For parents who wish for the optimal development of their children, the preschool teacher is one of their best allies. Early childhood educators are tasked with the preparation of young minds for studying basic academic subjects. In practice, this may look like a lot of games and playing, but in truth, there is a world of research and study that go into the creation of every educational activity and into the development of every learning system. There are also many kinds of approaches to early education as there are different types of parents. The challenge for parents here lies in finding educators or an educational system that would best complement their own child-rearing efforts.
To help parents along, early learning expert Dr. George Morrison and literacy specialist Laura Benson will speak on Nov. 5 & 6, 2009, at the 1st Philippine Summit on Early Childhood Education sponsored by Wyeth Progress Pre-School Gold. Held in Fort Bonifacio Global City, the two-day seminar aimed to promote the importance of early childhood education in the Philippines. Some 750 educators, program administrators, school supervisors, university students, researchers, social workers, psychologists, counselors, developmental pediatricians, and parents will attend to learn about the latest information on early childhood learning.
Dr. Morrison, professor and director of the Success for Life Programs at the University of North Texas, will be sharing his knowledge on the current Trends and Best Practices in Early Childhood Education on Thursday, November 5. The author of several books on early childhood development, he is constantly sought to speak and present on the future of early childhood education, changing roles of early childhood teachers, the influence of contemporary educational reforms, as well as research and legislation on teaching and learning.
“Early childhood professionals have acknowledged that they must educate the whole child—his or her physical, social, emotional and cognitive aspects. However, the spiritual aspect has not received much attention. A recent trend is a greater emphasis on supporting children’s spiritual development through moral and character education,” he said.
He will also talk about developments in the areas of readiness for learning school, increased use of technology, early literacy learning, and the politicization of early childhood education.
Benson will discuss about Launching Readers: Developmentally Responsive Reading Instruction and Assessment for Children 2-6, providing tips in facilitating reading activities as well as practical assessment tools. She brings over two decades of experience teaching reading to children. A literacy consultant and education writer, she is a professional development associate in the Leadership and Learning Center in Colorado; and a senior consultant and coordinator of Coaching Programs at The National Urban Alliance for Effective Education. She is also a professor at Regis University, the University of Colorado, and other schools.
“In preparing children for literacy, it is important to nurture curiosity. When children are curious, learning is more compelling and more fulfilling… Questions are also powerful in energizing children’s writing. When a child writes about something he or she is curious about, the writing work is compelling. It also encourages them to read more to inform their own writing,” she explained.
She also shared her recommended list of children’s literature for reading proficiency.
By the end of the two-day event, participants—parents and educators alike—discovered new and more effective ways to set achievable but challenging learning goals for kids, provide the proper support, and monitor children’s optimal development.
“When children go through preschool, they experience skills or concepts in meaningful contexts as learning is easier and more likely to transfer in new situations. Thus, children with solid early childhood education experiences become flexible and consistent learners and truly develop a love for learning,” Dr. Morrison added.
“Different people who work with children can make use of what we shared to plan learning experiences and teaching strategies appropriate for young children as well as create learning environments suitable for these young minds,” Benson concluded.
The 1st Philippine Summit on Early Childhood Education was also sponsored by Maximus Inventus.