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Observation of an Early Childhood Environment 

The purpose of this assignment is to observe an early childhood environment, to explore what pedagogical approach is being utilized, and to take ideas you have learned within this course and discuss how you could apply them.

Conduct a one-to-two hours observation in an early childhood setting (this MUST be a licensed preschool or child care centre that offers programs to children under the age of 5). Make sure to pay attention to the indoor and outdoor environment. Observe what the children are doing, how the room is arranged, what is displayed on the wall, what materials are used.

Important: Before your observation read: The Environment Is a Teacher, by Karyn Callaghan (pages 11-15) in the online document:  Think, Feel, Act: Lessons from Research about Young Children (Links to an external site.)  (Ontario Government, 2013).

Use the reflection questions on page 14 of The Environment Is a Teacher and additional readings about the environment to guide your observation and analysis (see the questions below):  In the classrooms you observe, some of the elements listed below may not observed depending on the pedagogical approach the teacher is following.

1. What philosophy appears to be guiding the teacher’s pedagogical approach?

2. How well does each part of the environment invite investigation, lingering, conversation and collaboration?

3. Are children’s words and work visible in the environment in a way that communicates respect and value for  their meaning-making and communication?

4. How well does the environment “challenge children aesthetically to respond deeply to the natural world, their cultural heritage, or to their inner world” (Tarr, 2001)?

1. In what ways are multiple voices represented in the classroom focused on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity?

2. How does the educator include Indigenous ways of being, perspectives, and knowledge in their early childhood education curriculum?

5. To what extent are children able to discover and develop their capabilities through reasonable risk-taking?

6. Does the schedule support thoughtful, sustained engagement with ideas, materials, and friends?

7. What can we learn from how children respond to the life, materials and events in their environment?

*Taken from:  Think, Feel, Act: Lessons from Research about Young Children (Links to an external site.)  (Ontario Government, 2013, p. 14).

After responding to the questions above, summarize and explain what you have learned from doing this observation.  Are there ideas in relation to this course which you could see yourself applying to the environment you are observing?

The assignment can include images of the environment (you must obtain permission from the ECE setting to take photos).

The written component of the assignment should be approximately 6 pages (Times New Roman font, 12, 2.0 spacing, [APA] format).

Minimum of six references focused on required readings for this course.

Important: Keep the name and location of the preschool or child care setting confidential. Use pseudonyms if necessary.

 

All required readings from Module 1-7 please see the list below and find attachment for reading articles

Listed below:

Required Readings Module One

· Kirova, A., Prochner, L., and Massing, C. (2019). Chapter 1. Childhood and society. In Learning to teach young children: Theoretical perspectives and implications for practice. New York: NY: Bloomsbury. (Required textbook)

· Lewis, Z. (2018). Policy and the image of the child: a critical analysis of drivers and levers in English early years curriculum policy. Early Years (London, England), , 1-15. (Library Online Course Reserves).

Required Readings Module Two

· Berman, R. & Abawi, Z. (2019). Thinking and doing otherwise: Reconceptualist contributions to Early Childhood Education and Care. In S. Jagger (Ed.), Early Years Education and Care in Canada: A historical and philosophical overview (pp. 165-190). Canadian Scholars. (Library Online Course Reserves)

· Nolan, A., & Raban-Bisby, B. (2015). Chapter One: Theories and Perspectives. In  Theories into practice: understanding and rethinking our work with young children and the EYLF. Teaching Solutions. (pp. 5-14). ( Library Online Course Reserves)

 

Required Readings Module Three

· Martin, K. (2018). ‘Humpty Dumpty’: Teaching Strategy or Postcolonial Method – What Do We Know About Power, Voice and Identity Within Early Childhood Education in the Twenty-First Century? (pp. 77-90). Springer Netherlands. (Library Online Course Reserves)

· Rouvali, A., & Riga, V. (2019). Redefining the importance of children’s voices in personal social emotional development curriculum using the Mosaic Approach. Education 3-13, 47(8), 998-1013. (Library Online Course Reserves)

Required Readings Module Four

· Canning, N. (2019). Can You Shout a Little Louder?: Listening and Hearing Children’s Voices Through Play. In C. Patterson, & L. Kocher (Eds.), (1st ed., pp. 33-48). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351266840-3 (Library Online Course Reserves)

· Kirova, A., Prochner, L. W., & Massing, C. (2020). Chapter Seven: Childhoods and play.  In Learning to teach young children: theoretical perspectives and implications for practice. Bloomsbury Academic. (Required Text)

Required Readings Module Five

· Kirova, A., Prochner, L. W., & Massing, C. (2020). Chapter Two: Children are Citizens.  In Learning to teach young children: theoretical perspectives and implications for practice. Bloomsbury Academic.

· Kirova, A., Prochner, L. W., & Massing, C. (2020). Chapter Three: Children, Communities and Cultures.  In Learning to teach young children: theoretical perspectives and implications for practice. Bloomsbury Academic.

Required Readings Module Six

· Biermeier, M. A. (2015). Inspired by Reggio Emilia: Emergent curriculum in relationship-driven learning environments. YC Young Children, 70(5), 72    ( https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/nov2015/emergent-curriculum  (Links to an external site.)  )

· Kirova, A., Prochner, L. W., & Massing, C. (2020). Chapter Four: Experience, Learning and Development.  In Learning to teach young children: theoretical perspectives and implications for practice. Bloomsbury Academic. (Required Text)

Required Readings Module Seven

· Kirova, A., Prochner, L. W., & Massing, C. (2020). Chapter Five: Partners in Learning.  In Learning to teach young children: theoretical perspectives and implications for practice. Bloomsbury Academic. (Required Text)

· Kirova, A., Prochner, L. W., & Massing, C. (2020). Chapter Nine: Teachers are Researchers.  In Learning to teach young children: theoretical perspectives and implications for practice. Bloomsbury Academic. (Required Text)

· Nxumalo, F., Vintimilla, C. D., & Nelson, N. (2018). Pedagogical gatherings in early childhood education: Mapping interferences in emergent curriculum.  Curriculum Inquiry, 48(4), 433-453. (Course Reserves)

Last Updated on July 3, 2022

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