Friday, 22 June 2018

The Difference a Teacher can make in Early Childhood Education

Research studies have shown that children draw immense benefit from quality early childhood education; also, their immediate loved ones in particular, and the society at large benefit a lot. Early childhood education can help the little ones in learning vital skills that will make them happy, strong, and successful throughout their life.

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What a child learns through ECE

ECE helps a child in the following:
  1. Making new friends and forming bonds
  2. Playing and exploring
  3. Asking questions and having a say
  4. Learning to relate to other children
  5. Thinking and solving problems
  6. Taking turns, sharing and negotiating
  7. Being sympathetic towards others
  8. Learning how to manage disagreements
  9. Learning about numbers, words, and how things can work
  10. Having conversations
  11. Understanding the complexities of the world
  12. Dancing, painting, creating music, playing roles, and dressing up in order to develop imagination and creativity
  13. Understanding concepts of maths through number play, puzzles, and counting games
  14. Learning science concepts through preparing simple food, caring for animals and plants
Children exposed to quality ECE are more likely to remain curious, confident and creative and develop a positive attitude towards people and the world around them; this will assist them in doing better when they reach school and later when they become adults.

A teacher’s crucial role in early childhood education

Preschool kids belong to an age group that is highly excited about everything around. They are exposed to a world of new experiences hitherto unknown and pristine. They have imaginative playtime, dance, music and lots of socialization with teachers and kids. They have many more opportunities to develop their potentials in different spheres. A conscientious teacher who gives quality time to preschool kids becomes soon a role model and an object of veneration.

Learning takes place at all times and places: the affectionate bond of children with everyone can fire the teacher to lay for them a strong and inquisitive learning foundation. Inspirational early childhood education teachers and educators assist the children tirelessly to relax and feel comfortable in a group and

1) undergo any experience with spontaneity and openness

2) develop the spirit of learning through adventure and discovery

3) establish priorities

4) make connections across place and time

5) develop various types of relationships

6) understand various points of view.

ECE teachers interact regularly with parents about their children’s abilities, interests and progresses made, and get them involved in making the right decisions about their children.

Here are a few more things ECE professionals can do to get the parents involved: 
  1. Share news about the things that happened in the class.
  2. Send parents letters of appreciation of children’s achievements.
  3. Give children tasks to be completed at home with the help of parents.
  4. Share photographs of children’s special people on display boards to make them feel more involved.
Teacher activities such as the ones listed above go a long way in shaping the future of kids. They remain etched permanently in their memory and keep them going strong; that is what is so special about preschool education.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Effects of Trauma and Stress on Early Childhood Education

Stress and trauma can affect the normal functioning of the human brain. That can have a major adverse impact on learning, thereby creating behavioral issues, and even triggering a phase of violence. Poverty, insecurity, and instability at home or in the community around are a few of the factors that cause brain-damaging stress for children.

It may lead ultimately to a great deal of violence. Making those kids understand the impact of trauma can help them in realizing their emotional needs and faring well in their schooling. The outcomes of childhood trauma can be a lot deeper, especially in early childhood education.

Those small kids who have suffered from emotional trauma can have gaps in their intellectual abilities. They may find it hard to focus on simple tasks. Apart from this, they may lose proper memory function. They may be given to fits of anger or terror. Trauma can have lasting consequences on their developing brain.

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Anxiety state: fight or flight response

Kids who suffer trauma for long may live constantly in a ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode. Their stress hormones keep flowing all the time. In other words, these young children may get triggered by minor things such as a loud noise, or difficulty in understanding a simple project or a group assignment.

They may relive an intense emotion linked to a truly terrifying event. Findings show that any kind of trauma can affect both the chemistry and structure of a kid’s brain. Anxiety and fear over a period can affect a child’s brain development, often leaving a deep cut.

Learning and memory function

Because of extremities of the fight or flight response of kids, the memory and learning centers of their brain are turned down. When the main task of their brain is to manage fear and anger and produce a feeling of security, how can there be normal development of their brain?

Thus, kids can become often disengaged, forgetful, or have a hard time concentrating on the tasks given. With time, such adverse effects may leave a permanent scar on their brain. They will find it more and more difficult to learn as they need to ‘fight’ constantly for ‘survival’. Real life traumatic events at home or in the community around do harm particularly a kid’s ability to learn in the short and long terms.

Traumatic events can keep the brain in an extremely intensified ever-alert-and-aware state. They activate the limbic system and attack the brain with cortisol, a stress hormone. Excessive cortisol can be toxic to the brain and it damages mainly the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Such brain areas relate directly to executive function and memory.

Counselors and teachers in the field of early childhood education should help the traumatized kids grapple with th­­eir traumatic experience. The kids should forget it altogether and come out of it as early as possible to understand better needs of their schooling. They must feel sufficiently confident and motivated to strive, learn, and thrive.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Basic Steps in Designing a Preschool Curriculum

Designing an excellent preschool curriculum is extremely important for an early childhood education professional. It would create an environment that puts children in the right path ensuring a positive academic attitude and overall development. Moreover, it helps teachers love their job even more!

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Create a written framework

A written framework must list all the vital elements of the preschool education in relation to the early learning standards of the state. Updating the framework every year incorporates latest research and techniques into the curriculum.

While developing the structure, write down what you wish to achieve with the children. Define clearly all the early learning goals for the entire preschool program and take in relevant research findings, pertaining to childhood development.

The framework must work as a solid guideline and specify well-defined simple to complicated teaching methods, learner skills to be developed, intentional play, teacher attitude, and elements that promote essential social skills. The structure must also include evaluation procedures to measure learner progress. 

Define the teacher role

A very significant part of developing a written framework is defining the teacher role. It is the teacher who is responsible for: following age-appropriate teaching strategies; achieving engaging classroom interaction; inspiring learning on the part of the kids.

Parental, societal and governmental inputs and expectations go a long way in syllabus design, preparation of teaching/learning materials, formulation of teaching-learning strategies and techniques and evaluation procedures. Teachers have a definitive role to play in all these segments of the curriculum.

Identifying learner activities

Different kinds of learner activities have different objectives. Playing games aims at participation in fun activities – sharing, laughing, enjoying and relaxing. Small and whole group activities can promote social, emotional and psychological development. Art activities inspire kids in developing creativity and individuality. A right mix of all these activities facilitates all round development.

Creating appropriate learning environment

Kids are highly impressionable and easily affected by things and people around them. The preschoolers must therefore have a well thought out and secure learning atmosphere. Caring and responsive adults should recognize, respect and nurture their curiosity, creativity and individuality, and allow them to explore and learn on their own.

Room scheduling and structure, both outdoor and indoor activities, materials and supplies considered age-appropriate, interesting displays, alternative seating etc. are all factors that enrich learning environment.

A few more tips

Once the base of the curriculum framework is complete, professionals can work towards planning individual lesson plans. Present preschool education trends aim for an all-inclusive approach in respect of the following key areas.

  1. Literacy
  2. Language development, especially sounds and simple vocabulary of the language
  3. Basic numeracy
  4. Social studies
  5. Science
  6. Art
  7. Physical development
  8. Social development
  9. Culture development
The aim of designing a strong preschool curriculum is to foster genuine love for learning in kids. In order to accomplish this, the kids must be able to feel at home all the time. All the teaching-learning objectives must always be achieved through stimulating fun way activities.

When the curriculum designers are clear about this general goal, the kids are sure to find the journey of learning quite enticing and highly enjoyable!

Friday, 23 March 2018

Personality Types and Learning Styles

Educators have observed a strong relationship between learning styles and personality types of learners. The basic insight is that the personality type of the learner determines the learning process.

Carl Jung, the Swiss pychiatrist and psychoanalyst, originally proposed the foundational theory of psychological types. Drawing largely from Jung’s theory, Isabel Briggs Myers (daughter) and Catherine Briggs (mother) developed subsequently the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

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The application of the MBTI as an instrument has led to several insightful studies in the field of education. The findings of these studies authenticate that personality does affect the style not only of learning but also of teaching.

Jung’s oppositions

We believe that the behavior of every person seems to be idiosyncratic, vastly different from that of every other. Jung’s theory proposes that the converse is true: a clear order and pattern underlie such seemingly arbitrary variations in behavior.

People can indeed be categorized into a certain number of psychological types based on three sets of their preferences of bipolar behavioral oppositions. They are the following:

1 Extroversion (E) v. Introversion (I)

You may choose to concentrate on the outer world around you, or you may zoom in on your own inner world. If your preference is the former, you are an extrovert; if it is the latter, you are an introvert.

2 Sensing (S) v. Intuition (N)

Your preference may be to receive the basic information as it is, or you may examine the information received and look for an insight. The former is sensing and the latter, intuition.

3 Thinking (T) v. Feeling (F)

In matters of decisions, your preference may be to focus first on the underlying logic and coherence, or to study first the people and specific circumstances given. This opposition is labeled Thinking or Feeling.

4 Judging (J) v. Perceiving (P)

Jung proposed further that one of the functions above is dominant – maybe a function of judging or of perception. Briggs-Myers considered this relationship a fourth opposition that influences personality type.

Arriving at personality types

It is possible to arrive at sixteen different personality types by permuting the preferences in the four sets of oppositions given above. Each of the sixteen personality types can be identified with an acronym of four letters that correspond to the combination of preferences.

For example, Introversion + Intuition + Feeling + Judging give rise to the personality type INFJ; ESTP indicates the type Exroversion + Sensing + Thinking + Perceiving, and so on.

Personality types and learning styles

The application of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in the field of education has enabled a much better understanding of why there are diverse teaching and learning styles.

The findings of several original research studies with the help of the MBTI instrument on college and school students have led to much better teacher-learner communication, and much enhanced quality learning.

Online educators have greater awareness of the individual learning styles and demands of online learners. They do cater to the specific needs of the students.

Students on their part do not have to be concerned about the differences they find among themselves, as far as their individual learning styles and the outcomes at a point are concerned.

With a heartening understanding of the personality type, a learner can have greater motivation, follow helpful learning strategies and achieve satisfying performance levels.

In the past decade, e-learning opportunities have grown exponentially, particularly in the field of early childhood education, thanks to the concept of personality types.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Balancing work and study

Maybe you are one of the many who desire to pursue your interest in study and further your career prospects. Inevitably, you will be burdened with the twin responsibility of holding a job and doing study at the same time.

You take a job to support your education. You pursue education in order to enhance your knowledge and career prospects. Work assists study and study will bear fruit in the form of a more respectable career.
However, the downside is that daytime is usually your most productive time not only for your work but also for your study. Furthermore, the rest of the day is to be apportioned between your family, friends, workout, entertainment etc.

There are for sure several online programs and jobs that you can do sitting in the comfort of your home. Working/studying from home has become a great option for several people because it is convenient and effective.

Nevertheless, it is a great challenge and a vital need to balance your work and study and other demands of life. Here are few ideas for achieving that feat.

1. Prioritize what is important ‘now’, this moment

It is important to be clear about your priorities on a minute-to-minute basis. Say, you have to choose between a test that counts towards your final score and a lucrative online job you have to take immediately. You need to find the balance by prioritizing what is more important at that given moment. Explore ways of taking the other subsequently.

2. Time management

It is going to be very hard for you if you do not manage your time. It is necessary to have a proper plan of what should be completed in what order, when, and how, and what can be ignored as unimportant. Without such a preparation, you may cause yourself avoidable stress and allow everything to suffer. Make sure that you draw a clear plan, construct an effective schedule and execute a firm follow-up. Avoid wasting time, but take short refreshing breaks.

3. Never bite off more than you can chew
When balancing between work and study, never ever take on overconfidently more than what you can probably accomplish. Be realistic about your own potentials, efforts and circumstances.

4. Multitasking blues

It’s rather tempting to attempt multitasking, when you find that you have too many things to do – for example, form ideas for an assignment, peel potatoes, soothe your crying baby, respond to your spouse’s query and think about handling a brewing crisis in the workplace the following day. It will indeed be great if you can achieve them all.

Almost invariably, you find that the multitasking you have done leaves you nowhere near what you wanted to accomplish. Had you attempted single tasking, you would have accomplished much more. Thus, the age-old dictum of one thing at a time is sure to stand you in good stead; right sequencing and single-minded completion will help you achieve the right balance.

5. Stay Organized

Begin by organizing your life and study/work space. If you spend, even a few minutes every day, looking for a pencil or a book or a file, it will only be a wasting of much precious time. Ensure that all your things are where they should be for more effective balancing of work and study.

Lastly, make sure you manage stress effectively by keeping good health. Take out time to sleep well and do your regular workout. Eat healthy and stick to a balanced diet for the optimal function of your body and mind. These ideas with just a little effort will help you balance your work and study successfully. 

Monday, 22 January 2018

Stay Motivated to study during the Holiday

One of the most difficult times to study is the holiday season. This is indeed the season for taking time off from all commitments during the rest of the year. No wonder, why it is a challenge to stay motivated to study during the holiday seasons. Here are a few ideas for you to achieve this feat!

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1 Check the timeline of your program

Keeping to a course schedule is an extremely important tool for staying motivated and being on track. It is necessary to check the timeline on a regular basis to ensure that you don’t fall behind.

You should have a healthy respect for timelines, as they are designed to guide you through programs. It will be great if you can finish tasks well ahead of their timelines!

2 Reward yourself always

This helps in giving you a positive reinforcement to your resolve. Reward yourself every time you finish something. Knowing that rewards await you will motivate you to tackle head-on hardships and achieve the study tasks. Holiday treats work really well!

3 Study together

Create chat sessions and forums to give your fellow students and your own self some extra support. Those who study once a week in a study group will get a more detailed understanding of the materials of the course, ask better questions, and be more involved in discussions.

One of the biggest motivation blockers is frustration. When collaborating with others, you can keep frustrations at bay.

4 Keep yourself reminded of the long-term goals

When you remind yourself often of what you wish to accomplish in the long term, you will be able to keep yourself well motivated. If you feel run-down, while preparing for a test or doing an assignment, think of the bigger picture to gain momentum.

5 Eliminate distractions

Distractions of any kind might rob you of precious time, and unconsciously you tend to postpone your studies. You should always be on guard to eliminate all distractions. It is best to complete quickly all your regular errands and other important tasks and make yourself ready for study.

6 Sync your learning with your pastimes

One of the best ways to make learning exciting is to indulge in activities that will suit your nature and are in agreement with your recreations. For instance, if drawing is your hobby, you should learn your lessons by using images or visualizing them to relate to certain topics.

If learning becomes fun, you will have no problem concentrating on your studies during the holiday!

7 Take breaks

It is always a good idea to take a break when you need it. Stopping at a logical point for a short unwinding is important. Never burn yourself out. You will find it a lot easier to complete a chapter or finish an assignment after a short break.

Divide your study session for the day in small periods. For instance, study for one hour, and then take a break for five to ten minutes to do a physical activity. This should help your brain reinvigorate and continue optimal function.

With just a little bit of reorganization, you can thus stay motivated for study during the holiday without missing the fun element.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Time Management for Online Students

The most important advantage of online learning is the flexibility of time you can spare for learning. Most people who go in for this option do so because jobs or other commitments prevent them from attending regular classroom-based courses of an obligatory schedule.

There is, however, a danger in having flexible study hours: it is easy to lose track of time or become disorganized. The ability to learn and the quality of your performance, in such situations, just cannot be your best, and your poor grades will prove this.

The key to best performance is to be able to manage your time efficiently. Here are a few proven time management techniques that will help you to stay in control of your time for study and derive the maximum benefits from your online learning.

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Make a plan

Everything begins with planning: you can use a good planner or special calendar, adding all the dates for each class you have scheduled and the dates of submission of projects. You need to add as well a timetable for execution of work in stages of each project and stay on schedule.

Making such a plan is easy – implementing it is another matter. Being on your own, it's easy to let things slip with the excuse that you can easily make up for lost time later on. Maybe you can, but the results will never be as good as those of properly scheduled work will. A good instructor will know that your work is a rush job done at the last minute, and grade you accordingly.


You may think you are too much burdened with too many cares, but are you in fact? Track all your activities and time spent on each for one week. It will help you understand how your time is being used; you will realize where you need to make changes to prioritize your studies and other important things and in what order.

For example, if you meet friends for two hours three times a week, cutting it down to twice a week could give you a valuable two extra hours to go for the higher grades. Mobile apps are available that make prioritizing and tracking easy for you.

Establish your work space

You are in pursuit of knowledge, a degree and a better career that will depend on worthwhile results. You need to be, therefore, organized and disciplined to be in the right frame of mind. To do this you should have a designated workspace where you can spend your time studying with concentration.

Making this a habit will help substitute the psychological structured system of the physical classroom. It will enable you to focus on your work instead of being disturbed by domestic distractions.

Establish a routine

If you are able to do your study at the same time each day, that will be great. It helps you to be mentally and physically prepared for study. However, if you cannot do this, there is a way out. Establish a routine of a specific number of study hours each day. If necessary, you can break up the time into as many segments as would suit the other demands on you.

Ensure that you utilize fully the different blocks of time and put in the same number of hours of quality study each day. Sub-routines like a cup of coffee after an hour of work (no earlier or later) and a snack an hour later will help you to stay settled in your routine.