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A Report On How Current Provision And Practice Is Influenced By The Work Of The Early Year's Educators And Their Approach To Practice

3396 words - 14 pages

Each one of the early years educators has played an important role in setting the foundations that is the basis of the main curriculum's and foundation frameworks in schools today. Maria Montessori believed in independence in nurseries and that children should be taught to use their senses first rather than just educating their intellect with subjects such as maths and science. These of course came later in the children's education but the main focus within her nurseries was to develop observational skills through the environment and learning outdoors, and to provide the children with carefully organised preparatory activities rather than repetition as a means of developing competence in ...view middle of the document...

In my placement, when the children are told it is tidy up time they know they need to put everything away and must help clear up until the room is tidy. The practitioners join in with the tidying but do not do it for the children, so they are leading by example but are still allowing the children to think for themselves and take responsibility for putting away their own play equipment. During snack time I have also witnessed the children carrying their own chairs through if they are a few chairs short in the hall. This gives the children a sense of independence and is also a good way of developing their gross motor skills and co-ordination. In the key stage 1 classes children are encouraged to pour their own drinks and are given small jobs such as handing out the lunchboxes and folders at lunchtime and the end of the day. These are just a few ways that the children are encouraged to be independent within the school day as well as managing their own hygiene and dressing/undressing independently for a physical education activity. Part of the stepping stones within the foundation stage state that children should be encouraged to dress and undress independently and select and use activities and resources independently, which is exactly what I have witnessed in my previous and current placements. The birth to three matters framework has a similar view on independency as the emotional well-being guidelines for a child focuses on developing healthy independence e.g. 'activities which provide small steps to be achieved will support all children, including those with disabilities, thus reducing frustration and supporting them to become independent.' These clear guidelines from the various frameworks and curriculum's undoubtedly show the positive effect Maria Montessori has had on current practice, and that her theories have been widely acknowledged within teaching practice today.Rudolf Steiner set up the Waldorf schools where the main consideration is around practical activities that develop the mind and the imagination. The types of activities that Steiner introduced in his schools were things such as knitting, weaving, playing a musical instrument, woodcarving and painting. These are very much practical based activities and many are still carried on in schools today such as learning to play an instrument. This is seen as an important activity for children in the early years and lessons and clubs for this are seen as mainstream activities. Steiner believed that education should be designed to suit the changing needs of a child as they develop mentally, physically and emotionally. This can be seen in the current practices and provisions as there are different levels and stages of which a child can progress through at their own pace, such as the stepping stones in the birth to three matters and foundation stage curriculum. Each individual child is encouraged within their own abilities to progress with their education and onto the next levels of...

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