Global Development in Early Childhood

Standard

In exploring Harvard’s “Global Children’s Initiative” website, I learned that a highly effective collaborative organization called the Núcleo Ciência Pela Infância (NCPI) exists in Brazil to foster an early childhood-centered, science-driven movement. This organization accomplishes this goal continually “through training Brazilian policy makers on how to apply developmental science to inform programs and policies” (Harvard University, 2017).

Secondly, I watched a video entitled “Brain Builders” that was created by The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) of Canada. This video was very visually engaging and gave a wonderful four minute presentation on the importance of how nurturing relationships, healthy activities, and intentional best practices can seriously influence the architecture of a child’s brain. This video projects a sense of urgency that teachers, families, and communities heed this advice—and its warnings—to help facilitate healthy and early development in children. I would highly recommend this short video.

Lastly, I learned of a partnership directed by Grand Challenges Canada, “Saving Brains” that seeks to better the end-game for children living in poverty via targeted interventions that aim to support and safeguard early brain development in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life (Grand Challenges Canada, 2017). I was drawn to this organization’s mission of proactively tackling potential issues related to socioeconomics as they pertain to a child’s brain development beginning the very first day of their lives.

It was humbling to look into this website and research the organizations it partners with. I think it can get really easy to become overwhelmed or bogged down by the immense task of facilitating healthy child development and providing all this entails on a daily basis to the children whose lives we effect on a daily basis. It is humbling and affirming to know that there are groups and organizations doing this good work on much bigger scales on a daily basis to advocate for children.

 

Reference

Harvard University. (2017). In Working Globally. Retrieved from https://developingchild.harvard.edu/about/what-we-do/global-work/

 

Advertisements

Sharing Web Resources

Standard

The organization I have been researching is The National Association for the Education of Young Children, or NAEYC. In reading some of the more recent articles on here, one in particular caught my attention. This particular article is entitled “Promoting Preschoolers’ Emergent Writing” and discusses the need for writing to be more explicitly and intentionally taught and practiced in early years, beginning in preschool programs (Byington, 2017). This article caught my attention because writing is constantly an area in which my incoming Kindergarteners constantly struggle and have had very little previous exposure to. This article confirms that emergent writing experiences often tend to be nonexistent (Byington, 2017). With learning standards and expectations as high as they are in Kindergarten, we need to develop ways to infuse emergent writing experiences into preschool and early childhood care facilities.

Another article I read examines circle time, free play, and field trips, all integral parts of a Kindergarten classroom and routine, according to the founder of Kindergarten, Friedrich Froebel. Patty Smith Hill was a Kindergarten reformer who developed curriculum based on free play and child-initiated activities (Tunks and Ranck, 2017). Free play, especially, is often a controversial topic in the education world, as many people outside of the early childhood profession argue its worth. This article reaffirmed to me the importance of these three elements, but especially the need for free play in the classroom. It even provided some ideas and suggestions for incorporating this into my classroom.

Information on this website aides in my understanding of how economists, neuroscientists, and politicians support the early childhood field in that NAEYC is constantly hosting events as well as forums to promote the study and research of the early childhood field. I also learned that these groups have become more invested in promoting early childhood best practices and research due to the fact that this is seen as an investment opportunity in America’s future.

Other recently published articles I explored on this site led me to the realization that the United States really should be taking less of a globally competitive stance and more of a collaborative perspective on early childhood and education in terms of learning from and working with other countries to develop more sound practices and programs that ultimately benefit the whole child.

 

 

References

 

Byington, T. A. (2017, November). Promoting Preschoolers’ Emergent Writing. In The National Association for the Education of Young Children. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/nov2017/emergent-writing

 

Tunks, K. W., & Ranck, E. R. (2017, November). Our Proud Heritage. Circle Time, Free Play, and Field Trips: Legacies of Pioneers in Early Childhood Education. In The National Association for the Education of Young Children. Retrieved November 23, 2017, from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/nov2017/our-proud-heritage-legacies-pioneers

Poverty in Haiti

Standard

The county I chose to research was Haiti. I chose this country for personal reasons, as my husband, brother-in-law, and father all went down to Haiti one year ago in December to help a Christian children’s camp with Hurricane Matthew relief work. My husband and I would like to return to Haiti within the next year to help with the operations of this camp. In looking this website over, I noticed via this website that many Haitians constantly struggle to combat cholera and water-borne diseases. “These diseases disproportionately affect children. [Hurricane Matthew] also caused substantial loss and disruption to public health systems that were already fragile” (UNICEF Haiti, 2017).

I also learned that UNICEF has had a strong presence in Haiti since Hurricane Matthew stuck and over the course of the last year. This organization has provided clean drinking water to over 550,000 people, reconstructed 120 schools, “more than 28,000 children benefited from psychosocial care, assistance and nutrition, health and hygiene education,” and more than 160,000 have been screened for malnutrition (UNICEF, Haiti, 2017). UNICEF’s primary concern of ensuring that people have clean drinking water was one shared by my husband, brother-in-law, and father during their trip to Haiti. The camp they provided relief work for offers a clean, fresh water spigot for the village.

Lastly, I was reminded in researching this website how blessed I truly am. Haitians not only struggle to find clean drinking water and combat rampant disease, their infant, child, and adolescent mortality rate is significant, and crime is high. This served as a personal reminder for me to be thankful for everything I have, but also for the things I don’t have to worry about.

 

References

https://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/haiti_94377.html

http://www.unicef.org/socialpolicy/index_childpoverty.html

Sharing Web Resources

Standard

The organization I chose to research was The National Association for the Education of Young Children: http://www.naeyc.org/. This organization’s goal is to “promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research.” This organization promotes and supports high-quality Early Childhood practices both locally and nationally. This mission statement alone drew me to this organization, as it is all-encompassing of the Early Childhood field. Based on my position as a Kindergarten teacher, I have a constant goal of providing outstanding education to my students and families.

A current issue reflected on this website that caught my attention was in an article entitled “Reading Your Way to a Culturally Responsive Classroom.” This article addresses the need for and value surrounding educators’ intentional decisions to include diverse literature and varying cultural practices in the classroom. For example, a white teacher sits down with a black student and together, they work to braid a doll’s hair, similar to the student’s hair. The teacher follows this activity with a book on hair braiding (Wanless and Crawford, 2016). The article goes on to recommend that teachers use rich text as well as stories that are culturally relatable to children, but also allow them to understand others in our multicultural world and in our classrooms (Wanless and Crawford, 2016). Intentionally-chosen, high-quality literature can provide a gateway for educators to begin conversations with their students about race and cultural diversity. I love this idea and am adding several of the suggested titles in this article to my classroom book wish list.

 

References

The National Association for the Education of Young Children: http://www.naeyc.org/

Wanless, S. B., & Crawford, P. A. (2016, May). Reading Your Way to a Culturally Responsive Classroom. In The National Association for the Education of Young Children. Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/may2016/culturally-responsive-classroom

 

Getting Ready—Expanding Horizons and Expanding Resources

Standard

After several attempts of trying to access the World Forum websites, I was unable and chose to research The Global Fun for Children: https://globalfundforchildren.org/. This organization identifies groups and organizations working with children from around the world, develops and invests in these partnerships with the intention of specifically aiding these groups of children, and advises and strengthens these established partnerships both monetarily and through the establishment of broader networks and connections. These are all reasons I was drawn to this website and organization. I was also intrigued by the initial model statement on their website: “We believe in creating partnerships, not dependencies” (The Global Fun for Children. 2017). From what I have researched on this website, this group looks to reach and serve some of the world’s most vulnerable children through partnership with and grants to community-based groups serving these groups of children. I am eager to learn more about this organization and ways they accomplish this goal, ways they identify these groups in need, and how they are able to raise funds to provide for such grants.

I also chose to research the National Association for the Education of Young Children: http://www.naeyc.org/

Part of the reason for selecting this website was that it was one in which I could access both the site and additional resources. Another reason was the commitment of this organization to outline and support Early Childhood Education best practices. I believe I am and wish to continue to be an advocate for this field and specifically, the children in my Kindergarten classroom and am excited to tap into this website for ideas, resources, and education as it pertains to this goal.

References

National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
http://www.naccrra.org/

The Global Fund for Children

https://globalfundforchildren.org/ 

 

Examining Codes of Ethics

Standard

The Division for Early Childhood’s code of conduct states that professionals in the early childhood field should “demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, and honesty in all our professional activities in order to inspire the trust and confidence of the children and families and of those with whom we work” (DEC, 2000, p. 1). This is significant to me in my professional life in that I think that leaders and people in education are held to an especially high standard and level of expectation due to the fact that we are models to children who are so easily influenced and molded. I also believe that it is imperative that we cultivate a high level of trust, honesty, and rapport with the children and families we engage with in order to foster exceptional growth and development.

The DEC code of conduct also states that “we shall empower families with information and resources so that they are informed consumers of services for their children” (DEC, 2000, p. 3). This strikes a professional chord with me because I think it is our responsibility as early childhood professionals to become advocates for our children, but also to teach their families how to become further advocates for their children. The more families stay informed, the more they can advocate for and help their children to learn and grow.

The NAEYC code of conduct states the importance of staying informed through continuing education and training (NAEYC, 2005). I believe this to be true and affirming of the decision I made to finish my degree in Early Childhood Education at Walden. I believe to become better educators, we need to be informed students and be constantly exploring innovative ways of doing things.

 

References

NAEYC. (2005, April). Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/PSETH05.pdf

The Division for Early Childhood. (2000, August). Code of ethics. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://www.dec-sped.org/

COURSE RESOURCES

Standard

Part 1: Position Statements and Influential Practices

 

Part 2: Global Support for Children’s Rights and Well-Being

Part 3: Selected Early Childhood Organizations

Part 4: Selected Professional Journals Available in the Walden Library

  • YC Young Children
  • Childhood
  • Journal of Child & Family Studies
  • Child Study Journal
  • Multicultural Education
  • Early Childhood Education Journal
  • Journal of Early Childhood Research
  • International Journal of Early Childhood
  • Early Childhood Research Quarterly
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social Studies
  • Maternal & Child Health Journal
  • International Journal of Early Years Education

 

Additional Resources

Book: A Framework for Understanding Poverty, by Ruby Payne

Websites:

US Department of Education: https://www.ed.gov/early-learning/resources

Michigan eLibrary: http://kids.mel.org/

Documentary:

The History of Kindergarten: From Froebel to Today: http://historyofkindergarten.com/