Background Information

In a Statement of Philosophy developed by the New Jersey State Board of Education regarding early child education, the following items were stressed:

1. The education process affects human beings in many ways – intellectual development, formation of personality, the development of social relationships, expression through arts, and physical growth and development. The influences which affects the child so that he or she can develop to their potential during the educational process and in the family, various agencies and institutions. Though the family provides the first and most lasting effects, it is the school which contributes the longest and most continuous influences outside the home.

2. Any early childhood educational program should assist all enrolled children to attain subsequent success, even as it helps each one reach his or her potential intellectually, socially, physically, and emotionally.

3. The child at this age is eager and most willing to learn. Programs should provide a curriculum with a combination of concrete learning experiences, adult assistance, and an appropriate amount of time to foster their developmental levels.

4. The acquisition of academic skills and understanding is determined by patterns of maturing and by previous experiences matched to new experiences. Thus, any early childhood program needs to develop a balance between these factors. Also, it is accepted that there is no point in teaching children what they already know and it is futile to attempt to teach them what they are as yet unable to do. Therefore, it is essential to design programs, which reflect knowledge of growth and understanding of children's individual differences.

5. The effectiveness of an early childhood program is enhanced through meaningful involvement of teachers and parents pertaining to program development.

6. In conclusion, the statement points out that through early childhood education, the life experiences of children can be enriched. The need for remediation programs for these children can often be eliminated if the program developed fosters those areas previously noted. Lastly, the timing and content of the program must be tailored to the child's needs and educational purpose.

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