Learning is supposed to be a continuous process in human life, and it must have deep rooted base in everyone’s life. Since some one can easily manipulate a child’s mind as desired, it is very important to give better and clear cut learning opportunities to them, and here lies the importance of the article “The Plan” by Hilary Jo Seitz.
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“It is a process of learning about what a child or a class is interested in and then planning a positive authentic learning experience around and beyond that interest” (Seitz J, 2006). Seitz very precisely says that, in this process all groups: teachers, children, and parents are in the role of researchers. The plan that Seitz has developed consists of four points: Sparks, Conversations, Opportunities and experiences, and More questions and more theories. Each of these points itself is having the capacity to express the idea that what they are supposed to convey. By giving the word sparks, the Author means that, in learning process, emerging ideas must be identified, and at the same time, they should be provided with ample experiences, and at their interest, conversations must be conducted; documentation of the possibilities is also imperative (P.2). The second point conversation could be considered as same as the first point sparks, but it has much more profound ideas to be transmitted. Seitz says that having conversations with interested participants, which could be teachers, students or parents, through asking various types of questions is a major part in conversations in regards with the plan. Documentation of these conversations through video recording or tape recording is to be taken into consideration as a key portion in this section (P.3). When it comes to the third point opportunities and experiences, Seitz is trying to make one thing clear that, as per the plan, children must have plenteous opportunities and experiences in class room as well as in community which can be used for later studies. Documentation is also an inevitable part of this point as well (P.4). As the fourth one, Seitz puts forward the point more questions and more theories which is equally important to all other points. In this stage, the things to do are thinking more about the process to find out more questions, and document all those questions and theories (P.5). In order to differentiate the methods of learning, Seitz using the words canned thematic curriculum model and emergent (negotiated) curriculum model (P.1). The curriculum model referred as canned thematic represents the old traditional way of learning, where learning process is completely designed by the teachers, at the same time, in the emergent or negotiated model, children are being focused and curriculum is entirely blueprinted according to their interests.
Seitz has used different spectacular words in his article to make his idea more transparent and easily conveyable to the readers. The word authentic is having the meaning of something which has a deciding power, and the word negotiated is used as something which has undergone serious discussions. Compelling is used as something which is necessary for children, and the word document means the recording or retaining of ideas in writing or in any method of recording. The word implications used in the article referred as the after effects that could de happened in children’s life, and by the word teachable moments we can understand that this word is used to indicate the opportunity that a teacher can take to help the children in their learning process. The word provocation is used to mention the power that works behind the thinking ability of children. Facilitates is used with a meaning that the support which a teacher can provide in the meeting of children with another adult in their learning process. The words empowered and intrinsically motivated are used with almost close meanings. Empowered is the inner strength that a child gained through the new learning curriculum, and intrinsically motivated is there with a meaning of the quality and capability of the children.
The curriculum model, which is considered as negotiated, is one of the best methods that we can extend to children. The plan that Seitz presents including various strategies like sparks, conversations, opportunities and experiences, and more questions and more theories. If someone can use these strategies at its best way, will be able to see long lasting wonders in children’s life, which is the ultimate aim of the plan by Seitz. The plan says one thing very specifically; that motivations are very important in applying these methods of learning process, and these motivations must be compelling to children and the experiences that children obtaining through will be authentic. Since children are the key characters of this plan, sparks must come from their side, and for that, excellent provocation must be given to them. A serious and positive provocation will help the children to trigger their thinking, and in order to create effective implications on children’s life, document these thinking is imperative as well. A teacher with innovative and formative ideas would be well enough to implement this plan, and at the same time the teacher must be wiser to use the teachable moments to facilitate children’s understandings. The plan introduced by Seitz is aiming the betterment of learning process of children, and since the children are the wealth of any community it is decisive that what type of learning they are having, and how those learning process help them in their entire life. The successful application of the plan will definitely create an empowered and intrinsically motivated society; which is the necessity of today’s world.
Children, by their instinct, are doing the process learning through experiences. A learning process which is completely oriented on children is the key point of the article presented by Seitz. In the past days children were receiving the education which was designed by some people, that could be experts in the field, and there were not enough concentration on what children thinking. From this writing, we can understand one thing, that when it comes to the children’s learning process; the curriculum must be prepared fully on their interests. In this literature Seitz mentioning about sparks, and in my opinion this is the highlight of this article. “Sparks can be things, phenomena, and conversations-anything that provokes deeper thought” (Seitz J, 2006). It is a fact that deeper thinking can create a world itself, and when we promotes and provokes sparks among younger children, it accelerates the empowerment of a great society. The second point that hooked in my eyes is Seitz’s description about the opportunities and experiences. As we all know, experience can be a good teacher in most occasions of life, and those children who had better experiences in their early life will be the most successful people in the world. “One way to promote meaningful experiences is to find opportunities for authentic experiences that allow young children to see, negotiate, and participate in the real world” (Seitz J, 2006).
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Personally, this article, I consider as an asset in my curriculum, because it narrates in a very simple manner that how we can promote great learning opportunities to tomorrow’s leaders. Since a child care setting is a place where most of the children are having their early exposure to the world, it is the best place for them to have better learning process also. As I mentioned earlier, a teacher with positive attitudes can easily bring this in to practice, and in my field placement, I am sure that I can do a lot in regards with this. I will be able to provoke children’s sparks, and through that they will have great thinking power; the essential one in a child’s life. I can have children being engaged in real time experiences which would be their best teacher ever.
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