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Current Trends in Early Childhood Education

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  • 0:02 Early Childhood Education
  • 0:25 Early Literacy
  • 1:08 Science Education
  • 2:01 Integrated Curriculum
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ruhi Khan

Ruhi has taught in Elementary Education for 16 years. She currently works as an instructor in higher education and has an Ed.D in Organizational Leadership.

This lesson is about current trends in early childhood education. We will outline three current trends in early childhood education and discuss what these trends look like in the classroom and how these trends impact student learning.

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education developmentally prepares students for K-12 educational experiences. This exposure helps students build the necessary skills they will need to utilize in learning opportunities as they embark upon their journey to become lifelong learners. The current trends outlined in this lesson include early literacy, science education, and integrated curriculum.

Early Literacy

Early literacy is a current trend in early childhood education that prepares students for the future development of reading and writing skills. Exposing young children to letters, sounds, vocabulary, and the retelling of stories prepares them to build foundational literacy skills. In an early childhood classroom, the teacher reads stories and the students engage in interactive dialog with the teacher about the pictures and events that happen in the story. This may include making predictions and retelling story events. These types of activities develop children's listening and speaking skills and help them to become familiar with the initial concepts of print. The initial concepts of print include reading from left to right, an understanding that words communicate a message, and grasping that the illustrations match the print.

Science Education

To set the stage for the kindergarten through 12th grade science learning environment, children in early childhood education are often exposed to science concepts to encourage curiosity and exploration. Children in these environments use inquiry to ask questions and to form conclusions. This often happens when children make observations and have the opportunity to discuss what they notice. The National Science Teachers Association describes the importance of engaging children in their early years in experiential learning opportunities that promote investigation, exploration, experimentation, and inquiry. For example, students in early childhood often experience how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. By watching this transformation, students are able to discuss their observations and ask various questions about what they notice. Experiences such as these help children to develop an understanding of inquiry based learning, which is an essential skill in science education.

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