Why Literacy Is Important In Early Childhood – “Teaching can be compared to a conversation in which you listen carefully to the speaker before responding.”

Mrs. Tori entered her three-year-old’s classroom carrying materials for her dramatic play area, currently presented as an apple orchard shop. There was a puppet stage that could double as a work surface, aprons, a bale of hay, tin cake pans, giant beige pom poms that almost looked like peeled apples, pieces of felt and wooden apples and pieces of apple. The children had a written list of apple products with a picture next to the words. As Mrs. Tori once again surveyed the apple orchard center, she considered that children learn by interacting with each other and wondered what she could add to encourage children to play and interact with each other. She considered what songs they could sing as a group this week and what kinds of books would familiarize the children with the concept of apple orchards and apple products.

Why Literacy Is Important In Early Childhood

Why Literacy Is Important In Early Childhood

Understanding the theory allows educators to consider the ways in which children are exposed to and interact with language. Educators apply this knowledge to improve teaching skills and support literacy learning. In the cartoon above, Ms. Tori carefully considers a variety of ways to stimulate children’s language development. She uses illustrated ideas, written words, songs and books to draw on children’s prior knowledge and introduce new concepts. Ms. Tori considers children’s age and stage, as well as how her practices foster literacy. She considers what children already know, the concepts they are learning, and the concepts she wants them to learn. These practices are based on broader behaviors, skills, and concepts that explain why and how children grow and develop. It is not enough to simply provide experiences to children, we should have a rationale for why we involve them in certain practices. Theory provides us with structure and logic

Guide To Emergent Literacy In Early Childhood

Our practices. Theories help us organize the knowledge we have and help us make predictions about what might happen in the future.

Some theories focus on the abilities reflected by children as they interact with the world and move through developmental stages (constructivist theories). Other theories focus on the child’s broader context (ecological/contextual theories), and some focus on the child’s construction of knowledge while also focusing on the surrounding environment (sociocultural/cooperative theories). Using theory as a framework strengthens our scientific understanding of how children grow and develop. The major developmental theories covered in this chapter have been used extensively both to test and refute ideas and to create roadmaps for early learning environments and practices. Each section of this chapter discusses a broad theory of cognitive development and then a specific theory focused on literacy development. This chapter will explore the following questions:

Constructivism emphasizes the individual child and defines developmental markers as the child continues to grow. Children actively construct knowledge based on their developmental stage and prior knowledge. When children interact with their environment, they create internal mental structures to understand their experiences (Piaget, 1962). Constructivism can also present children’s growth and development as a series of progressive stages. Stage theories help educators recognize children’s achievements, anticipate areas of growth, and provide intentional literacy experiences. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development examines a child’s developmental stage and how she acquires and categorizes information internally (Piaget, 1962). Regarding progressions of emergent literacy, Frith’s theory of reading acquisition presents developmental stages as young readers gain awareness of alphabetic systems (Frith, 1985).

Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is a form of constructivism. According to the theory of cognitive development, children construct their learning through interactions and experiences in the environment. Piaget (1962) argued that we constantly organize our world by classifying information and determining ways to apply this information. In the vignette above, Ms. Tori created an opportunity for children to access categories of information they have already acquired (e.g., apples are red, green, and yellow) and use this knowledge to engage in discovery games in the center of the apple orchard. .

Things Every Early Childhood Educator Should Do

Several key concepts are important to understanding Piaget’s theory. The units we use to organize our understandings are called schemas. Schemas include not just a concept such as “birds fly,” but all the associations used to develop the concept through past experiences. Piaget believed that we form our schemas through a process called adaptation, which allows us to create categories and subcategories for emerging schemas. There are two types of adaptation: assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation means taking new information and fitting it into an existing schema. This can happen whether it makes sense or not, like trying to fit a peg into a hole, whether square or round. To accommodate literally means to make room for something. For example, when most people have guests, they accommodate them by changing their sleeping patterns, eating patterns, and their schedules. The assimilation would suggest that the hosts told the guests to search the refrigerator themselves, find a sleeping bag and figure out where to sleep. Assimilation leaves no space: the pattern does not change. But accommodation means there is now room to create or understand something in a new or different way. The process occurs as a result of disequilibrium, which reflects the state a child is thrown into when receiving new information. Humans generally experience disequilibrium as discomfort, so we generally try to remain in a state of equilibrium, a comfortable cognitive state, until or unless we are exposed to new information that does not fit our existing schema (Piaget, 1962).

Three-year-old Li developed a scheme according to which birds fly. This is a reasonable scheme based on Li’s experience of seeing birds flying in his neighborhood and in places he has visited. Today he visited the zoo with his classmates and saw ostriches for the first time. After observing the ostriches, she Li turned to her classmates and said, “The birds are broken.” She had noticed that they don’t fly. Since Li already has a “birds fly” pattern and the non-flying birds have thrown her into imbalance, she Li has decided that the birds are broken. She didn’t decide that the pattern was incorrect. Therefore, she assimilated ostriches into the “birds fly” scheme, with a small footnote that these birds are broken. This allows Li to return to a state of equilibrium as she has assimilated the new information. It takes multiple exposures to a violation of our expectations, or multiple instances of disequilibrium, for us to choose to accommodate new information and create a new schema. Later that same day, Li visited the chickens that cannot fly in the air. Maybe that second time she labeled them “broken birds” or maybe she started to consider that some birds don’t fly. The third time, she Li visits the penguin house and sees definitive proof that some animals, which are clearly birds, do not fly. The moment she Li creates a new structure that divides birds into “flying birds” and “flyless birds,” she has committed herself to accommodation. This is fundamental to all forms of cognitive development and has numerous applications in literacy learning when children must decide on the rules and use of language in all its forms and when they engage in communication to express themselves about the world around them. surrounds.

Piaget also developed a series of four stages, with individual substages, to map a range of expected and observable behaviors for children (1962). The sensorimotor stage corresponds closely to infancy and early childhood. The preoperative phase is associated with the preschool years. The concrete operational phase covers the elementary years, while the formal operational phase applies to adolescence and adulthood. These constructs are outlined in the “Piaget’s Stages” graph (see Table 3.1) and help us formulate ideas about what we would expect from children of particular ages. Understanding the ages and stages outlined by Piaget (see Table 3.1) helps us consider the importance of sensory experiences for infants and toddlers.

Why Literacy Is Important In Early Childhood

Children acquire the ability to internally represent the world through language and mental images. They also begin to see the world from other people’s points of view.

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Children are able to distinguish between their own perspective and that of another person (e.g., “I can see out the window, but you can’t.”).

Children can consider hypothetical situations (for example, what if I need something in an emergency and there is no adult to ask?).

Regarding language development, parents and educators are encouraged to sing, talk and tell stories to children; we couple it with rocking a baby or clapping. We know that children in the sensorimotor stage learn about their world by touching and being touched, smelling objects, putting everything in their mouth, looking around and listening with avid interest. Children use these experiences to create patterns that they apply to the world around them, which helps their ability to communicate orally and begin to perceive symbols. For example, when a child builds a tower of blocks, he begins to learn how many blocks

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