Kindergarten Common Core State Standard (CCSS) is one of the major curriculums for kindergarten learners. This model for curriculum development has its own areas of strength as well as weaknesses. One of the main areas of strength is within the mode of delivery of instructions. Kindergarten CCSS focuses more on delivering learning instructions based on two critical areas namely; representing and comparing whole numbers, initially with sets of objects; and describing shapes and space (Waller, Whitmarsh, Clarke, 2011). Therefore, within this framework, Kindergarten CCSS aims at helping learners understand numbers and develop a scientific mentality right form that young age of development. This area of strength is founded various findings in recent studies, which indicate that children in kindergarten learn better when they focus on numbers as opposed to any other topic (Waller, Whitmarsh, Clarke, 2011).
Secondly, one other areas of strength of the Kindergarten CCSS is that the focus is more on the learning process to ensure that the learners go through an experience that is able to build their knowledge but also help in their personal development (Rix, Nind, Sheehy, and Walsh, 2010). This allows for there to be sufficient time for teachers to engage with the learners, trying to understand their situation and making the learning process as enjoyable and memorable for the students as possible (Rix, Nind, Sheehy, and Walsh, 2010).
Within this framework, children have a lot of opportunities to shape their learning experiences. For example, children can interact with their teachers and classmates in a conducive environment that allows for them to gain knowledge as well as learn to become better persons in life (Rix, Nind, Sheehy, and Walsh, 2010). The children are also introduced to easier and most important aspects of the learning process, which helps to build the foundation for their future learning process (Waller, Whitmarsh, Clarke, 2011). Furthermore, the policies ensure that all infants mentally develop and learn effectively, as well as ensuring that they have an optimum level of school readiness that will guarantee that the children amass broad range of skills and knowledge that provides a sturdy foundation for a noble futuristic progress in both life and school (Palaiologou, 2011). As such, Palaiologou (2011) supports the idea that the curriculum should be able to support school learning that will provide basis for future life and career.
Limitations of the Kindergarten CCSS
Conversely, the Kindergarten CCSS has many other limitations, which hinder it from achieving its core objectives. For example, curriculum standards primarily concentrate on both the process and the product. Ideally, during the planning process, the teacher is responsible for ensuring that the children achieve the stipulated learning outcomes as the CCSS standards allow (Rix, Nind, Sheehy, and Walsh, 2010). During planning, the teacher has to think various aspects, for example, how the infants will be grouped together, what games they will play, the various resources required for the learning process, as well as how the adults undergo deployment in the classroom. (Waller, Whitmarsh, Clarke, 2011).
Section 2: Proposed Kindergarten Curriculum Framework
When designing a kindergarten curriculum, early childhood educationists need to focus on various issues that can make the learning process effective for the children. Early childhood educators have a very critical role to play, not only in the learning process or education of the children, but also in the general development and growth of children in general (Palaiologou, 2011). The Early childhood educators need to pay maximum attention to various issues that foster holistic development and growth of children while executing their role as early childhood educators.
Among these issues include physical development, social development, emotional development, development of cognitive skills, spiritual, and language development. Physical development entails helping children become stronger individuals with great motor skills, eyesight and great physique (Palaiologou, 2011). Social development involves helping children understand their roles and responsibilities as part of their communities, families and social groups. Emotional development calls for attention on developing emotional connections with the children, aimed at boosting their self-confidence. Cognitive skills relate to how developing the ability of the children to organize information, their memory, imagination and creativity. Spiritual development helps children recognize and hold various spiritual views. Language development, on the other hand, entails helping children communicate with each other through vocabulary acquisition.
My Proposed Curriculum
As an early childhood professional, my curriculum would have a special role of acting as advocates of the little children. The children spend the most time with the children in the course of the learning process and they possess adequate skills and understanding of the children to notice any changes in their behavior or development. As an educator I am expected to be very close to the children and create a special and strong emotional connection with the children. This creates a conducive environment to understand the children and act on their behalf to ensure they have the best environment for their education as well as for their general growth. These professionals are expected to promote the general welfare of children by constantly communicating with stakeholders in their education and growth such as the guardians and regulatory bodies to ensure that the children have the best environment to learn and grow. The professionals have the trust of children and are expected to use this as the basis for promoting the rights and welfare of the children in their custody.
One most important aspect of the curriculum is pedagogy. This refers to an education approach that focuses on providing holistic education and care to students (Lingard, Nixon, & Ranson, 2008 p. 23). Social pedagogues are guided by four main principles. These are holistic education, holistic wellbeing, promoting human welfare, and molding students to become responsible members of the society. Holistic education pays greater emphasis on issues such as cognitive development, emotional and spiritual development, as well as physical and practical skills development. My personal education philosophy is based on the belief that all educators should be social pedagogues.
I believe that education should be seen as process of empowering learners to make the best out of their lives regardless of their age (Palaiologou, 2011). Therefore, education should not be seen as way of discriminating or categorizing individual on the basic of their age or backgrounds. As such, the main approach should be regarding all learners as human beings who need to be taught how to make the best out of their lives (Tisdall, 2006 p. 34). In this regard, an education system should focus on empowering students to deal with contemporary challenges and issues affecting humans. For instance, contemporary education should focus on empowering learners to deal with issues such as climate change, terrorism, economic challenges, and the issues of globalization and cultural integration (Tisdall, 2006 p. 34).
I also believe that this kind of education can only be achieved in a specific learning environment that is characterized by a high sense of equality, sameness, and heightened interactions between educators and the learners. In lieu of this, educators have to consider learners, irrespective of their age, as fellow humans; hence the need to treat them equally. The educators must also be highly qualified individuals (Eichsteller, 2009 p. 27). They must bring to the fore their best communication skills when interacting with learners.
In particular, listening skills are very crucial for the attainment of key educational objectives. Education is a lifelong process that begins from childhood into adulthood. Therefore, a learning process should be capable of enabling individuals to make crucial decisions to exert influence in their social and cultural environments (Stephens, 2013 p. 87). Based on this set of beliefs, it becomes clear that the best approach to education is social pedagogy, which will help actualize and implement most of these personal beliefs on education.
These beliefs can only be achieved through a holistic learning process that not only focuses on cognitive development, but also on other aspects of human growth (Stephens, 2013 p. 93). The field of social pedagogy has developed over the years into an influential approach in providing education. Nevertheless, there are several principles of social pedagogy, which I consider to be very essential in an educational context. Therefore, I believe that these principles should be the building blocks or the foundation upon which an education process needs to be built.
According to Peter Moss and Pierre Pat (2011), there are nine key principles of social pedagogy. The first principle is focusing on the childs development as a whole. Educators must play a critical role in supporting the overall development of a child. The second principle states that educators must view themselves as being in a professional relationship with the learners (Lingard, Nixon, & Ranson, 2008 p. 33). This helps to create a cordial environment for the development of the child. Thirdly, social pedagogues must view themselves as equals to the learners in terms of their role on earth. As such, there ought not to be any hierarchies separating the teachers from the learners.
The fourth principle requires social pedagogues to constantly keep reflecting on their practice, updating their knowledge by understanding emerging theories and improve on their professional, practice. Another important principle in social pedagogy is that the educators must be practical (Eichsteller, 2009 p. 53). They must be able to impart practical knowledge on the learners. The relationship between the teacher and the students is based on their ability to communicate effectively. Communication skills such as the ability of the teacher to listen to the needs of the students is considered every critical for the success of the learning process.
Essentially, these are the core principles that guide social pedagogues in playing their role as educators. I believe these are the basic tenets of an education process, upon which my education philosophy is based. I find these principles very critical in ensuring a holistic education to learners (Kornbeck & Jensen, 2011 p. 42). These principles are very useful in creating a good learning environment by stipulating that is expected of both the educators and the learners. I am more inclined towards adopting these principles in my education philosophy because they help to create perfect environment for learning as well as fostering a harmonious relationship between the teachers and the students.
Several educationists have over the years made significant contributions to the field of social pedagogy. From a personal point of view, I find some of the contributions of major philosophers and educationists in social pedagogy very compelling in an educational context. For instance, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a prominent Swiss social philosopher was of the view that the best way to bring up children was to raise them and educate them in harmony with the laws of nature. This is because the society corrupts people and drives them away from the social good, which requires humans to be closer to nature (Kornbeck, 2009 p. 37).
This perspective is particularly important because it ensures that an educat...
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