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Foundations of Teaching and Learning Assignment Help

An essay informed by theory and personal values and beliefs focussing on creating a stimulating and caring classroom or early learning environment where optimal learning can take place. 

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Values of early childhood learning

In the early years, a child is open to learning new things at a rapid pace. This learning acts as a critical foundation for the individual’s lifelong progress. The adults including parents, caregivers, and educators involved in this process of learning from birth to 8 years of age, holds a great responsibility for their child’s learning, development and health. The early learning environment is the nurturing space that assists in the overall development of children. This environment includes play areas, classroom, and space for caregiving routines as well as outdoor activities (Smith, Tesar, & Myers, 2016). It is evident that the optimum learning environment can foster effective teaching and learning. In such environments, educators tends to prioritize the emotional and social aspects of learning. Emotionally and intellectually safe classrooms nurture and stimulate health and contribute to personal well-being (Cumming, Sumsion, & Wong, 2015). Also, note that such an environment is helpful in protecting the children from challenging behavior and also serves as an integral part of interventions, especially for children with identified disabilities. Young children tend to prosper and flourish when they are provided positive, secure relationships with adults involved in their learning and development process. A good early learning environment comprises of age-appropriate curriculum, interpersonal interactions, professional teacher workforce, comprehensive family engagement activities, and sufficient funding for support (Garvis, & Manning, 2017).

In the section, the various theories of child development and early education has been outlined. These theories act as a foundation for designing early learning environment for children in home and classrooms. 

Erikson psychosocial development theory - This theory was developed by Erik Erikson who was a renowned personality in the field of psychological and psychoanalytic development. His psychosocial developmental theory generates a framework for designing human growth through different stages of life.These stages are based on eight levels of psychosocial development. These eight stages include: (i) initiative vs guilt, (ii) trust vs mistrust, (iii) identity vs role, (iv) generativity vs stagnation, (v) industry vs inferiority, (vi) integrity vs despair, (vii) intimacy vs isolation, and (viii) autonomy vs doubt. The description of these eight stages can be found in the report by Hewitt, Benjamin-Neelon, Carson, Stanley, and Janssen, 2018. The authors believes that external factors like parents and society hold a huge impact on the personality development of children until their adulthood. The theory further states that a child will develop a sense of trust, optimism, security, and confidence if they are handled and cared effectively. In the latter stage, which is between 2 to 3 years, the child is able to build self-esteem as well as autonomy by learning new things from play school and classrooms (Smith et al, 2016). During this phase, they also tend to show temperament, stubbornness, and tantrums. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the caretakers and parents to deal with children effectively to bring positive behavior in them (Gilley, Tayler, Niklas, & Cloney, 2015). 

Freud's theory of a child's development - This theory was introduced by Sigmund Freud. This theory is significant for explaining the different experiences of children during their childhood. It also analyses their behavior patterns and personality during their adulthood. Sigmund also believes that each stage of development for a child starting from birth is directly related to their requirements and demands(Lindon, & Brodie, 2016). Overall, this theory has outlined five different stages for child development, that is, the oral stage, phallic stage, latency stage, and genital stage. 

Piaget's Cognitive Developmental theory - Thistheory was introduced by Jean Piaget, who was a renowned scientist and psychologist. According to this theory, it is believed that children think and behave differently as compared to adults (Cumming et al, 2015). Piaget believed that children pass through four different stages of mental development, that is, the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage (Fleet, Patterson, Robertson, & Robertson, 2017). This theory states that children take active participation in the learning process, perform experiments, observe things, and try to learn new things. With such behavior, the continuously interact with other people and build up their knowledge based upon their existing knowledge. They also get adapted easily with the previous based knowledge for accommodating new information (Lindon et al, 2016). His theory illustrates the detailed description of the cognitive development of children. In the earliest stage change the child's development, the acquired knowledge with the help of sensory experiences as well as by manipulating things (Siraj, Kingston, Neilsen-Hewett, Howard, and Melhuish, 2016). The entire experience is based on responses, duplexes, and senses. 

Bowlby's attachment Theory - It was introduced by John Bowlby's who was an exceptional theorist and psychologist in the field of human development. According to this child development theory, it is identified that most of the child development is based on the inborn requirement of each child (Fonagy, 2018). These requirements are defined in the form of attachments which may be either in the form of things, people or places and eventually have a significant impact on their overall development through the passage of life (Siraj et al, 2016). 

Based on personal values and beliefs, it is inferred that the best form of early learning environment for toddlers and preschool-aged children is a play-based learning system. Preschool learning curriculum should be based on three basic principles: (i) provision of free play learning system under the guidance of adults, (ii) intertwine what economic and social development, and (iii) learning should be accompanied with enjoyable play activities as outlined by Knight, & Luff, 2017. The interest of children should be the primary consideration of an education and care service. The learning environment holistic approach for providing endless opportunities that support the education and well-being of each child. The classroom should be based on children's playing ability, meaningful work, curiosity, and perspectives. The early education schools should value children and their families for their culture, tradition, and commitment (Cumming et al, 2015). Moreover, the staff show should be valued on the basis of their knowledge, commitment, skills, and delight in children. Special programs should be designed as a part of the optimal learning system, particularly for toddlers and infants (Jokikokko, & Karikoski, 2016). It is believed that the environment acts as a third teacher where they are able to expand their growing autonomy. Based on personal values and beliefs, educators and parents should focus on instilling valuable morals and culture within their children, where they should learn to respect each other irrespective of any diversity. The learning environment should be characterized by caring, kind and knowledgeable people that can foster a sense of belongingness academic performance, and emotional skills. However, this can be achieved through a safe, friendly and positive environment. The kindergarten and preschool should love and focus on each child equally for their optimal development, they can feel secure, safe and special (Jokikokko et al, 2016). Apart from educational information, parents and teachers should focus on building honest behavior. Note that this would help in building the fundamental values related to trusting, sharing, honesty, caring and listening. They should be taught about the ill effects of lying, hitting, cheating, stealing and disrespecting. Besides playing, the teachers should also show good influential movies to the children such as Free to be you and me, Care Bears, and Hug a bunch, as these will teach them about good habits like sharing, caring, helping and loving. The space and resources within the educational center should be arranged so as to support and empower children in the learning process (Cumming et al, 2015). All the professional staff should abide by the code of ethics of early education as it gives them a framework that reflects about their ethical responsibilities. 

Thus, it can be concluded that a positive learning environment in either home or classroom based setting is important for a child's overall development. A positive and caring environment is not only focused on the physical settings but also is dependent on the knowledge, and skills of educators. Such an environment starts when a positive, emotional and social environment is built through responsive and caring relationships. They should be provided with a room or space which is free of clutter, where they can open their mind for innovation. In addition to this, the learning environment should be appropriate for the child in terms of room temperature, visual appeal and cooperation, where they can promote their learning experience. In addition to this, safety salary should be another concern which creating an optimal learning environment for children. In this context, the room should be free from any kind of health hazard and allergens. Besides, the parents and educators should emphasize on providing positive support materials and feedback to the young learners. It helps the children to motivate, try new things, and learn from mistakes. The distributing behavior of children should be prohibited and they should be made understand about it. They should be nurtured, interacted and engaged as it acts as a foundation to promote early development in all aspects. 

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