Birth To Three Matters Framework – Theatre Essay
I am going to look at the aspects of play outlined in the birth to three matters framework (December, 2002). This framework was created to ensure that children could develop to their full potential. The framework was
designed to help practitioners support children’s development in the early years.
There are four aspects of play outlined in the birth to three matters framework. These are a skilful communicator, a competent learner, a healthy child and a strong child. These aspects of play celebrate the skill and competence of babies and young children. They highlight the interrelationship between growth, learning development and the environment in which children are cared, nurtured and educated. Each aspect has four components; to enable the aspects to be reached the components must be followed.
The aspect a strong child is important as it is essential for a child to be strong. Strong incorporates being capable confident and self-assured. A key time for this development to begin is during the early years. The four components of this aspect are; a sense of belonging, me, myself and I, being acknowledged and developing self assurance.
A sense of belonging focuses on acquiring social competence and confidence. This could include being with others that they trust, valuing individuality and contributions made by others and self, having a role within a group and being able to snuggle in with a key person. The New Zealand Ministry of Education (1996) says that if children feel that they belong they are more likely to develop inner well-being, security and identity, they should be able to understand what they do is valued so they can develop confidence to explore new activities.
Me, myself and I focuses on the child’s realisation of individuality. This includes growing awareness of self, realisation that he/she is different and separate from others, recognition of personal characteristics and preferences, exploring what he/she can do. Schaffer (1992) said that babies are constantly becoming aware that they exist.
Being acknowledged and affirmed focuses on experiencing and seeking closeness form others. These includes needing recognition, acceptance and comfort, being able to contribute to secure relationships, understanding that they are valued by and are important to someone and exploring the emotional boundaries they build. Post and Hohmann (2000) believe that children depend on the affirmation and warmth of trusting relations they have developed.
Developing self-assurance focuses on trusting and relying on a child’s own abilities. This will include gaining self-assurance through close relationships, becoming confident in what they can do, being able to value and appreciate their abilities and feeling self-assured and supported. Murray and Andrews (2000) believe that children with secure attachments can cope with difficulties better.
Children’s play is essential for children to develop these components. To help a child develop into a strong child. This framework and curriculum for pre-school is child centred and based upon play.
To help a child develop self-assurance a practitioner could give babies and young children a favourite toy to play with independently. Gradually increasing this independent play time. Ensuring that an adult is nearby to offer quiet support and interest. Providing equipment the child will appreciate will encourage further independent play. Skinner said that if we enjoy doing an activity we are more like y to repeat and learn from it. That is why it is essential to provide toys and materials a child will appreciate and like.
Encourage play that involves collaborative play and communal sharing times. This will encourage the child to take responsibility and learn that others are important as well as themselves. Also encouraging children to collect things for themselves allows children to develop their self-assurance.
This links to point four of the principles of the pioneers for early childhood education in the modern context. Point four is ‘Children learn best when they are allowed to make errors, decisions and choices, and respected as autonomous learners.’ Katz (1993) states that if children are given freedom within a setting they are more likely to respect the setting and feel inclined to have the correct attitude to learn.
To incorporate this learning into play involves planning specific activities that promote this learning. Activities should allow children to play near an adult. This is because young children enjoy solitary play and investigation but an adult is needed to offer assistance and confirmation during an activity. Children with diverse needs often have low self-assurance so therefore it is important that you show you appreciate them and their efforts. It is also a good idea because children, especially those with diverse needs have self-confidence that is influenced by adult input. Children with diverse needs may need extra reassurance. Choosing tasks that encourage children to complete them independently are a good way to boost their self-assurance. Some children with diverse needs may not be able to complete a task but their effort should be praised and encouraged, you should show that you appreciate their effort. This links to point 7 of the principles of the pioneers for early childhood education in the modern context. This states what a child can do is more important than what a child cannot do; this should be that child’s starting point in education.
Being acknowledged and affirmed is also important for the child to become a strong child. Play with the young child, singing songs, have fun and laughing with young babies. When an adult communicates with a child they should be face to face with the child and contact should be established by eye contact, voice or light touch. Showing and teaching children about others and how it feels to be them allows them to understand other. This can be done by reading stories with different voices and allowing children to dress up as others.
Point nine of the principles of the pioneers for early childhood education in the modern context states that relationships with others are vital in a child’s life. Vygotsky’s view was that social interaction helped develop higher functioning in children. Brunner agrees with this and says that the adult child relationship helps develop children’s problem solving skills and attitudes to help facilitate the problem solving behaviour. Quality relationships help pave the way for quality education in later life.
Planning activities to help this component to be fulfilled should include activities in which children can build secure attachments to key workers. Children with diverse needs may have different responses but they should be entitled to the same opportunities and experience of others. Some children may need additional time and attention; this should be provided without ignoring other children. One way to promote awareness of self is to create a booklet about the child. This can be created with thee support of parents and other carers. This shows the child that as an individual they are acknowledged and are important.
A sense of belonging is important for a strong child as it allows the child to explore the world from a secure base. To help a child develop appropriate sense of belonging the practitioner should set up appropriate play activities and have opportunities to support the child. Include parents to help create records of a child’s life at home. Showing children that they are valued as a person. Set up the environment to stimulate all the children’s senses, for example different smells, music and lighting for children to enjoy. Share tasks with home and nursery. For example get children to participate in household tasks in the nursery and allow a child to take home a nursery toy to look after for a while. This helps a child develop a sense of belonging as this helps develop a sense of security at home and in the childcare setting.
To help promote this the setting could provide each child with their own place to put things. This could be something simple like a tray. Creating a display with children’s families, pets and homes will give them something to look at if they get homesick. It also provides the children with the chance to see other family types and to see that each family is different. This will help children recognise different cultures, race and gender. This helps children feel valued. A further way to do this is to talk about different cultures with a child, listening to their input. Talking about children’s individual achievements or significant events to them also promotes a sense of being valued. Also talking about physical characteristics and individual preference promotes a sense of belonging.
This component links to the second of the principles of the pioneers for early childhood education in the modern context. This point states that children have feelings, ideas and relationships with others. Children need to be physically and motional healthy. Pringle (1974/1980) built on Maslow (1962) and Isaacs (1968) work. Pringle asserts that children have primary and secondary needs. Primary needs are those necessary for survival, nourishment, shelter and clothing. Secondary needs are love, security, need for new experiences, praise, recognition and responsibility. A school/nursery setting should see to primary and secondary needs for quality education to be achieved.
Me, myself and I is the final component needed for a child to grow into a strong child. It involves helping a child to learn about and get to know themselves and their own capabilities. Respect, care, love and emotional support help a child develop a strong sense of trust, emotional security and a positive self image.
A practitioner could imitate a baby’s actions and provide mirrors to show them what they look like and what their actions look like. A practitioner should always value a child’s comfort object. This will show the children you value and understand their emotional needs. The child should also be allowed to make decisions about their actions, for example what they are going to play with, where they are going to sit and who they are going to sit with. This allows the child to develop a positive self image of them as others are showing they have the confidence in them making the correct decision.
Practitioners should plan specialised times to be with children giving them their full attention being attentive to their needs. Some children with diverse needs, for example babies that are blind, deaf or have severe learning difficulties have to have constant reminders that someone is there and they are valued. Practitioners should take the time to explain to a blind baby what it looks like; using feelings to show what is being talked about. For a deaf child gesturing to their face whilst looking in a mirror. This will encourage them to develop an awareness of self. Parents and carer should be encouraged to provide artefacts from home. To ensure that the setting reflects many cultures. This helps children from different culture to accept and be proud of their culture.
Children should do activities that develop their independence like feeding fish and washing themselves. Also allow children to develop their independence, sense of control and sense of being valued by the community. This can be done by allowing children to make their own decisions. It is important for these things to develop. If a child looks physically different it is important for children and adults to accept the differences.
This links to point five of the principles of the pioneers for early childhood education in the modern context. This point reinforces the importance of self discipline in development of individuality and this will increase their sense of being valued. Vygotsky says that in play children exercise their greatest sense of control so they can get most out of play. This emphasises the importance of play during childhood. Dowling (1995) states that rewards and punishments only have short term results as children do not have a chance to reflect analyse or think why they are being punished or rewarded. Self-discipline rather than adult-led discipline is more effective.
This is what is required for a child to develop into a strong child. They need appropriate support from a key adult to ensure proper relationships are formed. The environment is also important; an appropriate environment allows a child to feel they belong. Significant adult and environment have significant impact on children’s development. Their sense of self, group identity, emotions and relationships will develop if an appropriate environment is provided and adult support is given.
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