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Supporting Social/Emotional Growth as Important as Other Skills in Early Childhood Classrooms

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

Educational initiatives shift over time. For example, when I was a new teacher, the best method for teaching reading was “Whole Language,” a method of teaching children to read at an early age that allows students to select their own reading matter and that emphasizes the use and recognition of words in everyday contexts. About 10 years later, researchers believed that “Direct Instruction,” a method where the teacher uses straightforward, explicit teaching techniques, usually to teach a specific skill, was a better method of teaching this skill.

In the same time period, much research on the brain was released. As educators, we went from believing that we create the readiness for a child to learn new ideas to what is now known—namely, that children are born with the brain connections they need to learn.

The main focus of early childhood education programs center around preparing classroom environments and cultures so that children can learn the social and emotional skills they will need to be successful future learners and members of society.

While I agree that this is important, I often find that educators focus so much on the social and emotional needs of the child that they neglect to support other developmental domains. It is always important to meet children where they are at, but sometimes we need to push them beyond their current emotional states to help them learn to cope with real life experiences, such as disappointment, frustration, challenge, and not always getting what they want.#earlychildhoodeducation hashtag#social hashtag#emotional hashtag#reading hashtag#curriculum hashtag#administration hashtag#lessonplan

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