In early childhood education, teaching and learning often revolves around developmental domains. Programming revolves around supporting children’s development across these domains. Another perspective is to consider critical learning areas when programming. For a comprehensive learning plan, children’s development and learning must be considered. When children are playing outdoors, if the environment is correct, they can engage all developmental domains. When early learning teachers plan with intention, they provide experiences focused on multiple critical learning areas.
In addition to domains, early learning teachers consider critical learning areas when programming. What do you think these are and why are they important? Jot down some ideas to create a numbered list. How many critical learning areas for children did you identify?
Click on the words below to compare your list:
Critical Learning Areas
Yes, play is a critical learning area! It is important to integrate exploration, play and peer interaction into programming (OECD, 2013). Research findings suggest that “social pretend play” and “child-initiated play” lead to better co-operation, self-regulation and interpersonal skills (Bodrova and Leong, 2010; Nicolopoulou, 2010). When children have the opportunity to initiate their own play, it leads to symbolic representation (Bodrova and Leong, 2010). Consider the opportunities for pretend play that this planned and purposeful set up in the forest might encourage?
An interesting way to consider critical learning areas is to focus on the acronyms of STEM, STEAM and STREAM. What do these letters stand for? You will find out by clicking on the words below the graphic.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. These have been considered core learning areas for the 21st century.
Advocates for arts-based learning have called for the integration of the Arts (Robelen, 2011).
Now we have competing acronyms as others have called for the inclusion of Reading into the core learning areas. Read more at: http://www.internationalinnovation.com/stem-steam-or-stream/
Is there something missing here? What about relationships? Where do they fit in? Discuss your impressions of STEM, STEAM and STREAM and what may be missing in these acronyms taking over the educational world in the comment box below.