John Dewey and early childhood education

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Part A(50%) Select an individual (philosopher) you have studied in this unit and elaborate on how this individual has/will influence you in your workings with children in a pre-school setting. “Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself.” – John Dewey (1859-1952) (Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2003) The set of Desired Outcomes of Pre-school Education that the Ministry of Education(MOE) had put together in 2003 highlighted the significant importance of pre-school education being the platform for lifelong learning. It’s intention were far beyond preparation of these children merely for Primary School curriculum (Wong,2000). Very much alike to John Dewey (Dewey)’s quote, MOE’s take on pre-school education…show more content…
In the pre-nursery and nursery classes, I take time to listen, make eye contact and respond to children. This makes children feel comfortable and it motivates them to interact more with adults. I would also plan for activities like dough play and painting on large papers where children are able to proceed with the activity together. Through such activities, they are able to discuss, comment and communicate with each other too. I would also ask questions like, “What do you think Clarisse has molded? Does it look like a sandwich?” which allows for creative thoughts to be expressed and interaction to take place. Dewey’s philosophy perceived a teacher’s role as a guide and observer, rather than an instructor or a disciplinarian. The teacher is to provide and prepare the environment and curriculum to allow children to benefit and learn productively from it. Teachers were also expected to observe children and come up with activities designed to facilitate optimal learning (Feeney, Christensen and Moravcik, 2006). For the pre-nursery and nursery classes, I would provide a large variety of materials where children would be given the choice to choose based on their preference. I would not interfere in their choice activity as long as it conforms safety standards. I would also plan for activities where children could explore and exercise trial and error. For instance in the dough making session,
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