Early Childhood Models
Educational leaders need to be knowledgeable about different early childhood educational models and understand the benefits and challenges of each approach to learning.
For this assignment, imagine that you are the director of an early childhood education center, and you have decided to open a new location. Select a geographical area or district you would like to serve, and research the demographics of the surrounding community.
Create a 10-15 slide digital presentation for prospective teachers who may consider working at your new center.
Specifically, discuss the following different school models:
In your discussion, explain the theoretical foundation of each model, and how each model supports the development of the whole child.
Of the models listed, choose one model you would use within your early childhood education center. In your presentation, explain why you selected the model, how the model aligns with child-centered beliefs, and why it is a good choice for the demographics of the community you selected.
Include a title slide, references slide, and speaker’s notes in your digital presentation.
Support your findings with 3-5 scholarly references.
While APA Style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.
Early Childhood Education Models for ABC Learning Center
The Project Approach model focuses on extended investigations of self-selected topics driven by children’s interests (Jones & Nimmo, 1994). Teachers act as facilitators who provide open-ended materials to support children’s explorations. This model emphasizes hands-on, active learning through play. It aligns well with child-centered beliefs as children have autonomy to follow their innate curiosity (Helm & Katz, 2016). The Project Approach could work well in our diverse community as it celebrates different cultures and perspectives.
Head Start is a federally funded program that promotes school readiness for low-income children ages 3-5 through education, health, and family wellness services (Office of Head Start, 2022). Classrooms have small student-teacher ratios and focus on developing literacy, math, and social-emotional skills through hands-on activities and learning centers. This model could benefit the families in our lower-income neighborhood by providing comprehensive early education.
The High Scope model is based on the constructivist theory that children actively construct their own knowledge through hands-on exploration and interaction with peers and teachers (High Scope, 2022). Daily routines include uninterrupted free play time, small group activities, and large group meeting times. Teachers conduct ongoing child assessments to plan individualized learning experiences. This model aligns with our child-centered philosophy through its emphasis on active learning.
The Montessori method focuses on sensory-based, self-directed activities that foster physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive development (Lillard, 2017). Multi-age classrooms contain open-ended Montessori materials that children can freely choose to support their individual growth. This model may appeal to our diverse families as it celebrates different learning styles and rates of development.
Inspired by the educational projects of Reggio Emilia, Italy, the Reggio Emilia approach views children as competent learners and co-constructors of knowledge (Edwards et al., 2012). Projects emerge from children’s interests and involve open-ended art and building materials. Documentation of children’s work is valued. This model aligns well with our child-centered philosophy through its emphasis on collaborative learning and multiple forms of expression.
Based on the anthroposophical philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the Waldorf model incorporates imaginative play, creative arts, outdoor time, and teacher-led academic content to nurture the whole child—head, heart and hands (WECAN, 2022). Rhythmic, predictable daily routines aim to balance intellect and feelings. This holistic model may appeal to families seeking an alternative to mainstream education.
Model Selection – Montessori
After reviewing the research, I have selected the Montessori method for our new early childhood center. The Montessori approach best aligns with our child-centered educational philosophy through its emphasis on individualized, self-directed learning through hands-on materials. Montessori classrooms celebrate different rates of development and learning styles, which will support our diverse community. The model provides structure but also allows open-ended exploration, cultivating independence and intrinsic motivation to learn. Montessori teacher training will prepare our educators to facilitate engaging lessons that foster the whole child’s physical, social-emotional and cognitive growth.
Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (Eds.). (2012). The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia experience in transformation (3rd ed.). Praeger.
Helm, J. H., & Katz, L. (2016). Young investigators: The project approach in the early years. Teachers College Press.
High Scope. (2022). What is HighScope? https://highscope.org/about-us/what-is-highscope/
Jones, E., & Nimmo, J. (1994). Emergent curriculum. National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Lillard, A. S. (2017). Montessori: The science behind the genius (Updated, with new research). Oxford University Press.
Office of Head Start. (2022). About the office of head start. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ohs/about
Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. (2022). What is Waldorf early childhood education? https://waldorfearlychildhood.org/waldorf-education/what-is-waldorf-early-childhood-education