Early childhood education is an important branch of early education theory which does not pertain to the education of young children at birth up to their age of seven. Traditionally, this is usually equivalent to the third grade. ECE evolved as a discipline of early education during the enlightenment, especially in Western countries with high reading rates. The principle of early childhood education has its roots in the social and psychological development of a child from his childhood. It involves early identification and understanding of his basic needs and wants, and the identification of his interests, hopes, and dreams.
The process of early childhood education basically starts when the child is identified as capable of comprehending and expressing the simplest ideas on any subject, irrespective of what the subject is. Then he is taught how to express those ideas, to develop his own individuality and self-worth, and to develop social and emotional skills. The very first step is for him to develop his intellectual curiosity. Various institutions like the British Board of Education, the American Educational Association, and the Canadian Council for Educating Psychology have defined the fundamental principles underlying early childhood education. These associations lay stress on the primary importance of social interaction and positive experiential guidance, as well as the role of parents, guardians, and teachers. According to these associations, good preschool teachers are able to build a strong foundation in the minds of the children, by developing positive intellectual skills.
The concept of early childhood education has gained wide acceptance in the United States. There are many pre-school educators in the country who hold advanced degrees in early childhood education. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for certification by some organizations. Two years of teacher preparation course, related qualifications, professional experience, and a bachelor’s degree are the basic prerequisites for teacher preparation in the United States. A master’s degree is also highly desirable, as it takes a teacher several years to complete it.
The requirements for entering an institution that offers early childhood education vary from state to state. In some states, only teachers with a master’s degree are eligible for getting a bachelor’s. The teaching standards are different between the states, and teachers should check out the educational requirements for their state before applying for an early childhood endorsement or license.
Teachers who wish to be included in this program must pass a teaching test that is aligned with its objectives. Only the best teachers who can demonstrate great potential and who have exceptional teaching qualities, skills, and experiences should be considered for evaluation. There are many colleges and universities that offer the degree, and they are popular choices for early childhood educators because they usually have a good reputation and the colleges and universities that they attend have accreditation. Besides this, these colleges are very popular schools, and many parents prefer them to other options.
Special education programs for kids are very common, and they often concentrate on particular groups, like autism, deafness, heart conditions, or allergies. However, there are some schools that offer early childhood education programs even for special education children. This is especially common for those children who have a disability that affects their ability to learn.
According to Alvarado, there are several reasons why teachers who have earned the bachelor’s degree or higher would be preferred over those who just have a diploma. First of all, those who have a bachelor’s degree are considered more qualified, because they have achieved something important in their lives. Second, an individual with this qualification has probably already worked in a classroom, so he knows how things work and can help other students. This makes him someone who will be taken seriously, and teachers will want to get to know him better before being placed in a special education class.
One thing that many school districts are changing now is using a precision learning format in the classroom. Alvarado says that his experience as an early childhood education teacher supports the use of this curriculum. He believes it will help keep the attention of students much longer than reading or listening. Plus, it offers the advantages of being interactive and fun. The use of a precision learning format in classrooms is already common in some states, but more school districts are considering it.