Studies

Philosophy of Early Childhood Learning

Relatively few studies, however, have been conducted to determine how the understanding of prescribed concepts leads to an improved learning experience. This experience is defined as an increase of the child’s cognitive awareness along with the substance retained resulting from utilizing a theory. In an attempt to address the deficiency, this discussion examinesDewey lived in a time when children were to be seen and not heard much less interacted within a way that would stimulate their senses and imagination. Dewey believes that ideas are a crucial element in developing a theory of learning. Dewey knew that, out of necessity, even the youngest children participated in household chores and activities, and he quickly recognized the wonderful learning opportunities these everyday experiences provided. He came to believe that the child’s own instincts, activities, and interests should be the starting point of education (Prawat, 1996). This viewpoint conflicts with the Cartesian theories of dualism which teaches that there is a distinct separation between the human mind and the world. Therefore, to more fully grasp Dewey’s usage of the term ‘idea,’ the term must be situated within the context of this non-Cartesian philosophy. From the earliest days of his academic career, Dewey and pragmatism as a whole sought to rid philosophy of the Cartesian dualistic thinking that separated mind and world (Russell, 1993). Dewey considered that this type of accepted wisdom leads to various other dualistic concepts that create problems of conflict and hinders an effective educational process (Prawat, 1995). Because of this, one of Dewey’s principal endeavors was the expansion of the transactional view of educational experience so as to evaporate the separation of mind and world philosophy.In Dewey’s first published work that identified a transactional view of experience ‘The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology,’ he criticized the reflex arc concept which put forward the theory that stimulus causes response which insinuates that the awareness of stimulus is separate from thought and deeds.

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