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Early Childhood Education Philosophy
By Leah Hamann, Teacher Education Instructor
28 January 2010

BISMARCK (UTN) - Pre-service early childhood education students in the course “Foundations of Early Childhood Education,” were asked to construct their own personal philosophy of Early Childhood Education. This was to help them form their own understanding of their role – the instructor’s role – in the education of young children.

      The assignment helped the students in these ways: to critically address the purpose of early childhood education and how children learn best; to gain awareness of what constitutes a developmentally appropriate curriculum and learning environment; to understand how to meet the diverse needs of children; and to identify the dispositions of effective teachers.


Kathy White, Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe

      Here are excerpts from their philosophies:

      “I believe children learn best when the teacher and the child grow a strong bond with one another.” - Kathy White, Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe


James Bagwell, Highland Park, Michigan

      “Children blossom intellectually and socially when teachers encourage and challenge them to make choices, take risks and try new activities.” - James Bagwell, Highland Park, Michigan

      “I believe that children learn best when they are in a hands-on learning environment. Being able to give a child an activity that is hands-on helps them get a better ‘feel’ at learning. It also helps them become more independent and learn at their own pace because development is not a race, it is a process and each child is individualized.” - Justyn Lawrence, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe


Justyn Lawrence, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

      “A child needs to know that they can trust you. Trust is very important in all relationships.” Dan Miller, Three Affiliated Tribes


Amber Long Chase, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

      “The curriculum of my classroom will include response to individual needs, incorporation of cultural heritage and acknowledgement of individual creativity.” - Amber Long Chase, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe