Exposure To Early Childhood Education is Crucial To A Child's Development

Exposure To Early Childhood Education is Crucial To A Child's Development

High- quality early childhood education should include diverse and situational experiences that can teach these children what they will encounter in the future.
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In the world, there are certain assets that are crucial to the success of specific processes or things that exist. For example, in order for a flower to grow, it requires water and sunlight. In order for a cake to be made, the ingredients must have to be first put into a bowl and mixed together. Just as these two circumstances exhibit, in order for the end product of a situation to be successful, things must be added to it in the beginning in order to help it grow and thrive. Like the plant as well as the cake, humans also need investment from others, in terms of their development, in order for them to be a successful human in the future. Put simply, early childhood education is a section of education that is crucial to the development of children, as it involves children in their early stages of life, where their brains are still newly prospering, and have room for mistakes, improvements, and an immense amount of learning to be made and taken in

Early childhood education’s main purpose is to prepare and assist children with their transition into higher levels of learning, including elementary leveled material and on. When a child is in a classroom that is defined as an early childhood level, they are more than likely in either preschool, or kindergarten. Within these two sections, children are taught vital skills that will become the foundation of their future academic careers. Things that children learn within these levels include mainly social skills, meaning how to interact with other human beings- some their size and age, and others quite older and bigger than them. In addition to the social aspects of early childhood education, children are introduced to situations that they may have never experienced before at home, such as sharing, taking turns, interacting with other children, and being slightly more independent than they are used to, in most cases.

Children in these stages of life also are introduced to English in the broad sense, how to properly form sentences when speaking, the alphabet, and what sounds each of the letters make. In addition to English, most children in an early childhood leveled classroom, are learning rudimentary math skills, such as counting and arranging using objects, locks or different materials. Hands on activities are very common amongst early childhood leveled classrooms, as they enable children to learn and develop using different methods, where they can ultimately see which method they prefer and best suites them and their needs.

Young children should get more than just five hours in a little yellow chair listening to a teacher go over the “golden rule” again and again. Yes, they should be taught what it means to be a decent human in a flourishing society, however, they should not be talked at for hours on end. They should be getting hands on experience that is allowing them to make mistakes and learn from them while they still can. It should be a time of simple life skills, as well as learning and having fun all at the same time. Children during early education should be learning what it means to work together as a team, as when they are adults, most of the things that they will accomplish will be done alongside other people, whether it be in classroom setting, at a job, or outside in their everyday lives. Preschool and kindergarten are necessary for a child to flourish during their higher years of education. The basic background for the rest of what they will be doing in life is formed during this time, especially because their brains are still assembling, and are at their peak for learning new information and having it stick with them.

I am the head counselor at a summer camp for four and five year old children, with and without intellectual and physical disabilities. I spend nine weeks with these children, teaching them basic life skills, what it means to be kind to others, how to become more independent, and most importantly how to become accepting of all, despite their abilities, and lack thereof. For some of the children who come through the camp, it is their first time experiencing a full day without a nap, or a long period of time away from their caregivers. This can be a challenge, however it is not the hardest thing they will face in their time away at camp. Seeings how the camp is inclusive to all, there are children attending that do have visible disabilities, as well as invisible ones. For many, it is their first time seeing a child who is physically different than them, as well as intellectually different. Whether a child comes in with Down Syndrome, which is physically visible, or is on the Autism Spectrum, which is less visible, children who are five years old will notice that these children do not function in the same ways that they do. That is when they will come to me with the questions like, “Why does she look like that?” or “What can’t she talk with her words, but only with her hands?”. That is when it is my job to inform them that not everyone is the same, but that does not mean they are any less important than the ones who are the same. Explaining these types of things to young children is never easy, but it is important, as it prepares them for things that they will continue to encounter in years to come. Exposing these young children to situations such as these, is essential to their development and understanding of the world around them.

Early childhood education does not always have to revolve around math and reading. High- quality early childhood education should include diverse and situational experiences that can teach these children what they will encounter in the future. Most importantly that not everyone is the same, some people are very different, but in no way does that make them wrong or invalid. Conclusively, early childhood education is the necessary foundation needed for young children to grow, develop and understand the world around them, and it ultimately primes their brains, and sets a path for which they will follow up until their years of higher education way past the pre and post elementary levels.

Cover Image Credit: Buckley Airforce Base

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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.
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College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University



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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 49

Language is a powerful tool.

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Welcome back! We made our way to a meeting with Dr. Shikaki, a Palestinian demographer--basically, that means he takes polls to see what the population's opinion is. It also means he can see how the opinion changes, as the polls started decades ago.

Again, as I talk about his message, keep in mind that this is his unique narrative, and it is different from other narratives out there--both on the Palestinian and Israeli side. He does give a very factual talk, though, due to the nature of his job. He essentially takes all the narratives of everyone else to craft a blanket-statement narrative; however, we should keep in mind that blanket-statements are almost never 100% accurate.

In addition, because he is able to write the questions being asked in his polls, there could be certain narratives left out. Of course, if you've taken any statistics class, you know about nonresponse bias and other biases that come out of censuses and samples. To my knowledge, Dr. Shikaki's polls are only in the West Bank, so Gazan Palestinians aren't even included here.

The first thing he tells us is that a majority of Palestinians in the West Bank are dissatisfied with their government, the Palestinian Authority. The approval rating for the PA is only about 20-25%, and 80% of Palestinians surveyed said that the government is corrupt in some way. A large group of secular Palestinians said that they support the liberal values that are associated with democracy, such as press freedom, gender equality, minority rights, and most importantly, regularly-held elections.

Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Palestinians who support a democratic political system (because they are dissatisfied with the current corruption, as the current system is not giving them a very high standard of living) rose to over 80%.

Some liberal social values are not as widely accepted because many of these liberal values are a very Westernized way of living, and Arab culture differs from Western culture in many ways; neither is better than the other. However, Palestinians do want the freedom of press and less corruption in political parties. Currently, they do not think they have an independent judiciary.

Dr. Shikaki explained that Palestinians can be split, for the most part, into "nationalists," who are mostly secular, and "Islamists," who are mostly religiously observant and non-secular. Nationalists believe in a separation of the church and state, and they are first and foremost Palestinians (compared to Islamists, who are first and foremost Muslims--and Palestinians second). Fatah is the largest political faction within the nationalists.

Within nationalism, there are mainstream nationalists and leftist nationalists. The overwhelming majority of nationalists are mainstream nationalists. They believe that though there is a separation of church and state, there should be cooperation between the state and religion; both can work together. It is not an antagonistic relationship. 55% of the entire Palestinian public would identify with mainstream nationalism (15% would identify with leftist nationalism, and 30% would identify with Islamism).

The smaller section of nationalism is leftist nationalism. They believe that the state can eradicate the importance placed on religion if need be. On the other end is Islamism, which believes that state and religion cannot be separated. Parliament cannot rule in a way that is opposed to Islamic rule and Muslim values. Again, they are first and foremost Muslims, and after that comes their identity of Palestinians and Arabs.

They show more support for a rule by Hamas in the West Bank because Hamas tends to have similar values as them. In the West Bank, about a third of the population supports Hamas over the PA. In Gaza, there is higher support for Hamas, and Hamas was actually democratically elected after the second intifada.

The public in the West Bank sometimes blames nationalists for corruption, and since nationalists are associated with the current government, Hamas could actually win a popular vote right now--which is why the PA has been holding off elections (which, to Palestinians, is another sign of corruption).

Now that we've seen how Palestinians view themselves, we need to see how Palestinians view their Israeli neighbors--and how they view the possibility of peace. It's a lot to unpack, so this concludes this chapter, and I will be talking about it in the next section!

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