Strategies for the New Generation of Early Childhood Teachers

14/08/2020

It is a well-known fact that the face of education has seen drastic transformations over the last few decades. As always, teachers all over the world are leaving no stone unturned to help our children succeed in the 21st century world. In this rapidly evolving educational environment, it is important for the children to be flexible enough to adapt to changing technologies. Today’s teachers have the added responsibility of fostering learning environments that provides adequate encouragement for problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, creativity, social responsibility, global awareness, and collaboration.

Listed below are some effective strategies used by many early childhood teachers to prepare today’s children for the boundless future that lies ahead of them.

Integrated Technology: Born in the age of technology, many of today’s youngsters are more technologically savvy compared to their teachers. This is why the teachers should be well versed with the latest technology and be able to speak the language of their students. Integrated technology looks to tap into the interests of the learners to enhance their technological acumen, while creating refined learning opportunities. Teachers can succeed here only by developing a thorough understanding of the available tools and using them effectively to enhance learning. They also have the responsibility of teaching the kids about using the internet responsibly and making them aware of the internet safety guidelines.

Differentiated Instruction: In a classroom, the learning requirements can vary significantly across students. This is why the teachers should be able to differentiate amongst these individual needs and tailor learning experiences accordingly. This differentiation can be done by the teachers by offering appropriate extension or intervention activities and matching assignments to the students’ readiness levels as required. Another great way to differentiate is to allow the kids to select activities as per their interest areas. Offering choices is one of the best motivators for children. The requirements of diverse learners in a classroom can be met effectively by working in small groups.

Cooperative Learning Structures: A student-centred approach to learning is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. These structures encourage interaction amongst the students to ensure engagement in classrooms. The teacher plays the role of a facilitator, and allows the students to discuss class materials in groups or with buddies.  This not only leads to higher achievement, but also promotes class as well as team building.

Goal Setting: It is possible to encourage children to take ownership of their own learning by involving them in the goal-setting process. However, in the early stage, this must be done in a very simple and clear manner. An effective yet simple example of goal setting is discussing the progress of a student in specific areas in frequent two-way conversations.

Cross-Curriculum Teaching: Instead of the traditional idea of teaching subjects in isolation, a new concept has emerged where multiple subjects are taught simultaneously. This methodology helps children to delve much deeper in learning and acquiring new skills. Blending science, math, or social studies with writing or reading is relatively simple. However, combining all subjects together can be challenging. Project-based, problem-based, and inquiry based learning are some of the most effective approaches to simultaneous learning.  In these methods, instead of just telling children what they should know, teachers engage them in uncovering and exploring knowledge in a meaningful manner.

At Willow-Bee, we have over a decade of early education experience. Please contact us to discuss your child’s educational needs.