Acknowledging, encouraging, and creating challenges are three effective strategies for teaching during early education; these strategies, as they relate to Piaget’s Preoperational Stage of Development enable a teacher to interact and motivate a child while also providing knowledge to the child. “Preoperational children view their experiences through an egocentric lens, which affects the way they develop understanding and build their schemas” (Kojczyk et al., 2012). By effectively utilizing these three technics a teacher can enhance a child’s learning experience.
Acknowledging means that you allow the child to know that you, the teacher, are paying attention to them. A teacher should “let children know that we have noticed by giving positive attention, sometimes through comments, sometimes through just sitting nearby and observing” (National Association for the Education of Young Children, n.d.). Acknowledgment can also be accomplished by simply sitting next to the child and observing their work. By acknowledging that you understand and appreciate a student’s work can foster a sense of pride and help to establish rapport between the student and the teacher.
Encouragement can also help foster the feeling of pride; “Encourage persistence and effort rather than just praising and evaluating what the child has done” (National Association for the Education of Young Children, n.d.). Pushing a child to accomplish more than just average can go a long way to develop intrinsic motivation that will help a child achieve more later in their schooling. Today our children are often expected perform to grade level average; we as teachers tend to be satisfied when a child achieves the standard and we fail to push the child towards greater achievement. Encouragement can be a tool for a teacher to motivate the child, allowing them to achieve to higher levels than anticipated.
The third strategy a teacher can use to help with teach during Piaget’s Preoperational Stage of Development is to create challenges. As I stated earlier, we as teachers have failed to provide challenges to our students, particularly in the early stages of development. We teach to the standard and push on, doing the best we can to ensure the classroom all achieve to this standard. By doing this we instill a belief in the child, that mediocre is good enough.
Increased class size, reduced class time, and more diversified class rooms are all road blocks to providing the motivation each and every student needs. These are issues every teacher faces, yet we must become creative in order to help instill these traits at an early age. For this reason many school districts have put a greater emphasis on the Head Start Program. According to the Office of the Administration for Children and Families website, Head Start is “a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development”.
This program which I have had some involvement in, provides a total child concept that focuses on the child, the family, and the environment for youth ages one through five. This program is a place “where children can be helped to acquire a strong foundation in the knowledge and skills needed for school success” (Office of the Administration for Children and Families). Teaching these skills at an early age enables the child to be better suited for the formal education they will receive when they enter kindergarten.
Acknowledging, encouraging, and creating challenges are three effective strategies for teaching during early education but they are useless unless they are taught properly. Teachers are responsible for utilizing these strategies to effectively motivate a child. Providing this motivation, through these technics, can go a long way to developing a students learning experience. Starting these technics early can better prepare a child for the culture they will be exposed to once formal education begins. We must do everything in our power to help a student succeed and mastering these three technics can go a long way to achieving this.
Kojczyk, K., Shriner B., Shriner, M., 2012, Supporting Children’s Socialization, A Developmental Approach, Bridgepoint Education, San Diego, Ca.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d). 10 Effective DAP Teaching Strategies. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/dap/10-effective-dap-teaching-strategies.
Office of the Administration for Children and Families, Head Start, n.d. Retrieved from http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov.