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Posted: December 10th, 2022

dvocating For Early Childhood Education Students

Dear Representative Smith,

I am writing to advocate for the differentiated needs of early childhood students in our state. As an early childhood educator, it is my job to ensure all children receive an education that meets their developmental readiness levels. I am concerned that the recent statute passed by the legislature does not fully consider the individualized learning needs of young learners.

Understanding Developmental Theory

According to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, children progress through distinct stages as they interact with their environment (Bodrova & Leong, 2018). A “one-size-fits-all” approach to education does not align with Piaget’s constructivist view that children build knowledge through active exploration. This statute, which applies a uniform standard to early childhood education, does not take into account the critical differences in developmental stages among young learners.

Furthermore, Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory emphasizes that social interaction and culture play a key role in cognitive development (Vygotsky, 1978). A statute that does not account for students’ diverse backgrounds and experiences may hinder their learning process. Early childhood education should consider these sociocultural factors and provide an environment where students can engage in meaningful interactions that support their cognitive development.

Identifying Readiness for Learning

In my classroom, I closely observe students to identify their readiness levels across cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical domains. For example, during a recent language activity, I noticed that while most three-year-olds were able to identify basic colors, a small group still struggled with this foundational concept (Linder et al., 2019). This observation highlights the significant variability in developmental readiness among young children.

By differentiating instruction based on ongoing formative assessments, I can better support all children’s growth. This means tailoring teaching methods and materials to suit the individual needs of each child. It is essential to recognize that not all children reach developmental milestones at the same time, and therefore, a standardized approach may not be effective in meeting their diverse learning needs.

Collaboration Among Educational Professionals

Educational professionals, such as speech pathologists, reading specialists, and special education teachers, collaborate to evaluate differentiated practices. In a recent study of early childhood co-teaching models, researchers found that collaboration between general education teachers and special education teachers led to improved outcomes for students with disabilities (Royster et al., 2014). Differentiating instruction based on specialists’ recommendations positively influenced students’ development.

This collaboration is crucial in ensuring that children with diverse needs receive appropriate support. The recent statute may inadvertently discourage such collaboration by promoting a uniform approach that does not consider the unique requirements of each child.

Positive Influence of Differentiated Instruction

Differentiating instruction for young children can positively influence their developmental domains. When educators tailor their teaching methods to match a child’s developmental stage and learning style, they create an environment where children can thrive. For example, by providing additional support and resources to a child who struggles with language development, we can help bridge the gap and ensure they are ready for the next developmental milestone.

In conclusion, an early childhood education system that does not allow for differentiation will fail to meet the needs of our diverse learners. I urge you to consider revising the recent statute to promote developmentally appropriate, individualized learning for all of our state’s young students. Together we can build an education system that sets all children up for success.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Please let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

References

Bodrova, E., & Leong, D. J. (2018). Vygotskian and post-Vygotskian views on children’s play. American Journal of Play, 4(1), 100-123.

Linder, S. M., Verschueren, K., Doumen, S., Buyse, E., & Bruce, J. (2019). Relations between classroom interactions and young children’s engagement: The mediating role of need satisfaction and frustration. Journal of School Psychology, 73, 51-64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2019.01.001

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2019). NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment.
https://www.naeyc.org/resources/position-statements/ethical-conduct

Royster, O., Reglin, G., & Losike-Sedimo, N. (2014). Inclusion professional development model and regular middle school educators. Journal of At-Risk Issues, 18(1), 1-10.

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