Early Bird Preschool Classroom Curriculum
Charlotte Lewis
Introduction to Early Childhood Education 101
Mrs. Pilar Carroll
October 11, 2010

Early Bird Preschool Classroom Curriculum
Behind every school and every teacher is a set of related beliefs-a philosophy of education-that influences what and how students are taught. A philosophy of education answers questions about the purpose of schooling, a teacher?s role, what should be taught and by what methods. This paper will explore the meaning of philosophy of education, theories and programs used to support philosophy of education, the developmental stages used to describe a preschool student, methods of assessment used in the classroom and the curriculum and environment of the classroom.
The philosophy of education is the study of the purpose, process, nature, and ideals of education. Teachers formulate goals, discuss values and priorities on a daily basis with the intent of motivating students to learn. There is five philosophies of education: essentialism, perennialism, progressivism, social reconstrutionism, and existentialism (Sadker & Zittleman, 2007). These five philosophies are categorized into two distinct philosophies: teacher-centered philosophies and student-centered philosophies (Sadker & Zittleman, 2007).
Teacher-centered philosophies emphasize the importance of transferring knowledge, information, and skills from the older generation to the younger one. The teacher?s role is to instill respect for authority, perseverance, duty, consideration, and practicality. The major teacher-centered philosophies of education are essentialism and perennialism. Essentialism strives to teach students the accumulated knowledge of our civilization through core courses in the traditional academic disciplines and aims to instill students with the ?essentials? of academic knowledge, patriotism, and character development. Perennialism emphasizes rationality as the major purpose of education. It asserts that the essential truths that are recurring and universally true (Sadker & Zittleman, 2007).
Student-centered philosophies are less authoritarian, less concerned with the past and ?training the mind? and more focused on individual needs, contemporary relevance, and preparing students for a changing future. Progressivism, social reconstructionism, and existentialism place the learner at the center of the educational process. Students and teachers work together on determining what should be learned and how best to learn it (Sadker & Zittleman, 2007). Progressivism organizes schools around the concerns, curiosity, and real-world experiences of students. Social reconstructionism encourages schools, teachers, and students to focus their studies and energies on alleviating pervasive social inequities, and reconstruct society into a new and more just social order. Existentialism places the highest degree of importance on student perceptions, decisions, and actions (Sadker & Zittleman, 2007).
My philosophy of education would be a combination of both the teacher-centered philosophy and the child-centered philosophy. Students should be encouraged to have respect for themselves and others. Students should be taught the basic core curriculum taking into consideration the diversity of the classroom makeup focusing on the needs of each of my students. Each student in his/her own way and at his/her own pace. Communication should be open-ended between all involved in the education process: student, parent, and teacher.
Pioneering work of theorist have contributed to our knowledge understanding
of how children learn. They have laid the foundation for the practice of constructivism,
which is based on the theory that children literally construct their knowledge of the world and their level of functioning. Howard Gardner is among the noted theorist. Howard Gardner is well known for his theory of multiple intelligences, which maintains that instead of a single intelligence, there are actually eight. Gardner?s eight intelligences are visual/spatial (picture smart: the ability to notice details of what one sees and to imagine and manipulate objects in one mind), verbal/linguistic (word smart: the ability to use language effectively and to learn through reasoning and problem solving), mathematical/logical (number/reasoning smart: the ability to learn through reasoning and problem solving), bodily/kinesthetic (body smart: the ability to use one?s body skillfully and interact with one?s environment), musical/rhythmic (music smart: the ability to learn through patterns, rhythms, and music), intrapersonal (people smart: the ability to notice subtle aspects of other people?s behavior through the interaction with others), interpersonal (self-smart: the ability to learn form one?s own feelings, motives, and desires), and naturalistic (nature smart: the ability to recognize patterns in nature and differences among natural objects and life-forms) (Morrison, 2009).
A number of educational approaches have developed from theories introduced
to society. One of these approaches is the High/Scope educational approach. This is an
educational program for young children based on Jean Piaget?s and Lev Vygotsky?s
ideas. The High/Scope program strives to develop in children a broad range of skills,