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Elizabeth Lemieux

260742065

EDEE 253-001

April 17th, 2018

Individual Reflection – Reviewed


CONCEPTUALIZING THE IMAGE OF THE YOUNG CHILD: REFLECTION

As our model depicts, children love to play and explore, which is why my image of the

child is that they are playful and absorb most information when they are playing. If a child does

not have the opportunity to play, I believe that it is depriving them from developing to their full

potential. My group and I chose to focus specifically on play because of a child’s nature to bring

laughter and amusement into everything they do. Whether it’s through learning, growing,

exploring, or social interaction, playing is such a significant part of their lives, and “play is how

children prefer to gather and process information, learn new skills, and practice old ones”

(Kostelnik, Rupiper, Soderman & Whiren, 2014, p.22). Our model represents the joy a child has

when learning through play. It also represents the way children grow and take learning into their

own hands with an “innate desire to discover, learn, and make sense of the world.” (Hewett,

2001, p. 96). Since children in preschool and kindergarten explore most of the usual school

subjects including mathematics, language arts, and music, our model was to show different ways

they can play within those topics. For example, the model incorporates giant lego blocks, which

are used when learning mathematics.

Moreover, our views of the child are clearly represented through our model because of all

the elements of play that are included, which are the book, the shovel and dirt, the tambourine,

the baseball, etc. We hope to analyze the “space between” by understanding the influential

relationship a teacher has with students. It is difficult for adults to understand that playing is not

just for entertainment but that it can be used to facilitate learning. It is unfortunate when children

become adults, they lose their sense of wonder and play. Children depend on play as a source to

discover and familiarize themselves with the world since it leads to “negotiating skills and

cooperation; understanding fairness and reciprocity; and cognitive development” (Kostelnik et

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CONCEPTUALIZING THE IMAGE OF THE YOUNG CHILD: REFLECTION

al., 2014, p.267), which are all important for young learners. Teachers have an important role in

assisting their students with quality play by giving them time and the opportunity to do so.

I believe that play is the most important thing you can give a child because it is the

essence of all other qualities. Children learn and love to play at a very young age, and doing so

helps facilitate their imagination and shape them into the kind of person they will be in the

future. It is crucial for them to have that experience with play to make deep social connections

and evolve as an honest citizen with controlled emotions since “the most natural way young

children explore the social domain is through play” (Kostelnik et al., 2014, p.286). As a teacher

in training, I am so excited when students learn through play because I feel like they are learning

and retaining the knowledge they gain and experience it through something they love to do. I do

understand that children learn through play, but from what other groups presented, I understand

that there are many other valuable ways in which a child can learn. For example, a child can also

learn from being in nature and exploring their surroundings, which relates to the Reggio Emilia

approach of using the environment since “bringing the outdoors in connects children to their

roots and gives them a sense of value and respect for their community” (Fraser, 2006, p.116).

When planning my curriculum, I will include maker spaces since they enhance student learning

experiences, which “involve[s] materials, and materials are extremely fun for kids. Kids need to

play with materials before you can expect them to do anything else” (Baggett, 2016, p. 30).

Students can work together in groups, learn individually, and use their imagination all through

the aspect of play that maker spaces introduce. I want to capture students by providing fun and

interesting ways to learn about a subject to support their creativity. I also want to help them

discover the world, and maker spaces help facilitate that through meaningful play.

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CONCEPTUALIZING THE IMAGE OF THE YOUNG CHILD: REFLECTION

Many class presentations interpreted a child beautifully and in their own way by seeing

them as explorers, unique, thinkers, and as innovators. The group that presented children as

innovators demonstrated a child perfectly through their perspective by giving different examples

of what children had invented. I learned from this group that children can be imaginative and

have more potential than what we see. They addressed the space between by also giving an

opportunity to children to express their imagination and breakthroughs. Their presentation

related to the Reggio Emilia approach because they were interpreting children as researchers by

telling us that “they question what they see, hypothesize solutions, predict outcomes, experiment,

and reflect on their discoveries” (Hewett, 2001, p. 96). Another group also beautifully depicted a

child as a learner by including the six domains into their project. It is important to see a child

through those six lenses because students can comprehend the world if a teacher incorporates all

domains into their classroom but they can also develop them on their own. The six domains are

valuable when teaching a child and interpreting them as learners and noticing a child as

innovative is also essential. As a teacher, we cannot neglect seeing a child as innovative or

imaginative since they encompass those qualities as well. I believe that in the end, when we see a

child as playful, we also view them as innovative, imaginative, and many other ways since those

traits emerge when they play.

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CONCEPTUALIZING THE IMAGE OF THE YOUNG CHILD: REFLECTION

References

Baggett, A. (2016). Making in the K‐3 classroom: Why, how, and wow! Constructing Modern

Knowledge Pres, 29-53.

Fraser, S. (2006). The Environment as third teacher. Authentic Childhood (pp.101-119).

Hewett, V. M. (2001). Examining the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood

education. Early Childhood Education Journal, 29(2), 95-100.

Kostelnik, M. J., Rupiper, M., Soderman, A. K., & Whiren, A. P. (2014). Developmentally

appropriate curriculum in action. NJ: Pearson.