Download Education And Discipline by Russell Bertrand PDF

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By Russell Bertrand

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Piaget's constructivism, however, was more sophisticated. He described a learning mechanism which involved the child in the active elaboration of their own mental structures as they assimilated and accommodated new expe­ riences. But, crucially for Piaget, this learning machine was 'fuelled' by the effect of 'interest' and it was triggered by the recognition of some 'disequi­ librium' between the child's new phenomenon or experience and their prior knowledge and skill. The child's interest in the new phenomenon or experi­ ence might be the spontaneous result of their natural curiosity but it would also be influenced by the adults and peers around them.

1 993, p. 1 7) provide the following summary of the main characteristics of effective programmes, staffing and administration that have been identified: • • • • • Effective programs use explicitly stated, developmentally appropriate active­ learning curricula that support children's self-initiated learning activities. Effective teaching staff have been trained in early childhood education and do not change jobs often. Effective administrators provide systematic in service training on site and supervisory support for their staff's curriculum implementation.

Weikart et at. ( 1 9 7 1 ) , work­ ing in the USA in the early 1 970s, developed Smilansky's approach into what they termed the Cognitive Orientated Curriculum. The High/Scope approach in early years education starts from the Piagetian principle that 'children learn E ARLY CHILDHOOD PEDAGOGY: PRACTICE, PRINCIPLES AND RESEARCH 33 actively and construct their own knowledge' (Macleod, 1 9 8 9, p. 3 3 ) and that this knowledge comes from their personal interaction with the world. These principles of social constructivism result in a curriculum that emphasizes chil­ dren learning through direct experience with real objects and from applying logical thinking to this experience.

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