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The all-round development of a child should make the core reason for teaching. This is commonly referred to as developmentally appropriate teaching. Out of it, a child leaves the learning institution fully developed and prepared to face majority of challenges life has to offer. Developmentally appropriate teaching, however, is different from other approaches of teaching and has defining characteristics. Most important for teachers is a consideration of what children already know in order to identify the objectives of learning. It is from this knowledge that teachers build on what the children know.
One feature of developmentally appropriate teaching is that teachers acknowledge what children say and do. This follows an understanding that a child does everything for a reason, and they benefit when a teacher appreciates what they do. Here, a teacher lets the children know they are noticed by showing positive attention, say through comments, or maintaining eye contact while they talk. All this does is encouraging learners to participate, which is an essential element of developmentally appropriate teaching. Furthermore, this form of teaching entails encouragement of a child’s efforts and persistence rather than just praising and letting go. This ensures the child acknowledges learning as a continuing process, which does not stop at the point when they can answer all the teacher’s questions.
Furthermore, developmentally appropriate teaching requires teachers to model methods of approaching problems, with demonstration of behaviors towards the same. This does away with generalization way of doing things, and each situation is treated uniquely. The teacher demonstrates this in how he or she interacts with learners. For instance, where the child is not audible, the teacher uses a statement such as, “Pardon Mary, I missed part of what you said, could you please come up again.” In this approach, children are most likely to master such statements as the best way of asking someone to repeat him or herself. This is because the teacher has not only taught but also demonstrated the best way of doing something.
Similarly, teachers are more interested in creating and adding more challenges to what children already know. To aid a child’s thinking, the teacher gives hints, cues and other forms of assistance that help in building on the child’s current competence. Above all, the teacher should always provide information suited for a given learning process. At the end of the day, all that matters is the facts a child has, and this depends on information given by the teacher.
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