Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education aims at the development of one’s cognitive and motor abilities. These skills can best be taught by blending education with fun and play. To know more on this, read on.

Early childhood encompasses the first eight years in the life of an individual. The education that should be given during these years of a child’s life revolves around certain domains of early development. Research has discovered the fact that children tend to learn from whole experiences and that they cannot perceive parts of an experience. Thus the education they are given should be in the form that they can understand. Early childhood education focuses on learning through play. Parents, caretakers, neighbors and preschool teachers play a vital role in the early years of a child’s education.

The first two years in a child’s life are spent in the realization of one’s own identity. These are the years when children gain a sense of self. Children gradually form an identity of their own and learn to associate themselves with the people around them. They gain an understanding of their own thinking and behavior to a certain extent and they begin to know themselves. For these reasons it is suggested that early childhood education during these years should be focused on establishing links between children and their families, their home and their culture. It should be remembered that the education given to children in these years would lead them towards forming a fully developed identity of their own.

During the early years of childhood, one develops motor control. This is one of the most important developmental domains in a child’s life. Early childhood education should deal with the training in motor abilities. Motor control needs to be exercised during the early years of childhood. Motor abilities relate to a child’s ability to use his/her muscles. The ability to hold an object with grip, the ability of co-coordinated walking and synchronized muscle movements to perform various physical activities define the set of a child’s motor skills.

Perception, sensory development and communication are also the important domains of a child’s development. In the phase of early childhood, one learns to perceive things and react to them using the sensory organs. It is during this period that a child learns to use its sensory organs to perceive stimuli. The early childhood years define the period of developing language and communication skills. Language forms the children’s means to communicate with the world around them, to express themselves and say what they think and feel. Children gain the cognitive abilities during the early years of childhood.

The development of an individual starts with the manifestation of one’s motor abilities. The intelligence levels increase and gradually begin to be displayed in terms of thinking and imagination. These abilities later develop into logic, accompanied by a general awareness of oneself and one’s surroundings. The social and mental development also takes place during one’s early childhood years. The education given during these years of a child’s development should aim at his/her interpersonal skills too. It is during their early childhood years, that children obtain happiness from a sense of security. Assuring them family security during these years is important for their overall development. The lack of parental interaction during early childhood can negatively impact a child’s development. It is the responsibility of the parents and caretakers to assure the children of a mental and social security to help them develop their personalities.

Early childhood education programs should consist of training in reading abilities, motor skills, language and communication skills. The need of the day is to familiarize a child to technology during his/her early years of childhood. Apart from the basic skills, it has become necessary to acquaint children with modern technology. Teaching children through narratives and moral stories is an effective way to inculcate in them, the principles of life. Teaching them the basic math and alphabet helps them in their school activities. Some children might exhibit certain natural talents, which need to be recognized at the right time and nurtured. Early childhood is the time to understand children and make them understand their own selves. Education during that period should serve this purpose.