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Shifting mindsets about educating young children

By Tara-Lynn Scheffel and Lotje Hives
April 2021
Teaching young students requires more than just learning about child development (Samuelsson et al., 2005) — it requires understanding children and their experiences. As teacher educators, we have seen a lack of such authentic understanding among future and current early childhood educators. We set out to change that in a bachelor of education degree program in northern Ontario, Canada. For several years, we have taught a six-week elective course premised on an asset-oriented view of young children as capable learners (Fraser, 2012; Rinaldi, 2003; Malaguzzi, 1994). During the course, which is open to K-12 cross-divisional teacher candidates, we engage candidates in discussions about how they view and value children while exploring innovative pedagogies within the increasingly complex and changing landscape of early childhood education. After

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References

Avery, J., Callaghan, K., & Wien, C.A. (2016). Documenting children’s meaning: Engaging in design and creativity with children and families. Davis Publications.

Callaghan, K. (2013). The environment is a teacher. In Think, feel, act: Lessons from research about young children (pp. 27-30). Ontario Ministry of Education.

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Malaguzzi, L. (1994). Your image of the child: Where teaching begins. Exchange, 3, 52-56.

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2016). The kindergarten program. Queen’s Printer for Ontario.

Rinaldi, C. (2003). The teacher as researcher. Innovations in early education: The International Reggio Exchange, 10(2), 1-4.

Samuelsson, I.P., Sheridan, S., & Williams, P. (2005). Five preschool curricula —comparative perspective. International Journal of Early Childhood, 38(1), 11-30.

Wien, C.A. (2004). From policing to participation: Overturning the rules and creating amiable classrooms. Young Children, 59(1), 34-40.

Wien, C.A. (2013). Making learning visible through pedagogical documentation. In Think, feel, act: Lessons from research about young children (pp. 27-30). Ontario Ministry of Education.


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Tara-Lynn Scheffel (taralyns@nipissingu.ca) is associate professor in the Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University, Ontario, Canada. 

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Lotje Hives (lotjeh@nipissingu.ca) is part-time instructor in the Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University, Ontario, Canada.


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