Current Trends, Issues and Research in Early Childhood Education
The current paper outlines the main issues of early childhood education. The discussed question is the following – what are the challenges for educational systems worldwide? First, it discusses the topicality of the issue in the contemporary world of education. Second, the paper gives examples of current trends and issues in early childhood education in different countries. Third, it discusses the impact of the educational system on the society. Moreover, the paper shows suggestions to problems existing in the educational process in Singapore.
Contemporary society continues to grow and expand boundaries of its development. It is a fact that education is an important element of the society’s welfare. People tend to worry about educational system regardless of their location. It is a fact that a human’s ability to learn and increase knowledge is based in childhood. Critics have always discussed early childhood education. It is impossible to deny its significance. Today, many countries all over the world are working on the total improvement of the educational system for children. It is a fact that there are issues in every educational system regardless of the country.
It is possible to outline global trends in development of the educational system for children in many countries. First, the main issues of the education are that not every country can offer affordable programs for children. It is a fact that families spend much money on bringing up their children and giving them enough knowledge to become well educated. Society worries about children and claims that it is necessary to make more financial investments into childcare and education in order to continue development. According to Neugebauer (2009), “Child care in the Netherlands up until about five years ago was almost entirely provided by non profit organizations, whereas today nearly all care is provided by for profit organizations — again a change in governments spurred this change.” This is a positive trend in the development of the educational system and its quality. Moreover, there is another trend in the modern society. Many countries are working on creating a national coherent educational system with a standard educational framework. It makes the educational process easier for pupils, their parents and teachers at the same time. Another problem in the contemporary world of education is that every country has families, which can barely afford to educate their children. This issue touches upon many countries. China is not an exception. Prices for education keep rising and society worries that this will soon become a privilege, which can be hardly afforded by a family. These issues caused the launch of many government programs, which can help poor families teach their children. In China, government takes many measures to help society to develop. According to Neugebauer (2009),
The central government is in the process off initializing the long-term development plan toward 2020. Regarding the ECE provision, it will increase funding significantly. The funding intends to add many more public early childhood programs. Special proportion will be allocated to the poor regions in the west part of China.
It is obvious that the problem touches upon many families and that is why it is necessary to implement changes. Another aspect of early childhood education is connected to the response of children to the educational process. There is much evidence that children experience stress during the first weeks of study. This is a global issue for all schools. Solutions are different. However, every country pays much attention to this problem. Emotional level of children is the source of successful and safe learning. School is a place with its particular environment, where pupils can get involved into bullying. Unfortunately, today’s system of education did not create appropriate conditions to reduce the number of cases involving bullying. Every country has its own cultural peculiarities. In China, children tend to experience a lack of attention from the side of teachers and mentors, which could comfort them.
It is a fact that everything done by the government is aimed at the increase of quality of the educational system. In Singapore, society experiences similar issues in trends. The widespread idea is to make education available for every family. The government increases the number of educational programs for early childhood and encourages companies to fund the educational sector of the society. Every action is a quality oriented in order to bring up a well-educated generation. According Neugebauer (2007), “The trend of individualistic life styles through career advancement and economic security over family value is prevalent.”
There are many suggestions to the stakeholders of the center including five areas of improvement for children from two months to six years old. First, it is necessary to provide more frequent teacher trainings in order to increase the quality of education. Second, the government should take care of implementing the national curriculum guidelines. Third, it is necessary to reduce the cases of bullying starting from early years. According to Yeo (2005), “Singapore schools and society generally are accustomed to orderliness as a way of life, and this is partly made possible by making and keeping rules.”
First, the implementation of the new trends will upgrade the quality of the education within the center. It will boost up the trust of parents and stakeholders. The implementation of the changes should be held consequently. Teacher trainings can result in a chain of expenses for the center. However, this time-consuming solution can be implemented during extra hours after work. This will reduce both expenses and time spent on the improvement of the teacher’s performance. Second, implementation of the national curriculum guidelines will increase the reliability of parents on the center’s competence. Costs of the implementation should lie on the government, which strives to boost up the educational system of the country in general. Third, bullying could be reduced by creation of group of mentors, who could consist of elder pupils. This solution is the key to successful cooperation of children. It does not require any financial investments and much time to be spent on training. It is an available tool and the first step of schools to the improvement of the quality of educational process.
In conclusion, it is essential to point out my personal opinion. Early child education in Singapore faces enough problems to be solved. It is a fact that current trends in education are also influencing society’s development in China. According to Choo (2010), “Education policy is one – as Singapore has always placed a premium on education that will now begin before primary school.” It is impossible to deny the fact that solutions to the problems will be effective if the government and the whole society start to take action now.