ERIC Number: ED265974
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: N/A
The Early Childhood Educator's Knowledge Base: A Reconsideration.
Silin, Jonathan G.
Questions of how and why early childhood education has come to rely on a psychological perspective are examined and problematic aspects of the discourse of early childhood education are explored. An overview of the history of early education discusses the replacement of idealistic by pragmatic perspectives, the influence of Darwin's use of the scientific method on educators' thought, the emergence of the field of child development, the role of normative studies of children, and the current reliance of early childhood educators on psychological rationales for program design. Subsequent discussion of educational interests and psychological theory initially differentiates the two domains and explores the limitations of the psychological perspective for the educator through a brief analysis of Piaget's work that focuses on decontextualized knowledge, reason and value in psychology, and the metaphoric view of stage theories of development. Concluding discussion deals with perennial problems, such as the nature of appropriate knowledge for the young and the basis for the early childhood educator's professional expertise; future directions are advocated for early educators that would involve a qualitative shift in how and where knowledge is sought and in how they think about themselves, their work, and the children they teach. (RH)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.