Various early childhood programs exist globally. These programs focus on various early childhood development aspects. Further, the programs base their operations on different philosophies and theorists (Gordon and Browne 12). Therefore, this paper seeks to give an insight into the Head start early childhood program.
The Head start program is a federal plan of the United States. The program focuses on promoting schooling readiness of children aged one month to five years. The program promotes the children’s schooling readiness through developing them emotionally, socially and cognitively. The program mainly focuses on children from poor families. The program focuses on children from poor families as they face many life challenges (Gordon and Browne 30-45).
The head start program provides a learning atmosphere that supports growth of the children in the following key domains. The domains include language, cognition, physical, health, social, and emotional development (Gordon and Browne 50).
In achieving its objectives, head start program provides comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families. The program designed its services in a manner that they are responsive to every child and the family’s ethnic, linguistic heritage and cultural background. The head start program provides its services by visiting children in schools. In other cases, the staffs visit children in family childcare homes and children homes. The staffs normally visit the children once or twice a week (Gordon and Browne 45-52).
In the provision of the services, head start bases on the following philosophy. The program posits that, the learning potential is greatest in the early development years of a child. Therefore, the program holds that, all parties should provide the children with all the learning opportunities earliest possible. Further, the program maintains that, early education at school or home should seek to provide various activities that seek to foster, physical, emotional, mental, and social development. These activities include both group learning and individual experiences based on various concrete examples (Gordon and Browne 42-49).
The head start program matches with various theorists. The theorists that match with the program are Albert Bandura and Jean Piaget. Albert holds that, the learning process effectively takes place early in life through observation and imitation. In this regard, the children learn behavior through imitating the models demonstrating the behavior. This program represents the theorist ideas in many ways. For example, the program maintains that, learning is effective during early stages of development. Further, the program maintains that early education at school should provide various activities that seek to foster mental and social development. The activities include individual experiences based on concrete examples. This is in line with Albert Bandura who holds the view that effective learning takes place through observation and imitation (Gordon and Browne 44-55).
On the other hand, the cognitive development theorists who borrow the ideas of Jean Piaget hold that a child’s reasoning and thinking changes over time. In this regard, a child develops cognitively through constructing her own understanding of the world as she grows. However, the theorists argue that, a child’s biological maturation affects the cognitive development. The program represents the ideas of these theorists in various ways. For example, the program seeks to develop the children both physically and mentally. In doing this, the program provides for the needs of poor children below the age of five. The belief is that children from poor families lack basic needs like food. Lack of food affects children’s biological development, hence their cognitive development. Therefore, by providing for the needs, the program seeks to avoid a situation where lack of basic needs affects children’s cognitive development (Gordon and Browne 54-61).
The theorist who matches my philosophy of early childhood education and the ideal program is Albert Bandura. The theorist matches my philosophy since I believe effective learning takes place through observation. I selected these theorists as their ideas are highly applicable in understanding the ideal program.
I would incorporate Albert Bandura’s ideas by ensuring children learn through physical models. For example, I will ensure I use practical examples in class where children can observe and learn from them. Further, I will seek to employ the cognitive theorist ideas by providing the children with nutritious food in school. I will provide the children with enough food because lack of food affects their biological development, which in turn affects their cognitive development. Therefore, for effective cognitive development, I must provide for the children’s biological needs (Gordon and Browne 62-65).
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Gordon, Ann Miles, and Kathryn Williams Browne. Beginnings & Beyond: Foundations in
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