Cotton Candy in preschool

This is an easy art project for preschool students. Begin by using white construction paper to cut a triangle shape and glue the triangle to another sheet of paper with the point at the bottom of the paper. Glue cotton balls to the top of the triangle shape. Allow preschool students to dap blue or pink paint onto the cotton balls. Do not use too much paint or the cotton will be too wet and the paint will smash them.

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Z is for Zebra

Use white paper to cut out a large Z and glue to a sheet of black construction paper. Cut smaller strips of black construction paper and have preschool students glue them straight across on the Z shape. Draw or glue eyes and a face on the top line of the Z.

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Yoga at School

Difference between Western and Eastern Educational Thought

The Eastern philosophy tends to offer greater variety in curriculum approaches because leaders and teachers strive to teach the best way of life. Followers of Eastern philosophy strategies subscribe to following one leader or master teacher. Those master teachers provide the curriculum, approaches, and teaching standards by which students and followers can build their lives in ways to create improvement, provide strength, encourage growth, and live well.  Through these various methods of education, master teachers can point followers and students toward the right path for growth and learning through the teaching of rules and right conduct (Ozmon, 2012, 102). Eastern teaching practices offer various approaches to nudging students toward right conduct.

 Example of Difference

Yoga is one method of the Eastern philosophy that nudges followers and students onto the path of right conduct and right living. With challenging behavior issues of many students being important to classroom management, some teachers have chosen to teach yoga and breathing techniques. Students get overwhelmed and stressed during class time and often must learn how to release that tension and stress. Breathing exercises can be effective stress-relieving techniques and reduce problem behaviors. “Research suggests that yoga, humor, and reading are simple, effective methods to help reduce stress” (Rizzolo, 2009, 79). The learner has had experiences in the pre-k classroom with a yoga teacher who taught the students how to relax their bodies and breath comfortably. Even at the pre-k age, students get frustrated, and overwhelmed and tired from long school days. They can learn to relax, breath, train, and calm their bodies before, during, and after stressful times of the day and when something or someone aggravates them. Some teachers schedule calming moments during the school day for students to relax. They plan their daily schedules with high-energy activities followed by quiet activities followed by more energy-releasing activities. It is important that students have a balance of activities during their day and have the freedom to release tensions and relieve stressful moments.

Ozmon, H. (2012) Philosophical Foundations of Education. Boston: Pearson.

Rizzolo, D., Zipp, G., Stiskal, D., & Simpkins, S. (2009). Stress Management Strategies for Students: The Immediate Effects of Yoga, Humor, and Reading on Stress. Journal Of College Teaching & Learning, 6(8), 79-88.

 

Like learning styles, do students learn as realists or idealists?

History of Idealism and Realism

Aristotle and Bacon were two philosophers associated with realism; however, their theories counteracted one another. Bacon thought Aristotle’s philosophy had many errors. Aristotle’s influence recognized the need to study nature systematically, use logical processes in examining the external world, and organize things into hierarchies (Ozman, 2012, 43). Bacon argued that science must be concerned with inquiry not burdened with preconceived notions to develop the inductive method of thinking (Ozman, 2012, 46). Aristotle’s philosophy took a more idealistic approach by emphasizing the spiritual aspect of science and nature. Bacon’s philosophy employed a more realistic approach by demanding inquiry to answer the science investigation questions.

Curriculum and Instruction Basics

Teachers must learn to marry these two approaches by using Bacon’s ideas of inquiry with Aristotle’s logical study. Students learn through play and by doing; therefore, teachers must provide experiences with which they can study and examine each element of the context and concepts while giving them the avenues to explore and investigate through questioning each element.

Teacher Role

According to Bacon, students must learn the “inductive method” of thinking (Ozman, 2012, 46). They must use observation in order to implement the inquiry method in their investigative approach. Students may have the freedom to explore classroom learning environments to fulfill the inquiry and investigative need of learning. Aristotle suggested students organize things into hierarchies (Ozman, 2012, 43), therefore, placing higher priorities and importance on processes and truths involved in the studies. Aristotle’s organizational idea of hierarchy represents Maslow’s hierarchy of needs stating that students must meet basic needs before moving on to higher needs (Roberts, 1972). Once those priorities on the lower rungs are met then the higher rungs can be accomplished.

Student Role

According to Wikipedia, realism is an idea of depicting concepts accurately. As an early childhood educator, the learner constantly works in a mode of realism in an environment of concrete students. The learning material must be presented in concrete, easily understood methods for students to experience through hands-on techniques. Many young students are visual learners and must see activities as well as manipulate through touch and the other senses. Teachers provide learning activities to meet student interests and motivate them to fulfill inquiry needs of investigation and exploration, and therefore, achieve developmental standards.

Ozmon, H. A. (2012). Philosphical foundations of education (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Roberts, T. B., & Northern Illinois Univ., D. b. (1972). Maslow’s Human Motivation Needs Hierarchy: A Bibliography.

Realism (2013). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism

Purpose of Colonial Education

“The educational policies of the Massachusetts Bay Colony have been considered the precursors to the development of public schooling in the United States and to the belief that public schools could end crime, eliminate poverty, provide equal opportunity, improve the economy, train workers, and create social and political stability” (Spring, 2011, 12). Educators of the early Colonists taught them to read and write so they could obey the laws and the government could maintain control of the colonies. This government control was believed to limit freedom of thought and placed too much emphasis on government in the educational process. “Some people argued that intellectual freedom could be achieved only by separating schools from religious organizations and the government” (Spring, 2011, 13). Although Colonial education was said to teach young children to obey laws, there was still a separation between colonial schools and public schools. There was a definite distinction between the elite of colonial schools and the rest of the population of public schools. After reading these thoughts of separation, the learner reflected on the segregation and separation of modern school students. Families register their children in private Christian schools because of their dissatisfaction with public school education and policies, hoping their children can acquire Christian education and values not taught in public schools. In reality, that Christian education is the parent responsibility as commanded in the Old Testament of the Bible in Deuteronomy 6:6-9:

“Write these commandments that I have given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.”

Regardless of the social status of individuals or families, “the purpose of teaching reading and writing was to ensure not only that individuals read the Bible and religious tracts, but also that they became good workers and obeyed the laws of the community” (Spring, 2011, 16). Unlike modern schools, the Bible was a text of colonial education. Unless young students attend private Christian schools, they are not exposed to Biblical curriculum and, therefore, have limited study of civic education to teach students to obey laws (Great Schools, 2013). To achieve some of the purposes of colonial educational policies, schools need to return to civic education and theories of teaching children to obey laws. However, there are too many educational standards present in school curricula that this concept would require a great deal of reorganization.

 

Spring, R (2011). The American School: A Global Context from the Puritans to the Obama Era. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

“The State of Civic Education: Teaching the Citizens of Tomorrow.” GreatSchools. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2013. <http://www.greatschools.org/students/academic-skills/162-the-state-of-civic-education-teaching-the-citizens-of-tomorrow.gs>.

Idealism and Educational Practices

The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the philosophy of idealism as “any view that stresses the central role of the ideal or the spiritual in the interpretation of experience” (Robinson, 2013). As an early childhood educator, the learner has been involved in providing experiences to and for her students so they can gain ownership of their learning and educational journeys. When young students are involved in their learning, then they are more apt to accomplish and achieve desired outcomes. During the younger pre-kindergarten years of education, classroom play-based learning has a large impact on student ownership. Teachers understand the need for play in the classroom; however, parents must be more strongly convinced of this need. “While teachers and parents generally expressed support for play in the preschool curriculum, parents were more likely to cite specific skills as indicators of readiness” (Hatcher, 2012). Parents want to see their children having classroom experiences and having fun, but they often fail to see that they are learning while playing. Teachers must train parents as well in the educational practices of young children and the reality that they are learning and accomplishing the necessary skills for school readiness.

One strength of students taking ownership of their learning environments and activities allows students to work to understand what they are learning, how they are learning, and why they are learning the material rather than being fed the material in rote or lecture form. They are presented with a hands-on approach to learning in which they can discover and explore the material at their own level. A weakness of this method of learning is the great deal of preparation time demand on teachers, as they must provide different learning methods to meet the different learning styles of students. This experiential learning technique allows students to become collaborative learners along with teachers to accomplish developmental milestones and standards.

Hatcher, B. (2012). Kindergarten Readiness and Preschools: Teachers’ and Parents’ Beliefs Within and Across Programs. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 14(2). Retrieved from http://capella.summon.serialssolutions.com/searchs.q=idealism+in+early+childhood

Robinson, D. (2013). Idealism. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/281802/idealism

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