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Early Childhood Education

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The Montessori Method is an empirical style of learning in which children develop at their own pace using a variety of developmental and age appropriate tasks in a systematic fashion. The Montessori Method utilizes instructors and fellow classmates as mentors and additionally, the classroom is structured to provide a soothing and orderly environment to promote positive and harmonious growth for all participants in the program.   In this educational style, natural learning theories involve principles of rationale, spiritual and foundational learning are combined and although the curriculum follows a specific path each student helps shapes the focus and progress thus determining the outcome or growth of each student and the class. (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

Reggio Emilia, a less formative model that focuses on each individual’s unique interests by encouraging the exploration of creative ideas, thoughts, feelings and interactions. The abilities, talents, and skills are developed using drama, music, free-play through music, and free-expression in words, poetry and the arts in respect for the development one’s diverse needs and abilities of each student. Other methods of learning also are less formal and structured to encourage creativity, unique expression and other forms of abstract and post conventional thinking and expression (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

In both methods above locomotive play is incorporated with structured learning. However, in Reggio Emilia the arts are embraced, as is the development of individualism and free expression (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). Additionally, the method tends to favor more of a qualitative approach focusing on aspects and stages rather than on quantity as in other methods, which focus on basic foundational skills of language and mathematics taught on repletion and social normative standards (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

In Montessori language, math, free play, and values and elements of spirituality are incorporated into a structured program with the child setting the limits and progression and both teachers and students acting as coaches and mentors in more a symbolic or communal setting (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

Other learning methods exist within Early Education but tend to focus more on either the development of the basic standardized skills of mathematics, language, and the social normative skills defined by a particular society, or focus on free play. Additionally some methods use a combination of the two standards above.

What is deemed appropriate or best for one child may or may not work for every child. For although learning tends to follow normative patterns in regards to cognitive, social and biological development and the means in which each individual acquire information is determined by one’s environment and experiences (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). Our unique experiences, consequences and the various ways we all develop and incorporate and process information through perception of our senses and the theory of our mind differs, as does the influence of culture and subculture and that of our worldview. Additionally any challenges derived from evolution itself has a positive or negative correlation to one’s growth rate (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

As to which model is best suited for Early Childhood Learning it depends on the particular developmental needs of a child. Each individual has different cognitive, social and other developmental needs, strengths and weaknesses and cannot easily be determined simply by either biological, social, environmental or any other factors. As such, the best learning center would offer various learning methods with strategies tailored to meets the multiple complexity of needs of the diverse populous they serve and the variety of interests, virtues, vices and such they may encounter as they prepare the minds and hearts of our future generation to serve and glorify God. Thus, the best center should offer programs suited with combination of methods or a holistic/eclectic blending of developmental-learning theories to help shape the future of the mind, bodies, hearts and souls of the leaders of tomorrow.

For although God created all People in his Image (Gen 1:27). Each of us were created before time, space and Creation began unique yet similar or universal in form (Ps 51). Furthermore, all of us are called to serve various plans in our various stages of life for the prosperity and Glory of God (Jer. 29:11).  This election which is to build, equip and baptize Disciples in Faith in the preparation for the return of our Savior-King during the Second Coming Jesus will bring final restoration of all people of faith. Furthermore, the result is the restoration of all creatures and all creation from the penalty of death that is the result of Sin and return humankind to Holistic Oneness in Mind-Body-Spirit in the likeness of Christ (Premise of Gospel of Romans).

“Blessed are the Children and Cursed be to any whom wish to harm them or cause them to fall, Be like them in their innocence and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matt. 18: 1-9, Matt. 19: 14-15).” For “We shall all start children off on The Way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it (Pr. 22:6 NIV).”

Whitney Houston proclaims, “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be (Masser & Creed, 1984).” By, embracing, the similarity and building on the unique needs of each child while instilling a understand of unity, diversity and moral and legal understanding educators’ and parents’ shape the future of tomorrow’s leaders and help build lay the foundation of peace, hope, faith and love that will bring assurance, joy and prosperity in generations to come.

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Word Count # 994

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References

Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.

Masser, M., & Creed, L. (1984). Greatest Love of All [Recorded by W. Houston]. On Whitney Houston [Compact Disc]. New York, New York, United Staes: Sony.

 

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FEED MY SHEEP!

Undernutrition: Feeding the hungry

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Undernutrition is a global-pandemic that results in 50% of fatalities in children under five and in addition, 17% of families with children under the age of 18 experience food shortages or food insecurities in the United Sates alone (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). The consequences of this plight include but are not limited to, impaired physiological growth, cognitive impairment, emotional and social imbalances. The result of this crisis includes such effects as lower reasoning abilities and negative socio-interaction skills, verbal and spatial ability impairment, and other memory-associated tasks deficiencies (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). Yet this social-economical-political-cultural-physiological and even environmentally influenced globally devastating disease is both preventable and curable.

The problem of undernutrition is not a new pandemic. Acts 6 and act 11 address this issue with in the Church as well as this plight is illustrated in the story of Joseph in the Old Testament.  The question of many is what role the Church, or The Universal Body of Followers of Christ, may play in preventing and eliminating this pandemic. First, let us examine how the Early Church approached this crisis

Genesis 41 and 42 details a  prediction of the  coming of 7 year of abundance in the fields In Egypt followed by a famine and the necessity of storing of the grain to prepare for the upcoming crisis. The events that follow in Genesis 41 and 42 lead to Joseph’s appointment as an emissary and ambassador in Egypt and the provision of aid to Israel to his brothers’ who sold him into captivity. This illustrates the need for all people, the Church, and all Nations to come together regardless of differences and conflicts, to forgive disagreements, and seek to coexist and work in unity to eliminate global threats such as the pandemic of world hunger.

In Acts 6, seven deacons or elders were chosen to make sure the daily food ration that was collected from the congregation was equally disbursed among Gentiles and Jews within the Church and community. An argument arose that only those decent “Law-Biding and respectable believers of Pure Jewish Ethnicity” would either receive the rations first, or were entitled to benefits. The Apostles appointed the committee to ensure all people received an equal share and to free the ministers to meet the obligations of evangelism and maintaining other Spiritual needs within the community (Acts 6).

This passage shows the necessity of the church to provide resources both of a monetary and commodity nature (food / shelter and clothing) to help combat hunger and assist in other needs in times of crisis.  Additional committees or relief organization may be organized of committees of mature and rationally sound and Spiritual grounded individuals to act in the administration and distribution of other humanitarian relief efforts.  Finally, Acts 6 illustrates that aide is not to be given or denied based on privilege or status, but to be equal disbursed to all people and conflicts shall be negotiated by use of peaceful conflict resolution methods.

Acts 11:27-30 is the depiction of a prophecy of a Great Famine that will effect Jerusalem and much of the South Asia and how the Universal Church will need to take up special offerings and consolidate resources to help provide relief for the region. The famine occurred as predicted in the time of Claudius and the Church provided food, clothing and other resources as an act of humanitarian aid to all people through the Mother Church in Jerusalem.

Building on this historical model the church in times of crisis or whenever a need is present shall provide resources through the collection of food, clothing and other items to meet special needs and shall help supplement ongoing humanitarian relief efforts through the provision of workers or financial support to humanitarian efforts, whether they are secular, or religious in nature.

Undernutrition is the underlying cause for physical, emotional, psychological and social dysfunction and kills 50% of children under the age of five (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). One of the major factors of world hunger is poverty and improper management of resources or pure greed. A few final suggestions are for individuals, corporation and other affluent organizations to cut back on extravagant and unessential needs. By simplify living, donating surplus items, food or of other commodities or even one’s time, all may assist in the fight against world hunger, poverty and other socio-political-environmental crimes affecting all of humanity because of mankind’s sin.

Other options to help prevent and eventually eliminate food shortages and undernutrition includes, programs that promote financial management skills, establishment or support of food banks, participation in environment protection efforts and training in efficient farming practices, and finally awareness of the value of proper diet, hygiene and exercise. Furthermore, the church should educate and support programs on universal humanitarian efforts, the overall necessity of sanctity of all life, and even the importance of immunization

Monetary contributions by individuals and donations of percentages of profits by corporate entities or even an increase in taxation to help those who are less fortunate as well as reforms in areas such as affordability of medical assistance and or free medical coverage will benefit the populous in all areas of help and enable growth.Even a reduction prices or provision of assistance with the basic essential living commodities such as, food, shelter, medicine and clothing also may prove to be a viable option worldwide.

While some doctrines and dogmas of churches focus on spreading the truth or the message of Jesus it is equally or even more important to practice and spread the discipline and message of love. In Being Jesus and assisting in the meeting of needs, one may plant more abundantly fertile seeds than merely proclamation of truth as many people who have turned away from God have done so out of a belief and feeling of betrayal because of unmet needs. In being Christ like Love can lead to trust and then truth providing the freedom from suffering and death that on Christ can deliver.

In going beyond prayer, giving and providing for needs is essential. To paraphrase Jesus’s Greatest Command In Matthew 28:16 “All Glory and Worship or One’s Thoughts, feelings and Actions and who we are and what and to whom we belong to  is  based on the capstone of Christ and the foundation of Love.

Thus, “It is all about the Love.” “First, “Unto God and then to others and finally to self from which obligation in and by faith leads to obedience to all the Law.” This in turns reveals our purpose or truth our very nature and virtue of being in Christ-mindedness and Likeness (Phil 1-6) and brings about a plethora of blessing for both the individual and the community.

Finally, in the giving of the diversified yet unified flavored Spiritual Gift bestowed upon the believer by and in the Holy Spirit for the transformity and conformity of God’s Divine Purpose of Kingdom restoration and fulfillment. Through our justification, redemption and in our salvation, we all become free from the penalty of Sin and Death and become equally significant and secure citizens unified in community, kinship and Oneness with God and community. Upon the return of Christ, we will become fully united and transformed to our rightful image, in union with creation itself and in likeness and in distinction with Jesus living in harmony with all people and all creation (Gal 5, Rom 1-15).

Erik Erikson states, trust is formed by the ability to have access to the provision of one’s need by caregivers or individuals or people of authority (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). When authority figures fail to act responsibly or when needs are not met people experience betrayal, loss of  faith and even blame God or total reject of the notion of the existence of spirituality or divinity may become present in individual’s or society.  The most effective evangelical method with many of restoring hope, trust, and faith that then leads to assurance and finally the ability to comprehend and distinguish truth is by assisting and providing needs and in nurturing or counseling emphatically to one’s thoughts, feelings and action with positive regard and in a manner of love.

Healing and hope is regained by being and showing love, ministering to needs, and when/if, the person is ready in proclaiming the Gospel. However, the Good-News often is most effectively communicated in other manners using general references from everyday life but is best expressed first through patience, kindness compassion and respect for one’s uniqueness, diversity in the spirit of unity and through hope and above all else unconditional love.

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Word Count # 1438

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References

Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.

 

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The influence of Media and Young Children

The influence media plays in development in youths is a controversial topic. Critics claim that television, video games, social media and the internet can have detrimental effects on emotional, mental, physical and social growth (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).  Advocates of technology cite that media improves motor skills, cognitive awareness and allows children to engage with people of other cultures outside of their society and provides access to a wealth of information beyond the confines of their localized environment. Additionally, critics also claim media increases aggressive behavior and has the potentiality to expose children to vulgar or unsuitable material not appropriate for either their developmental level or moral development.

Furthermore, some parents choice to make television and other technology a surrogate caregiver and in doing so deprive children of nurturing and social interaction that plays a vital role maturation (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

In regards to potential health risks television and electronic devices emit blue radiation that studies have proven prolonged exposures can cause damage to the eyes and disturb sleep. It is wise either to limit the time spent using such devices or to take frequent breaks when using devices to curb such effects and to not sleep with television or computer monitors on. Additionally, people who engage in excessive use of technology and do not have a regular fitness plan or engage in physical activity are prone to obesity, coronary disease, a higher degree of stress and a host of complications depending on the risk factors of each individual and the influence of genetics and association of environment hazards.

While video games improve motor skills and cognitive awareness in children over the age of three (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014), certain content may increase aggressive behavior depending on stress level and temperament and prolonged exposure can decrease social interaction skills.

Additionally, prolonged exposure can limit cognitive development and memory skills. Studies have found a dependency on media has caused the average concentration rate to drop to around 6-8 seconds because of media in most people. In addition, a decline in literacy rates and syntax errors in speech and writing may be the result of texting and social media.

Sexual predation and bullying are often first initiated over social media and the internet. However, predators in general will seek out children in any environment frequented by this group. Thus, in the case of media the best safeguards is to have access to passwords, to use content filters, and check the posts and interactions of youths to protect from unwanted activity. Most, televisions and audio visional equipment are equipped with content filters and password protection for settings. Additionally, computers, cellphones and tablets should be protected with content filtering software, anti malware protection, password protection and if the devices are in the bedroom of youths cameras should be disabled or covered up with electrical tape when not in use to stop from unwanted spying as these accessories can be enabled remotely by hacking.

How much is too much media time?  After conducting a review of the effects of media, “The American Pediatric Committee on Public Education discourages the use of television by any child under the age of two, rather the committee encourages in cognitive and social activities such as talking, sing, and reading (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).”  The data found toddlers spend an average of approximately of 2 hours watching television alone. Yet Youths in general spend more time engaged in the use of media than sleeping spending between 6-9 hours fixated with technological devices. The average child should sleep about hours a day, attend school for approximately 8 hours and engage in physical activity or exercise for about an hour a day. Furthermore, all people benefit from positive social interaction or quality time of approximately 3 hours a day and additionally children’s time will be spent on completing homework and helping with family chores for about hours daily, this would only leave 2 hours for media related endeavors. Granted time management and the amount of sleep could allow for an increase in media time as well as the time spent exercising may be decreased to around 30-45 minutes; however, the time spent for media engagement would still be approximately hours.

Does media have a positive or negative correlation in development? The correlation depends on the frequency of exposure, the type of content, the temperament and personality of the individual as well as how the family interacts and perceives media in general.

A further suggest is to use all forms of media as an educational tool and a form of group dynamic model. By including the whole family in the media education process and using the same methods one would use when reading such as, “introducing the theme and asking follow-up questions, encouraging the participants to explore the depth of the content matter,  and/or describing the relevancy to one’s own thoughts, feeling action, situation or circumstances.  Finally, discuss any social values and Virtues, or Spiritual truth, gained in the message. Knowledge and wisdom can be gained that will lead to growth through the media experience. Additionally, this fosters development of listening and communication skills as well as cognitive and social development (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).”

Although, individuals possess innately unique abilities, traits, and talents and learn at a different duration and frequency.  Most cognitive, emotional, social, physical and spiritual development occurs within a normative range. The theories of Piaget, Erikson, and those of Vygotsky are considered as baseline by some and questioned by others; observation of children and people in general couple with one’s own experience as well as Biblical Scripture confirms that life develops in stages (Eccl 3) (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). Yet, Life also is an ongoing process (Ps 51, Rom 3-8, Rev 20).

What is most evident from all studies conducted is prolonged exposure poses significant risk to physical, cognitive, emotional and social development and detracts from social interaction and nurturing (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).  Both nurturing and social engagement coupled with genetics form the cohesive bond of necessity in maturation in all stages of development and through ones temporal lifespan as we trudge the road toward the Narrow Gate toward Eternity with and in Oneness with our Creator.

“He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning (Dan 2: 21 NIV).” Thus, God, initiates maturation, and eliminates bullies and Authoritarians, bullies and those whom to bring discord to society. This is done so by the Gift of Wisdom and Knowledge given to the mature and wise people who know and teach his ways. These parents, mentors, and leaders pass down experience, knowledge and wisdom to the children and students of future generations for the purpose of his discerning virtue and truth and the prosperity of all people and the fulfillment of God’s Divine Purpose through his various plans for each person given in stages throughout all Eternity and our life cycle within creation.

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Word Count # 1126

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References

Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.

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