it so confusing. There are just so many ways you can think about it.

Another final year student, Suzanne, graphically described her encounters with curriculum in her student teacher story which she titled A Brutally Honest Account!

I vividly remember the first year of my teacher education course. This one certain word seemed to evoke fear among us all. Yes, we’re talking … CURRICULUM. I recall writing my first assignment on curriculum from a multi-cultural perspective, but not understanding at all what I had written. Over the three years my thinking about curriculum has developed, but it took until this year to confront the fearful creature called curriculum and attack it with a vengeance.

-50-

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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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