Education is the process by which an individual is encouraged and enabled to develop fully his or her innate potential; it may also serve the purpose of equipping the individual with what is necessary to be a productive member of society. Through teaching and learning the individual acquires and develops knowledge, beliefs, and skills.
Education is often used to refer to formal education. However, it covers a range of experiences, from formal learning to the building of understanding and knowledge through day to day experiences. Ultimately, all that we experience serves as a form of education.
Individuals receive informal education from a variety of sources. Family members, peers, books and mass media have a strong influence on the informal education of the individual.
It is widely accepted that the process of education begins at birth and continues throughout life. Some believe that education begins even earlier than this, as evidenced by some parents’ playing music or reading to the baby in the hope it will influence the child’s development.
Child education covers the education of a child from the period from birth to eight years of age. Similarly, Infant education is the education of children before they would normally enter school. “Infant” typically describes a child under 2 years old.
Kindergarten is used in many parts of the world for the first stages of a child’s classroom education. In some places kindergarten is part of the formal school system; in others it may refer to pre-school or daycare.
A nursery school or preschool is a school for the education of very young children (generally five years of age and younger). These schools range from schools which seek to teach young children to schools which only provide childcare with little educational benefits. Schools which focus on education generally teach early social skills including interpersonal interaction, being a part of a group of peers, and classroom skills such as following the instructions of a teacher. Some formal education also takes place, such as early reading or language skills. Some nursery schools have adopted specialized methods of teaching, such as Montessori, High Scope, Reggio Emilia approach, Bank Street and various other pedagogy. Many children would be better prepared for kindergarten and it would not struggle when they enter the public/private schools system.
Primary or elementary education consists of the first years of formal, structured education that occurs during childhood. In most countries, it is compulsory for children to receive primary education (though in many jurisdictions it is permissible for parents to provide it). Primary education generally begins when children are four to seven years of age. The division between primary and secondary education is somewhat arbitrary, but it generally occurs at about twelve years of age (adolescence); some educational systems have separate middle schools for that period.
Child education spans the human life from birth to age 8. Education during this period is holistic in that it focuses on physical, intelligence/cognitive, emotional, and social education. Child education takes many forms depending on the theoretical and educational beliefs of the educator or parent. Other terms that are often used interchangeably with “child education” are “childhood care”, “childhood education”, and “early education”, “kindergarten”, “nursery”, etc..
Child Education Develpoments
1- Child development
There are different developmental domains of children which all relate to each other:
Physical development – Concerning the physical growth and the development of both gross(eg. walking) and fine motor(eg. finger movement) control of the body.
Perception and sensory development – How a child functions using the senses and the ability to process the information gained.
Communication and language development – Using visual and sound stimuli, especially in the acquisition of language, also in the exchange of thoughts and feelings.
Cognitive development – Concerning how the individual thinks and react.
Emotional Development – Concerning children’s increasing awareness and control of their feelings and how does he react to these feelings in a given situation.
Social Development – Concerning the child’s identity, their relationship with others, and understanding their place within a social environment.
Recent studies on infant brain development show most of a person’s neurons are formed from ages 0-5. If a young child doesn’t receive sufficient nurturing, nutrition, parental/caregiver interaction, and stimulus during this crucial period, the child may be left with a developmental deficit that hampers his or her success in kindergarten and beyond.
Children must receive attention, affection,and respect from their caregivers to develop in a healthy manner.
2- Theory & Curriculum
A wide array of educational philosophies circulate through the field.
Currently childhood teacher education programs teach a mix of theories dominated by the constructivism (learning theory) theory as put forth by Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky.
Constructivist ideas dominate curriculums like High/Scope. While maturational theory is the underpining for Montessori. A mix of maturationist and constructionist ideas supply the base theory for the Reggio Emilia approach.
The curriculum in a “Head Start” program is designed to meet the needs of each child. One goal is to build self-esteem that is seen as necessary to future success in school. Staff encourage self-confidence, curiosity, and self-discipline. A variety of learning experiences are designed to meet the children’s needs in the various areas of development. Staff should work as a team to implement the new government issued curriculum and teach children, based on their interest and in a fun way. Parent involvement should be the heart of the program. Preschool children must be provided with early literacy, awareness and intervention in order to perform better during the later years. This will lead the to success once they enter schools,and put them on the right track by being well prepared with the right and appropriate equipment.
The philosophy of child education is largely child-centered education. Therefore, there is a focus on the importance of play. Play provides children with the opportunity to actively explore, manipulate, and interact with their environment. It encourages children to investigate, create, discover and motivate them to take risks and add to their understanding of the world. It challenges children to achieve new levels of understanding of events, people and the environment by interacting with concrete materials. Hands-on activities create authentic experiences in which children begin to feel a sense of mastery over their world and a sense of belonging and understanding of what is going on their environment.
The teachers of childhood education often hold the titles of childhood professional, childhood teacher, childhood educator, childhood practitioner, childhood provider, or childhood caregiver.
In most of the countries, “Child Education” is compulsory. Many believe that education at pre-school ages can significantly affect a person’s ability to deal successfully with later life. Some studies supporting this point of views also.