There are different ways in which children learn and develop mentally as they vary from one child to the other. Therefore, it is advisable that child’s development been estimated based on the standards and not on the comparison to his/her peers. There is the need to assess children as it ensures that a significant milestone is reached. In such a case, there are a number of learning theories that raise issue in line with the student development, school development and learning. Three approaches to learning have a profound impact on the level of learning in kindergarten. These three include constructivist, environmentalist, and nutritionist theory. Children undergo different learning development steps in the kindergarten level. It is in the first stage children learn to be self-confident, develop an interest to the environment; they become self-reliant and are able to differentiate between wrong and right (Clark & al, 2001).
They enjoy stories, singing, hearing, and saying sounds relating them to alphabet. They then learn how to develop and understand numbers through stories and songs, thus they become comfortable with numbers and are aware of space and shapes. In kindergarten level children have a chance to investigate and find out about the world through their surroundings. They go about it by questioning about everyday technology. In the physical development, children in the kindergarten level learn to move confidently handling their equipment and controlling their body. It is in a learning level that children are able to explore colors develop shapes, engage in dance, telling stories and making music. Finally, children in this level develop spiritually and learn Biblical truths as well as virtues, which develops their spiritual growth. Each day in this case starts with a Bible verse, devotion, and collective Bible assembly on days of the week (Javernick, 2005).
Children in the kindergarten are of the same age, and a teacher working and teaching them realizes that these children all have unique personality and personal interests. On the other hand all children are able to learn and use the acquired skills. In such a case, a teacher understands how to benefit from the children’s similarities in order to group them effectively. Considering the shared similarities among children, it is easy to develop and predict the sequence of their development. Having understood the differences and similarities among the children teachers are able to decide and plan on educating methods best for the group individuals among the children. This education process will be effective based on the firm foundation advanced research, and deep roots.
Although the Customized theory is hard to achieve and relate to as long as teaching is concerned the broad understanding of differences and similarities in learning and development by teachers among the kindergartens is essential. They are able to develop on a logical hypothesis. This is a crucial step towards the understanding of each child’s needs individually or in a group. The theory does not only focus on learning aspects, but also includes cognitive behaviors and emotions as well as their influence on a child. Children in the kindergarten level are in their development stage. Therefore, teachers in this level should focus on the actual picture and not only facts. Understanding the concepts of the theory help teachers to decide wisely on the needs of the children. The theory brings in the issue of differentiated instruction as it pertains to child’s teaching based on his/her needs. This refers to lessons that only relevant and helps the child in his development process (Graue, 1993).
Arnold Gessell improved the sophisticated work of maturationist theory. The theory states that growth is a natural process that occurs without human intervention in the life of an individual. The facts base the developments on individual and stages that are sequential over time. This perception drives many parents and guardians to develop a belief that their children will be acquainted with information without human intervention. It is through natural means that they grow and remain healthy.
According to this theory, readiness to school life is a time that comes when children can be able to count and recite alphabets. Therefore, these activities are necessary for studying such a difficult assignment as arithmetic reading. It is clear that development and readiness to school occurs logically and without human intervention according to this theory. It is an obligation and a part of the most responsibility for parents and guardians to teach kindergartens how to rehearse the alphabets. They should also help them in counting as these kids wait to join the kindergarten as an early preparation to this advanced development in their education life. When a young person is not ready for school life, maturationists suggest that the referral to kindergarten is the best alternative (Krogh & Slentz, 2001).
This theory helps where a child uses drugs in the wake of his peers in schools. The child’s underperformance can be linked to an interruption in developmental process. The child needs extra time to develop and acquire extra knowledge required to do at the same level with his peers. In respect to the kindergarten level when this theory principled is followed kids will start to prepare for school life right from home without necessarily having to join the school. The theory states that kids have an added advantage where they are able to develop their knowledge skills from a biological perspective.
John Watson, Albert Bandura, and Skinner had a significant contribution towards the children’s development explanation as argued by the environmentalist. According to environmentalists the environment that a child is born and brought up in develops, shapes and gives a chance in learning of a certain behavior. Therefore, things such as behavior, development, as well as learning are perceived as part of environmental reactions. This belief cause school teachers and families belief that children grow and get enlightened by responding to the surrounding.
According to environmentalists the kindergarten readiness level is the age or a stage when small kids can be able to respond to the surroundings of both schools and classroom. Such environmental attributes include set of laws and policies, activates that appertain to the curriculum, behaviors that are positive in ability to follow directives from both the adults and teachers. Therefore, for these children to be able to take part in trainer guided learning activities the ability to respond to these environmental teachings is a key requirement. Success of any child is based on a certain child’s ability to follow directives from teachers in the classroom or adults. In respect to environmentalists, several parents consider that children are taught best through various activities such as rehearsing of the alphabet for a number of times and copying numbers (Milton, 1996).
According to this view is clear that kindergarten children should be made to sit down at a writing desks prearranged in rows and attentively listen to the teacher. They are able to understand what the teacher is teaching and use it later outside the school and classroom environment. At home, these children are provided with books by parents that contain activities such as coloring letters and tracing. Children are marked to have problems when they fail the exams.
Maria Montessori, Lev Vygotsky, and Jean Piaget developed the constructivist readiness and development theory perspectives. There are some variations to their work, but each of them articulate similar issues in education and improvement. According to these authors they belief that children get educated and improve in their development when they interrelate with both people who surrounds them and the environment. The Constructivists view is that children are energetic members in learning and development process. Additionally, they believe that children are initiators of the right activities necessary for them to develop. Basing on the fact that environmental interactions with people are essential for education and improvement, children gets prepared to school as soon as they can start interactions with the surroundings. The aim of the educators is to influence children to be keen on the physical surroundings and the program of the babyhood classroom is to ensure that the surrounding is in line with the learning level.
The classrooms frequently undergo divisions into diverse education centers. These centers are set with materials that children can play with. Adults and teachers have straight conversations with the kindergarten kids, and as children travel from centre to centre it gives daily activities a meaning through the new experiences acquired by children, as well as the set curriculum. When children go home after school, parents engage these kids with storytelling session and in household chaos in an approach, that induces these concepts (Pelech & Pieper, 2010). In addition, as a way of stimulating interaction children can be provided with books that have pictures and voluminous writings. In case a child encounters problems in the process of learning, the theory does not reject the child but gives individual attention to the kid by may be customizing the classroom program as a way of helping the kid address his difficulties. Recently many researchers have understood the child’s learning and development as articulated in the theory. When it comes to the kindergarten teachers, they still hold that a child is not prepared for education until that time he or she rehearse the alphabets and possess the capability to follow instructions from both teachers and parents.
Behaviorist Learning Theory
Behaviorist learning theory emphasizes on changes in behavior that result from stimulus-response associations assimilated by the learner. It is the responsibility of the educator to provide the necessary stimulus and the student should give out the desired results both academically and behaviorally. There are many instances when this theory is applied in a kindergarten class. It is necessary to note that institutional strategy of reinforcing efforts enhances the understanding of students in relation to their efforts and achievements. Through assignments, children are able to show their understanding on the materials taught in class. Kids will be only trained to develop a positive behavior towards learning (Ormrod, 1999).
Hybrid Learning Theory
These theories refer to new ways that have been incorporated in the learning sessions. According to such proponents, they create high-integrated approaches to both educators and students. In the current literature, the word hybrid is interchanged by other words, which are similar in meaning. Such learning principles are applicable where there is quite a large number of students in a classroom. These learning theories are in one-way or the other fail to work as sometime students takes the advantage of a significant number of students and do not participate. Shy students in class are unable to develop confidence as they lack opportunities to participate or say a word in those groups. However, significant changes occur where these discussion groups are broken down into smaller groups that ensure that there is a close interaction between the educator and the students. Every student is given a chance to respond to regular prompts from the educator. These new learning theories focus more on modern equipments such as the use of technology. Through technology, it is possible to share ideas with people from far and with different cultural believes and perspectives.
Presently, e-learning is largely used. Therefore, with the introduction of the new technologies a blended learning or hybrid learning ways appeared. This is a point where the old and new instructional methods in the learning session are being joined in order to formulate methods of learning. This education process will be effective based on the firm foundation of advanced research and deep roots of previous experience.
Blended learning aims at coming up with an effective composition of learning experiences. This instructional design have a long history of "blending”. Therefore, activities such as classroom work, homework, field trips, laboratory works, reading assignments, and audio-visual media have the main aim of trying to come up with a new learning methods. However, the dominant modes of online services activities, and technology-based instructional methods, which can also be added to the mix are new parts of a blended learning in this century (Kwan, 2011).
For example, the use of e-learning as a hybrid learning method. Technology has advanced a lot, and it is obvious that kids know how to operate computers at an extremely young age. As a result, this method can be introduced in the kindergarten class where instead of using pie charts, which in most cases get torn, such diagrams should be fed in a form of a data base. Then the work of the instructor is to guide them on how to use these materials. Such computers may be fed with sound and students can learn even in the absence of the teacher. The focus of hybrid theory is to ensure that current changes in technology are incorporated in learning sessions in schools. This will ensure that schools do not drug behind and continue using old-fashioned teaching methods. Schools taught these changes would have taken a key step in ensuring that what is taught relate well with what the environment offers to the students. It is clear that the first step before children join kindergarten is that they start by recognizing their environment.
Other learning theories have stated that the behavior is connected with what was learnt and adopted by children from other parties. For example, in class, where the students are exposed to new technology there are exceptionally significant differences in the way children react to it. New hybrid learning methods will help boost children’s memory and they will have a chance to broaden their minds.