In exploring UNESCO’s website, I found an article entitled “How can you learn, if you don’t understand?” This article goes on to describe the difficulties many encounter when it comes to performance tasks and assessments administered in languages other than their primary language. The article goes on to state that this greatly hinders early language and literacy acquisition skills. “As much as 40% of the global population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand” (UNESCO, 2017). One of my ongoing goals for myself has always been to reach every child, based on their individual needs, every day. This reinforced to me the need for early education and care to be holistically accessible to everyone. As early childhood educators, we need to better verse ourselves in various cultures, languages, etc. to better meet the needs of our children.
Another section of this website is dedicated to teachers. Naturally, this caught my attention. According to this site, “Teachers are one of the most influential and powerful forces for equity, access and quality in education and key to sustainable global development. However, their training, recruitment, retention, status and working conditions remain preoccupying” (UNESCO, 2017). This section of the website goes on to elaborate on the global shortage of highly-qualified teachers. I believe this will become a much bigger issue if heightening wages and elevating the level of respect given to the profession, to name a few of the issues our field faces, are not addressed. It is my continued goal to advocate for our profession and on behalf of other teachers.
Lastly, I discovered via this website that globally, “at least 750 million youth and adults still cannot read and write and 250 million children are failing to acquire basic literacy skills” (UNESCO, 2017). This is a shocking statistic and one that requires action. As professionals in the early childhood field, we need to really delve into the programs we are using and best practices we’re implementing in terms of early literacy to be sure we are fully supporting early literacy in our classrooms. “Being professional means that early childhood practitioners and leaders are constantly in the process of reflecting on and rethinking what they do in order to make improvements” (Carter, 2008, p. 4).
Carter, M. (2008). Assessing quality: What are we doing? Where are we going? Exchange, (184), 32–35. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
UNESCO. UNESCO, 12 2017, https://en.unesco.org/themes/early-childhood-care-and-education. Accessed 16 Dec. 2017.