Practical Experience is an Essential Component in Early Childhood Education Program

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    Sep 01, 2014
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Practical Experience is an Essential Component in Early Childhood Education Program Photo by Jason White

Being the first person to teach children the importance of education and making learning enjoyable for them is a hefty task. The people who work in this field must have not only have knowledge of working with children but also understand how to plan lessons using a thorough understanding of child development, which includes a personal philosophy of early childhood education within the framework of ethical and professional standards. They must also be able to plan and implement lessons that coincide with those of the general class but differ for children with developmental delay.

While teaching the kids in their care, these professionals must also develop and then maintain relationships with individual kids and groups of kids in an environment that best meet the requirements of current legislation, regulatory bodies and program policies. Speaking of policies, ECE professionals must be prepared to apply relevant legislation, policies, procedures and regulations to early childhood education programs and settings in a changing social context. Meanwhile, another relationship ECE professionals must develop is with families of the children through effective written, oral, nonverbal and electronic communications.

In two years, Centennial College's Early Childhood Education offering teaches students how to implement all of the above tasks effectively through a combination of theory that is reinforced by hands-on and real-world experience. For example, in the course The Healthy Development of the Whole Child, students are introduced to the basic principles of child development and acquire a working understanding of developmental milestones and variations in children, within the context of family, culture and society. Through lectures, in-class exercises and case scenarios, students explore the development of the whole child, including social, emotional, physical, cognitive, linguistic and health dimensions.

Meanwhile, in the Child Abuse course, instructors use a variety of teaching methods including, lectures, group discussion, case histories, films and debates to cover areas such as parent support, child advocacy, and professional reporting and documentation procedure. Other courses in the offering include: Keys to Success in ECE, Guidance and the Individual Child, Understanding and Communicating with Families, Preschool and School Curriculum and more.

The ECE program is rounded out with experience at two Centennial College early childhood education centres that function as lab schools, which allow students to experience and understand what high quality child care is all about.

While this early childhood studies offering is facilitated from Centennial College's largest location, Progress Campus, it is worth noting that for the convenience of students, the same program is offered at Ashtonbee Campus. Students may also take the part-time version of the undertaking at Ashtonbee Camps.

Thanks to their work at one of the child care centres in Toronto as well as the theory they gain, graduates of this offering are prepared to apply for positions with a host of organizations among which are nursery schools and child care centres as well as community services such as drop-in centres, shelters for women, and children and parent resource centres. Graduate employment, graduate and employer satisfaction have all consistently remained above 80 per cent for several years.

Author's Profile

In his article about Centennial College's Early Childhood Education, Author highlights the fact that this program is offered at two locations and includes learning in a real world environment, which guarantees graduates' confidence.

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