Guiding Principles to Early Childhood Curriculum Using Examples From four Countries

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Guiding Principles To Early Childhood Curriculum Using Examples From Four Countries

Early childhood education has been recgonised as important in laying foundation for the future of a child. Early childhood education is important in its own right - a time when children investigate, explore and discover a great deal about the world around them and establish attitudes to learning that remain with them throughout their lives (Wilks et al., 2008). It is therefore imperative to imbibe a framework of learning into the system of early childhood education. This framework is most times identified as a curriculum.
Curriculum refers to planned approaches to teaching and learning, an area of study or topics, which fit together according to predetermined criteria that are guided by theoretical and philosophical beliefs about the nature of learners and about the kinds of knowledge that should be taught (Lim and Genishi, 2010; Marsh, 2009). Curriculum therefore represents a set of goals that represent the aims of education for children; in essence it represents a value statement of what a society aspires for its children (Spodek and Saracho, 2003). Curriculum assumes many labels and perspectives in different countries, such as ‘core subjects’, ‘foundation subjects’ or ‘key learning areas’, depending on the aim or purpose of education in each country.
Early childhood curricula vary from guiding principles and characteristics through to key learning areas and descriptive outcomes. For example, one perspective of curriculum prescribes specific content knowledge, objectives and goals, teaching procedures, and assessment strategies - the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) may be said to belong to this category. Another perspective conceptualizes...

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...ry in practice. Theory into Practice, 46(1), pp. 5–13.
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Soler, J. and Miller, L. (2003). The Struggle for Early Childhood Curricula: A comparison of the English Foundation Stage Curriculum, Te Wha¨riki and Reggio Emilia. International Journal of Early Years Education, 11(1), pp.57–68.
Spodek, B. and Saracho, O. (2003). ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’: Exploring the traditions of Early Childhood. Early Childhood Education Journal, 31(1), pp.3 – 10.
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Wilks, A., et al., (2008). Analysis of Curriculum/Learning Frameworks for the Early Years (Birth to Age 8). Victoria: Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

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