With the current world we have today, education has been emphasized and clearly it is the only clear road to success. To achieve the best education, the learning institutions should have a good environment where the students’ capabilities are nurtured and developed. This can only be achieved if the current challenges facing early childhood education. The essay that follows intends to show these challenges and how their solution can have positive impacts on the education of the young children. To achieve a good education will ensure that the learning institutions will provide good capable and professional individuals into the world. The paper will give a detailed account of the challenges facing early childhood and how the solutions to these problems can have positive results in the education of the young ones and their life (Surpuriya and Jordan, 1997, para 2).
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At the beginning of a teacher’s teaching career, the teacher is enthusiastic about the job and they actually do like the job. Their interaction with these children and helping to nurture the children’s’ character is the driving force behind the career. Early childhood education teachers are people who possess patience and have a good storage of stamina within them. They should also have a personality that will enable them to deal with a whole class room of energetic young children. These are but a few of the qualities that an early childhood teacher must possess in order to manage the teaching profession. At the beginning of an early teaching career, the teachers are enthusiastic and ready to face the challenges that come with being in a classroom. This trend is expected to continue throughout the years but unfortunately this is not the case (Surpuriya and Jordan, 1997, para 4).
The problem comes in when this enthusiasm is lost and the motivation also dies down. This causes the teachers to change the institutions which they work with or to ultimately quit the job and venture in another profession. Teachers might decide to quit the job because it is difficult and to add to this there are problems associated with administration where the teachers are micromanaged and given very little support. A survey was conducted by the U.S Department of Education among 7,000 teachers. The research was conducted to find why many teachers quit and it found that the teachers’ having to face a consistent battle with the administration was one of the reasons why teachers leave work. Another reason was the heavy workload that was imposed on the teachers and the poor working environment also killed the teachers’ motivation. The fact that the teachers were held responsible for a child’s bad grades and another demotivation was that teaching ceased being rewarding is another reason that caused the teachers to quit their jobs (Surpuriya and Jordan, 1997, para9).
The issue of teachers quitting their jobs is of major concern as the teaching institution is expected to be negatively affected by a shortage of teachers in the future. One of the cautionary measures that can be taken by institutions is to run programs with veteran teachers who can give advice to the inexperienced teachers on ways in which they can handle the distress that they go through in the classrooms and the institution as a whole. The problem with this is that some institutions do not pay the veterans and this becomes a demotivation. If these issues are addressed then the issue of burnout can be avoided and teachers will have better working environments therefore giving their optimum services to the students (Howey, 2010, para 8).
The issue that faces children learning is the requirement for standardized education programs for the young learners. In addition to the standardization itself being a problem, there are cases where the standardization has not been extended to all schools across the states and this becomes a problem because this could lead to a much further disparity in the performance of students where those having the program could be more successful than those without and this is not helpful (Kagan, Frelow and, Scott-Little, p1).
Children’s learning skills and development are things that are not static and change almost everyday. The development of preschool children is usually not consistent. A child might develop rapidly in one section while in another section the development could be moving at a snail’s pace. Development in children can be termed as sporadic. The child might be unable to grasp a concept for a long period of time and then one day the child grasps the ideas like an event that happened almost overnight. Furthermore the development of a child mainly depends on the environment surrounding them. Therefore, to bring in the issue of standardization of the education of preschoolers is a measure that is almost unachievable. Another issue that makes standardization an issue is the fact that, traditional pedagogy has associated a child’s development with interests that are child-centered or child motivated activities which are the basis on which children develop (Scott-Little, Kagan and, Frelow, p2).
Improved investigation and implementation of the standardization programs need to be carried out in order to determine the possible benefits that would be brought about by the standards of early learning so as to find a method of evaluating and minimizing the negative possibilities. The implementation of the early learning standards could lead to an education system that is more integrated (Scott-Little, Kagan and, Frelow, 2003, p24).
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Gender biasness is something that is present in almost all schools and to some it has become a form of learning style where one side is considered able to tackle a certain issue as compared to the other side and this, more often than not results into negative attitudes towards a particular subject. This kind of attitude ultimately lowers a students grade in the following years (Davidson, 2002, para 2).
There are several negative implications that are associated with gender selectivity in the classroom. Some teachers sometimes are the main causes of this biasness. Male dominance in the classroom is sometimes brought about by teachers when most instructions and meticulous attention is awarded to the boys rather than girls. This kind of biasness has a negative impact on girls. In such cases girls develop low self-esteem and confidence. Research conducted shows that the inequities in cognition vary from boys to girls mainly due to the experiences they go through rather than biological differences (Davidson, 2002, para 3).
Curriculum resources can also insinuate that some specific activities are gender based. To prevent this kind of thing, curriculum materials should be scrutinized for the evidence of gender biasness so that gender inequities in the society. The purpose of teaching is to provide a conducive environment for the students. The need for equality in teaching requires that the teachers treat the students equally. The teachers must recognize and eliminate the chances of gender inequality as early as preschool days to prevent gender inequality in the society in school (Davidson, 2002, para 6).
The diverse nature of early childhood classrooms is an issue that should be carefully addressed due to the numerous challenges it poses on a mind that ids not yet developed to comprehend the diversity. The diverse composition of students varies from ethnicity, race, children withy disability cases and also culture. Teachers can be able to develop an environment that can be capable of meeting the diverse nature of the classrooms if administration and parents come in to help (Rodriguez and Caplan, 1998, para 2).
Statistics carried out in the year 2000 showed that there would be a drastic increase in the number of minority children in the classrooms. Also, the number of disabled children in schools was estimated to increase over the years. Studies conducted show the negative impacts of identifying minority students as low achievers and isolating children with disabilities. This kind of isolation makes the children develop attitudes towards each other and there is limited interaction between the children which is an issue of importance in a world that is becoming reduced into a village with time 9 Rodriguez and Caplan, 1998, para 7).
Making a heterogeneous class where all kinds of students meet and interact in an early childhood classroom is the most recommendable way to ensure that the children develop in an environment that is conscious about the diverse nature of the world and how they can deal with and relate well with this diversity. It encourages the children to develop cultural sensitivity and a variety of communication patterns. Such a class room setting enables the students to participate in class through sharing and this amplified the students’ experience with different cultures. In such an environment, unbecoming behaviors can easily be detected and dealt with before they become serious as opposed to a situation where the students are segregated (Rodriguez and Caplan, 1998, para 14).
There are social issues that are experienced in the early childhood education classes. Some of them are the racial discrimination and difference in social status which might also affect the teachers. Negative stereotypical characters in a teacher will lead to a strained relationship between the teacher, student and parent. This kind of stereotyping has negative Impacts in the quality of education the child receives. This is due to the fact that the teacher labels 5the child as an underachiever which is usually mainly on the basis of ethnicity, culture or race. Such children are placed in low achieving groups and their academic prowess is not acknowledged therefore such children do not achieve their maximum capabilities due to stigmatization (Richards, Forde, and, brown, 2007, p64).
Teachers who overcome stereotypic characters create a good learning environment and a good healthy relationship exists between the teacher, student and parent. Such teachers who create a multicultural environment for the young learners induce good healthy expectations from the students. A solution to stereotypic teachers if achieved can create a good environment and optimum performances from the child can be achieved (Richard, Forde and, Brown, 2007, p68).
There are negative impacts that come with the life of a student at home and how it ultimately affects the academic achievements of a child in school. The social life of a child at home and how they relate with others at home has an impact on the performance of a child. Issues such as poverty have been affecting the performance of children for along time now and they result in negative traits in the child such as violence. Poverty leads to a low quality life and affects the child even before the child is admitted to school. Another social factor that affects the life of a child is the separation between parents which has negative implications in the child’s academic performance. These are but some of the few social factors and others including race and ethnicity and the discrimination involved also have negative impacts in the academic achievements of a growing preschool child (Carter, 1999, p4)
It is therefore the role of the parents to ensure that children are provided with good living standards so that their education is not altered. It is also the role of the society and government to provide good environment for the minorities to prevent causing distress that eventually distorts the child’s academic life. The government has the role to provide good and efficient learning facilities at low costs so that poor parents and families can be able to get access to good education. If these social issues are handled properly and effectively then a child can produce good academic achievements (Carter, 1999, p31)
In the present day many people will agree that education is a key factor to success. Despite this there are many challenges facing the education system today. One of these challenges is that attrition rate at which teachers are being lost. Another problem facing the education system is the lack of parental involvement in the education of the child which ultimately lowers the teachers’ motivation to continue teaching and therefore the attrition rate. One last problem that is facing the education system is the lack of reading skills and abilities in children (Boyer and Hamil, 2008, p2).
These problems affecting the education systems are likely to lower the level of education and student performance in America if this problem is not checked. Knowing how important education is to an economy where revenue is required, these issues have to be looked into urgently in order to ensure that American schools produce competent individuals into the business world (Boyer and Hamil, 2008, p4).
In conclusion, early childhood is faced with numerous challenges most of which affect the education of the child. Some of these challenges include the high attrition rate of teachers, [poverty which is a social problem at home but affects the child performance at school, discrimination due to race, ethnicity and gender are but some of the many challenges facing early childhood education. Education being a vital need in the world today, drastic measures must be taken in the quest to solve these issues so that children can get the most efficient and social friendly learning institutions.
Boyer, A., Hamil, B. (2008). Problems Facing American Education. Web.
Carter, W. (1999). The Effects of Changing Family Structures on Higher Education for Black and White American Cohorts: 1908-1969. Web.
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Davidson, L. (2002). Gender equity in the classroom. Web.
Howey, K. (2010). A dual drop out crisis, part 2. Web.
Richards, H., Brown, A, and, Forde, T. (2007). Addressing diversity in schools: Culturally responsive pedagogy. Teaching Exceptional Children, 23 (3), 64-68. Web.
Rodriguez, G., Caplan, J. (1998). Critical Issue: Meeting the Diverse Needs of Young Children. Web.
Scott-Little, C., Kagan, S. and, Frelow, V. (2003). Creating the Conditions for Success with Early Learning Standards: Results from a National Study of Study of State-Level Standards for Children’s Learning Prior to Kindergarten. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 5(2). Web.
Surpuriya, T., Jordan, M. (1997). Teacher Burnout. Web.