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Compare and Contrast the Work and Ideas of Three Early Years Educators/ Curricular Approaches.

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Introduction

COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE WORK AND IDEAS OF THREE EARLY YEARS EDUCATORS/ CURRICULAR APPROACHES. Throughout educational history, various early years educational pioneers have had a significant influence on the way children are educated today. Prior to the 18th century children were regarded as, tiny replicas of adults and no provisions were made for their education. Fortunately, educational pioneers work and ideas, slowly changed attitudes over time, to recognise the importance of play in a child's development. Friedrich Froebel, Maria Montessori and Rudolph Steiner, are all referred to as educational pioneers. Each one of them cared for children as much as they educated them, in addition, they all believed in integrated early year's provision. Firstly, I will outline the main ideas of each educators work, ideas, and resources. I will then move on to compare and contrast their theories before concluding. Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) was born in Germany in 1782. As an idealist, he believed that every child at birth possessed their full educational potential. In addition, an appropriate educational environment was necessary to encourage the child to grow and develop to their full potential. The Education of Man (1826), written by Friedrich Froebel had a profound effect on the approach to early childhood education. ...read more.

Middle

The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refraining from obtrusive interference. Human teachers can only help the great work that is being done, as servants help the master. Doing so, they will be witnesses to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Man who will not be a victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society." (www.montessori.edu.maria). Maria Montessori developed a teaching programme that enabled, 'Defective' children to read and write. She believed, "Looking" becomes reading; "Touching" becomes writing. She sought to teach skills not by having children repeatedly try it, but by developing exercises and specially devised pieces of equipment that encouraged children to develop certain skills. She called these, "Didactic" materials- didactic means, "Intended to instruct." Montessori, encouraged independence and believed children learnt best on their own without interference from adults. She believed the adults role is to, "'follow the child." Today there are many Montessori schools, usually privately run. The Montessori approach is recognised in state education, but with a more flexible approach, by means of using Montessori equipment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Like Froebel she developed her own range of equipment, which she called, "didactic" materials, which encouraged children to use their hands. Her method moved children through stages of simple exercises to complex exercises. Similarly, Froebel's "Gifts" and "occupations" were intended to progressively unfold into activities that develop more complex skills of perception, manipulation and combination. The purpose of this method was similar to Montessori where the simplest activity was presented first and progression was made to the more diverse and complex activities. In conclusion, the work and ideas of Froebel, Steiner and Montessori have all had a significant impact on education today. All three educators opened nurseries, kindergarten's and schools which are still in practice today. Froebel's ideas are reflected in today's approach to childcare for example the use of finger rhymes, which he invented. Education is often designed to be "Child centred" with the needs of the child being of paramount importance. Montessori's methods can often be seen inside nurseries today, where the space has been divided in to four main areas, practical life, sensorial, mathematical and language. In some instances children are also encouraged to work alone as a task set by the nursery. Finally, Steiner schools tend to be privately run, and in particular his ideas have had a significant effect on the integration of special needs children in to mainstream schools. ...read more.

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