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Introduction

  • Dear Parents, it is a pleasure to us every time we dine with you for the parents information night to discuss and share our young children learning approaches to hone best their academic journey and there is no doubt early child learners need to be taught using the best pedagogical learning approach to help them prepare for this long stretched academic course.
  • For that reason, I wish to acknowledge that many of you have expressed concerns about our play based pedagogical learning approach that we use at our care setting. It is based on this information that I wish to substantiate this learning approach in line with what our learners attain and how the play based learning approach helps to prepare our learners academically as well as equips them with relevant life skills that helps people to overcome the challenges of life.

Play Based Pedagogical Approach

  • What I would like to make clear is that we intend to provide a foundation to our children that will shape their academic excellence and success. But we also know that human success does not necessarily base on one’s academic knowledge. It is a combination of various intuition skills that makes the difference between academic learners.
  • Fortunately/unfortunately, our care setting after thorough discussions with different educators in the early childhood setting, it was resolved that the play based approach of pedagogical learning infuses both academic knowledge and life skills that will enable our learners to succeed in their careers.
  • According to sociologist Jean Piaget, children development and learning takes occurs in stages of their development. Piaget’s even makes clear that early child learners construct knowledge as they play (TCHR5001, n.d). To the theorist, learning should be at a child’s level, and thus early child learners should be allowed to explore, play, and problem solve. It also needs noting that children are naturally motivated to play, and as such, our play based approach of teaching revolves around that acknowledgement. However, it still remains that our play based approach of teaching is structured to enable children learn while playing.
  • Our play-based approach of learning is both children initiated and teacher initiated to support the learning.
  • A case in point, is when children are playing with blocks, our teachers pose questions to our learners to implore their problem solving skills (Queensland Government, 2023). This way, our approach to learning prays children into imaginations to solve problems in playful ways. In the same way, such a play activity develops the children thinking capacity at higher levels.
  • Dear parents lets appreciate the fact that early children learning is not necessary all about conferring to learners formal academic knowledge to pass exams. Largely, early children learning is meant to develop children into understanding and teachable people. It is meant to set up children for success in life of which academics is part of this developmental phase.
  • As many would agree with me, mathematical, literacy, and science concepts require problem solving skills, knowledge of hypothesizing and prediction yet again children do not develop this ability through mere formal academic learning (Robertson, 2018).
  • On the contrary, children acquire this acquaintance in their early years of education, and play identifies as the best approach through which the importance of problem solving is passed to the learners by staging activities that help develop their metacognition. At the same time, this helps prepare the learners for their high class learning and enables them to succeed at a higher level.
  • Secondly, I would like to draw your appreciation to the fact that as teacher at the care setting, we believe we are the children’s first families. Most of our children are aged between 3-5 years an age bracket considered to be for early child learners. Thus, we believe our day-to-day interactions we share with the learners is the way through which they learn about their culture, the world, and their families.
  • For individuals who are naturally born playful, we have to acknowledge that most of this learning takes place in the form of play.
  • This view is supported by Erick Erickson’s psychosocial theory which states that a person’s internal psychological state is inseparable from the social context (nature vs. nurture) (TCHR5001, n.d).
  • According to the theorists, in the early years of child development, there are patterns that at least influence or regulate the actions of individuals and interactions in life. These skills are requisite in the development of learners as well as education. First and foremost, early learners need to learn to speak to be able to learn in life. As you can see, some of our learners here are toddlers some of whom are yet to learn speaking and some possess weak English speaking skills. Building a foundation based on which the learners are able to learn is something we all ought to acknowledge. In any case, formal learning takes place in spoken form, and this knowledge is necessary for our learners to possess.
  • Children develop social interaction skills with peers through play; they learn how to compromise and negotiate with others all which are important skills in human life. In a bid to prepare our learners for formal education, children need to develop social skills to study along with their colleagues but to also get on with people in the society.
  • Social skills are a necessary attribute humans need to have and this is not obtained anyhow. It is through engaging with others, combining efforts and appreciating the value of one another. This is exactly our group based play activities aim at achieving and show to our learners at the care setting.
  • In today’s business world, one’s formal academic knowledge alone may not be sufficient to succeed in life. Marketers, sales agents, public relations officers, and front desk operators can all agree with me that one’s interpersonal skills are as important as one’s academic knowledge or even more to ply a career in the sales or marketing field. Yet again, this knowledge is not amassed from the blue, it is a procedure through which learners get to appreciate and learn to interact and work collaboratively with others.
  • While our care setting is considered to primary front a play-based pedagogical approach of learning, a closer analysis to our teaching approach reveals we equally engage in formal teaching pedagogical approaches that a teacher-led. Although the teaching takes place almost in the form of play, some of our curriculum activities are formal and dispense to the learners the kind of knowledge you favor; they are academic and can be quantified in the form of quizzes we give to our 5 year early child learners.
  • For example, our counting play exercises help learners to develop numerical skills which are necessary in primary level mathematics subject. The same, our group alphabet and pattern reading practices equip learners with the knowledge of reading which is necessary in children learning. Least said, our dear parents compromise our teaching model for the reason that it is largely conducted in the form of plays. To this, our justification is early child learners are children who are play wired, easily destructed, and bored by the activities they find naturally unrelated to them. Believe me not, teaching in early child settings cannot be conducted the same way as teaching in high level classes. Children actively engage in activities where there interests are shared and a learner would easily sleep off or cry if they are required to do an activity they find to be uninteresting. In the same way, play builds a positive attitude towards learning that is characteristic of curiosity, imagination, persistence and enthusiasm. As you would now imagine, the type of skills and learning processes we inculcate in the learners through our play-based pedagogical approach cannot be fostered through the formal style of learning which you recommend. Early childhood education is intended to establish a group for children learning and development that sets up for future success. There is no doubt that the Australian Early childhood education curriculum recommends an all-inclusive play-based approach in early year learning centers not that they are unaware of other early year teaching approaches but because they appreciate they important skills learners gain through this approach of learning (Government of Western Australia, n.d). We would therefore like to implore you our dear parents to view and come to appreciate the pertinent skills our learners are gaining and their relationship towards not only our children success but also their general life success.
  • Also allow me to note that scientific research that has been conducted over the last 30 years confirms that the most important part of human development happens between the ages of 0-8 years.
  • During this period, children develop cognitively, emotionally, physically, social competence, and sound mental and physical abilities that sets them up for life success. Although it is often purported that learning takes places throughout the life course, in early year learning, learning takes place at a pace that can never be equaled. Early year children have blank mental plates capable of comprehending each and everything taught and use it to lay the ground work for success both in school and beyond. It is against this background that we find value in using this pedagogical approach that we believe will enrich our learners with success in school and outside school.

We request our dear parents that you reflect towards our view of learning, and that you find it relevant to our learners long-term success.

Thank you for listening to me!

References

Government of Western Australia. (n.d.). Importance of Play-based Learning. Department of Education. https://www.education.wa.edu.au/dl/7lpml0

Queensland Government. (2023). Play-based learning. Department of Education. https://earlychildhood.qld.gov.au/earlyYears/Documents/age-appropriate-pedagogies-play-based-learning.PDF

Robertson, N. (2018, February 21). Play-based learning can set your child up for success at school and beyond. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/play-based-learning-can-set-your-child-up-for-success-at-school-and-beyond-91393

TCHR5001. (n.d.). Module 2: Contemporary Theoretical Perspectives [PDF].

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