Literacy in Early Childhood
Importance of Developing Early Childhood Literacy Practice. A Case Study with Resolutions
In the UAE, the New School Model (NSM) is swayed by the nationals who have undergone western education. The new system is an imported model of education in which much of the contents if not all are hybrid. The system also advocates for bilateral kindergarten curriculum that follows Euro-American system with an emphasis on the whole upbringing of a child (ADE, 2012). The ability of teachers to attend to the children’s needs is mostly influenced by the teachers’ levels of education and training (Shonkoff & Philips, 2000). There are large number of childcare classrooms that need well-trained and qualified teachers. Good teacher training will influence both the job satisfaction and the teachers’ ability to carry out their duties effectively. In addition, they will be able to interact with the learners positively, giving the children the required attention and at the same time stimulating their cognitive developments. Children’s turnover rates may also compromise the level of providing quality education to children. A wide teacher t children ratio means that the teacher cannot attend to the needs of all the children while a small teacher to children ratio will enable teachers to effectively discharge their duties. The interrelationship between teacher-child ratio, teacher qualification and quality teaching can either positively or negatively impact on early childhood teaching. Literacy is beneficial not only to children and families but the society as well (ABS, 2006).
Literacy impacts on improved success in education, career, and improvement in self-esteem alongside motivation to learn. Children who participate in and committed to education and behave acceptably in the society and are often regarded to have undergone through a good literacy training. This is because literacy makes learners to know what the bad and right things. Besides, it creates awareness among learners about their environment.
According to intentionality theory, literacy enhances a wholesome development of learners (Smith & McIntyre, 1982). A poor foundation in literacy contributes to limited achievement in life and school dropouts. Poor skills in writing and reading are often linked to lower self-esteem coupled with poor social and academic results. A teacher’s background in teaching early childhood is essential as it provides experience in handling children. A teacher with a poor background or new to teaching early childhood will not be able to effectively discharge her duty as she lacks the quality to handle those children. Therefore, she needs to develop skills in handling these children before she is fully allowed to handle a classroom. To gain the skills and experience, new or inexperienced teachers should be employed as assistant teachers so that they can observe how the experienced one handle these children. This is supported by Dewey’s theory of experience which supports individuals learning from community educators. Nonetheless, teachers with enough experience should be encouraged to share their experiences and organize seminars to train their inexperienced counterparts (Grant & Drafall, 1996).