Do you want to sit or do you want to PLAY?
My Capstone Project is developing a Kindergarten curriculum that is based on the constructivist philosophy.
Constructivism is a philosophy of education. It is based on experimental learning through real life experiences and hands on activities that will “construct” and condition knowledge. During the early years of school, children need to play and make sense of the world around them. Play and hands on learning is a natural thing for children. It is only fair for children to be in an environment where the philosophy of education is aimed at the benefit of the child. This is where constructivism comes into play. A curriculum for early childhood education, in particular Kindergarten, where children are free to learn from real world experiences will not only prepare children for the coming educational years but most importantly, it will prepare children to be the best they can be and offer real life social and emotional learning. Children are natural movers and explorers, and therefore it is only natural to prepare a curriculum for them that is based on their needs, desires and interests. The philosophy of constructivism can be a solid foundation for productivity and growth in young children. Constructivism encourages discovery. It also encourages hands on, experimental and task based learning. A curriculum that is based on constructivism is something that children naturally depend on in order to succeed in their environment.
I just completed my 11 page Capstone Project Plan draft for my EDU 698 class. I spent a whole lot of time on it. I know that it will all be worth it. There was some performance pressure but not so much since I know that it is a draft. With the wonderful professor that I have, I am anticipating great feedback that I can incorporate into the revision of the plan.
I am in now week seven of the module. By the end of next Saturday, this module will be over and the new module will begin that Monday. That module I will be in my last MEd course which is EDU 699. This is where I will develop my plan and put together a product that will be published at the end of the eight weeks. This is a very exciting time. I am passionate about my project and really excited to share it with everyone.
In the beginning,, it was more nerve wracking but as the time passes, it seems to get easier with the understanding and development of everything. It is a lot of work and that can not be stressed enough but you learn to appreciate everything more when you put your heart and soul into it.
My project is going to be awesome. So many ideas. It will all come together and that is something to look forward to. As well graduation this May. Graduate school is not for the weak. Sometimes the work load may make one week but in reality you end up stronger.
I am waiting on my black belt.
Throughout my studies in my MEd courses, I have learned so much. I have learned a lot about education and life in general. What I have really enjoyed learning about is multicultural education. That really interested me. To learn about other cultures and the different ways we all learn things really sparked my interests. I have come to learn and respect that each one of us learns differently from the next person. There are more than one way, many times, to come up with a correct answer. As well, there are many different teaching styles. I have learned that if a student is not learning the way we teach then we must teach in the manner that the student learns. I became very intrigued with the idea of differentiation. I feel that it is imperative to differentiate assignments and work that we assign students in order to let them excel at their full potential. I also learned about backward design and curriculum planning. There is a lot of work that goes into each but it is worth the time and effort if it is benefiting the ones that we teach. Digital mediated technology is becoming a big thing inside the classroom and I have learned of various ways to incorporate technology within lessons, discussions and projects with students. That is what I recall off the top of my head of what I have learned in my M.Ed courses thus far. I know that I have gained a wider scope of knowledge that will come to me when needed such as the assessment and management of learning.
What I have learned about myself is ways that I can become a better listener and speaker. I have also learned about my preferred learning style as well as my preferred teaching style. I have learned that I can accommodate my students according to their learning style therefore moderating my teaching style. I also learned that the passion for teaching has always been within me and that early childhood is definitely my field. I love it.
One week down. the finish line is closer. Time to focus on my Capstone Project ideas.Brainstorming time.
Educational research is very important. In order to better our practices and develop new ways of teaching our students, we need to research the any topics that involve education and the process of learning. Research is a process that involves steps. In order to find out what we need and are looking for, we must follow the steps in the researching process. We first need to ask or prose a question. For example, it can be; what are we looking for? What do we really want to know and find out about this certain topic? The second thing that we need to do when conducting research is to collect data. We need to collect the data that answers the questions that we are looking to be answered. The third thing we must do is to present an answer to the question that we are seeking out. With educational research, it improves practice. Research can consist of case studies, surveys, self studies and other things such as conceptual and historical research. Research adds a lot to our knowledge. It also helps us make decisions.
There are steps that a researcher proceeds through when they are going to conduct a study.
1.Identify the research problem
2.Review the literature
3.Specify a purpose for the research
4.Collect the data
5. Analyze and interpret the data
6. Report and evaluate the research.
Following these steps is imperative for accurate educational research. It can also be a research process cycle that after step 6 it goes back to step 1.
There is quantitative research. This type of research collects numeric data from a large number of people using instruments with present questions and responses. It also analyzes trends and compares groups. There is qualitative research. It collecting data based on words from a small number of individuals and having the literature play a minor role but justify the problem are some parts of this type of research. It is best to address a research problem in which we do not know the variables and we need to explore things. There are different research designs that go along with this. Two are correlation Design and Survey Design. There are ethical issues that pertain when conducting educational research. That includes demonstrating respect to the audiences who read and use the information form the studies. In order to conduct research, one must possess certain skills such as increasing our attention span and lots of writing and editing.
Creswell, John W. Educational Research-Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. 4Th Ed. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Paerson. 2012
Today I begin classes again. It was a great, wonderful, splendid time off with my family. I have enjoyed it very ,much. Now it is back to studying and getting one step closer to earning my Masters in Education with a concentration in teaching and learning. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Child Studies. The two classes that I am taking this module are EDU 697 and EDU 698. This means next module will be my very last class. Each module is 8 weeks long which is half the time of a typical semester. This also means that in 16 weeks I will be graduating. That is awesome. I have come so far. I was a little nervous about starting this module but now I am more excited. Keeping a positive attitude is key. There is a lot of work to be done but it will get done with time, patience and most of all passion. I love education. I especially am passionate about early childhood education. It is very important to me and I look forward to creating an amazing project. I feel very confident and strong. I am blessed to have my husband as my rock and our son as an inspiration to keep on going. Last module was tough for me but I made it through. I look forward to learning and sharing my passion with the world. I want to educate and inspire. I want to better the lives of young children. They are the future. It is just as important, if not more important to leave better children for the planet rather than a better planet for our children. This module is about Capstone research methods and reading and doing the research for the big final project. I do not know what it is yet but I do know that it will contain lots of care, thought and love. Many ideas are coming to mind. I am blessed to have my son, Jorge Juan, with me. He teaches me everyday. He is at the perfect grade, Kindergarten so it is a great experience doing homework and other arts and crafts with him.Please keep up with http://www.facebook.com/loorducation.