So, you are all excited about enrolling you precious offspring into his first learning centre for a bright future. Brochures and flyers at hand, you find yourself nothing short of confused, bewildered even with all the abbreviations and jargons in practically every other sentence. What on earth do they mean?
How are these terms important to you and how would you know what you’re looking for in your kid’s early education and development if you cannot comprehend the meanings of these terms? Just for your clarification, we have listed some of the most-used terms and jargons so that you may be more equipped to make some well-informed choices when determining which early learning centre to enrol your child into.Advertisement
- Affective Development – The area of child’s development that refers to personality, emotions, making friends, social skills and the child’s perception of their own self.
- Assimilation – Proposed by a theorist called Jean Piaget, this is a term used in early childhood theory to describe how a new idea or concept is fitted into what a child already knows or thinks
- Assessment (as in Child Assessment) – Information that is gathered to make an appraisal of a child or judgment about the child’s development, abilities or needs.
- Attachment – A long-standing emotional tie. The key signs of attachment between a child and an adult are when you move away the child looks at you; The child moves toward you when returning after separation; The child goes to you for comfort; When you are present the child feels safe and begins to gain confidence to look around, explore, and leave your side to play with other children or to explore objects and their environment.
- Centre – A licensed and regulated facility for children up to 6 years of age that include: kindergarten, childcare, daycare, language centre, early learning centre, nursery school and Montessori.
- Co-construction – This refers to learning together and acknowledging that the child can have expertise. Co-construction is about the child’s knowledge and understanding being considered and treated as valid by the adult (while the adult is willing to share and develop their own thinking.)
- Cognitive Development – Also known as intellectual development. The word “cognitive” is about the intellectual mind and how it works – how knowledge is learnt and the way knowledge is used.
- Consonant – All the letters of the alphabet except a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y.
- Day Nurseries – Mostly private care- providers, offering care for children from 0-5 years. Children are cared for in age groups and take part in a wide range of group activities. Day nurseries have fixed opening times, and most are open all year round, excluding weekends and public holidays.
- Development – Physical and mental growth and other changes that occur to a child as a result of natural maturation or by learning or both maturation and learning.
- Early Childhood Education – A process whereby young children learn and develop knowledge, skills, and understanding. The term is used as a phrase to describe all licensed and regulated early childhood services
- Egocentrism – Not having the ability to see things from another person’s perspective, or not realizing that others’ viewpoints can differ from one’s own.
- Emotional, Behavioural and Social Difficulties – This describes a child whose behavior hampers his/her educational progress and is persistent over a significant period of time.
- ESAL – English Spoken as a Second Language. A person is ESAL when a language other than English is the primary one used to communicate.
- Gifted – A child or children with advanced ability or skill in comparison to other children of the same age or when a child has a particular talent or skill such as in mathematical thinking or art
- Group size – The specific number of children grouped together within a centre who interact with the same teacher/teachers in an assigned space or classroom
- Guided Participation – When a young child or young children are guided to learn what is needed to be learnt to be part of a playgroup.
- License size – The total number of children a centre can have on the premise for the purpose of care and education at any one time, or the total number of children a home-based scheme/agency can have across different home-educator sites/homes.
- Metacognition – This is an important term that is not well understood. It means thinking about cognition. Thinking about one’s own mind, one’s knowledge, how it is organised, and what one has learnt.
- Motor Development – Also known as motor skill development is about how a child develops physical skills in using his/her body and body parts.
- Motor Skills – There are two broad types of motor skills that young children develop – fine motor skills using the smaller muscles, for example, doing up buttons on a cardigan – and gross motor skills.
- NQT -Newly Qualified Teacher – A teacher who has just been awarded qualified teacher status.
- Outcomes – Changes in a child’s skills, ability, attitudes, behaviour, understanding and knowledge that are expected as a result of attending an early childhood program or receiving services, or being exposed to particular experiences or equipment/toys.
- Pedagogy – It is all that is involved in teaching and in learning. Therefore it’s about more than just teaching or what the teacher does. The term includes the processes through which the child’s learning is facilitated and the adults’ assumptions about the nature of the child’s learning.
- Peers – Other kids who are the same age or may be of the same developmental level. They are not necessarily friends.
- Preschoolers – Children between the ages of 3 and up until 5 or 6 years of age when they start primary school.
- Private Early Childhood Service – A centre or home-based licensed and regulated service that is owned and managed by an individual, family, business partners, company or corporation. Such services may be owner-supervised where the owner works daily within the service as a member of the staff and thus has a personal commitment to the other staff, children and families at the service.
- Qualified Teacher – One who has successfully completed his or her early education and/or play-centre training courses.
- Read at Home – One on One time listening to your child read out loud to you. Reading material can be a book your child picks out or one from school, a magazine, newspaper, etc. The idea is for your child to practice reading at home with a grown-up or older sibling.
- Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) – A specific rather than a general learning difficulty. For example dyslexia or dyspraxia.
- Speech & Language Therapy – Speech and language therapists help children and adults with speech, language and communication difficulties.
- TA – Teaching Assistant – A person that provides extra help for students in the classroom.
- Toddler – In research, this generally describes a one to three-year-old child. However, in practice, the descriptor of ‘toddler’ is often applied to an infant who begins to walk independently. This may be at 10 months or at 18 months for example.
Unlike the kind in construction sites, scaffolding in terms of early education and development means adults’ support of a child’s efforts. A process of graduated assistance that helps to raise the level at which the child is capable of working.
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