What Is Your Early Childhood Education Philosophy and Why Does It Matter?
What is your personal Early Childhood Education philosophy? In this article, we will explore practical questions you can ask yourself to clarify your ECE philosophy and discuss why it’s so important to have one and be able to communicate it to others. Read on to find out more.
What is an Early Childhood Education Philosophy?
Every childcare professional needs an Early Childhood Education philosophy. Your philosophy is your core set of values and beliefs about early learning, child development, and childcare. Your ECE philosophy may be very different from those of other childcare business owners you know, and that’s perfectly fine. There are many schools of thought, methodologies, curricula, and viewpoints out there. The important thing is to decide what you value and most believe in and how your childcare program will support and uphold your personal values and beliefs.
How to Create an Early Childhood Education Philosophy
Many Early Childhood Education professionals find it immensely helpful to write a statement of their early learning philosophy. A statement can help you better summarize what you believe and how your program will reflect what’s most important to you. You don’t have to worry about writing the perfect ECE philosophy statement. Consider your answers to the following questions to help you formulate a summary that rings true to you:
- What is a teacher’s role in the learning and development of a child?
- What is a child’s role in his or her learning and development?
- What kind of environment helps children to learn and develop best?
- How will your Early Childhood Education program provide the kind of environment you believe best supports children’s learning and development?
- What do you think young children should accomplish or learn in their early development years?
- How will your Early Childhood Education program help children accomplish or learn the things you think are most important?
- What teaching philosophies do you most identify with? Why?
- How will your Early Childhood Education program reflect the teaching philosophies you believe in?
- How will you support or address the variety of learning styles of children who participate in your early learning program?
- What do you believe about child behavior, conflict, and discipline?
- How will your Early Childhood Education program support your views on child behavior, conflict, and discipline?
- What do you believe about differing personalities, special needs, and cultural diversity in Early Childhood Education?
- What systems will your early learning program have in place to support children with out-of-the-box personalities, special needs, and who come from various cultural backgrounds?
- How important is the involvement of the parents/caregivers/family members in a child’s early learning and development?
- What measures will your Early Childhood Education program take to involve parents/caregivers/family members in the learning and development of their child that takes place through your program?
By answering these questions, you can develop a very clear and comprehensive personal philosophy of Early Childhood Education. Remember that your statement of beliefs isn’t set in stone, so as your experiences and outlook change over the course of your career as an ECE professional, you can adjust your philosophy to reflect your new values and views.
Why Does Your Early Childhood Education Philosophy Matter?
Not only is it important for you to be able to understand what you believe about Early Childhood Education and why, it’s important to be able to communicate your philosophy to staff members and the families you serve too. That way, you can build a team of teachers who align with your personal values and beliefs, and give families the opportunity to ascribe to them as well, or consider other childcare programs that may be a better fit for their own convictions.
In addition, making your ECE philosophy widely accessible to others, through your employee and family handbooks or on your website, for example, gives you several advantages:
- Refer back to your ECE statement whenever questions arise with staff members or parents.
- Market your childcare company based on the teaching philosophies, curriculum, learning environment, etc. that you want to set your program apart from others.
- Provide a set of core beliefs with which to create a kind, supportive, and harmonious community of educators, parents, and children.
What’s your Early Childhood Education philosophy? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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