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Visit an early childhood program in your area.

Observe to
determine how it applies the basic ideas of historic figures
covered in this chapter. Does it seem more child-centered,
more teacher-centered, or a combination of both? Write a one
or two page paper about your observations. How have the
beliefs and ideas of great educators influenced early childhood
I visited Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Day Care/Preschool. I
found the program to be child-centered with help from the
teachers if needed. The children at the day care were relaxed
and into their activities. It was not noisy. There were two little
girls lying on an ottoman talking to each other socially possibly
about the events of the day. Martin Luther King Jr. believed it
was important for all people to be educated to be able to read
the Bible and so he translated the Bible into their language.
Today, we strive to educate all children. I saw that the children
were taught with dignity and respect. Rousseau, Frobel, and
Montessori believed that they should be.
John Amos Comenius wrote the first picture book. I saw
books in every room of the day care. He also believed in
sensory education along with John Locke. This would include
the senses for touching, smelling, tasting, seeing and hearing.
There were all kinds of sensory items in the day care. There
were boards with different textures.

One of the teachers that gave me a tour was working on an

activity using the senses. The theme was going to be
chocolate. She was going to make chocolate pudding so the
children could finger paint with it and of course they would
taste it and smell it. In regard to Jean-Jacques Rousseau I
observed the children being happy and curious.
The day care is set up so that children can explore. I saw
staff helping children and I also saw children doing their own
investigating. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi developed
manipulatives for children to play with. The day care had plenty
of manipulatives the children can work with. The day care
stems from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, which educates
adults. This is much like Robert Owen did. He opened a night
school for the parents of the children he was educating. The
day care has a curriculum they use just like Froebel who
developed a system for teaching. The day care uses
developmentally appropriate practice, which stems from
unfolding. They build on what a child already knows. Like Frobel
used in his time, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Day Care uses
materials such as clay and paper to fold. I had a good visit at
the day care and I am going back to observe and ask more

How have the beliefs and ideas of great educators influenced

early childhood programs?
The great educators beliefs and ideas are the backbone of
early childhood programs. It starts with Martin Luther (14831546). He wanted people to learn how to read so they could
read the Bible. John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) made the
first picture book for children. Every day-care and pre-school
has a picture book in it. He believed it is important that
children learning is best learned when the senses are involved.
We do that today in early education. We show children an apple
tree, let them look at it, touch the trunk and feel it, look at the
apple, pick it, taste it and smell it. Some apples are red and
some are green. John Lockes belief in environmentalism is
what we as a country are still trying to achieve. Helping lowincome families get their children an early childhood education
is what Head Start does. Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that
children should be children and that an education should not
be forced. When a child is ready to learn the teacher can then
add developmentally appropriate practice, which we do today.
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi thought the best way to learn was
through the use of manipulatives. All day cares have
manipulatives in them, measuring cups and spoons, sensory
boards. Robert Owen developed the first infant school and we

have day cares for infants today. Friedrich Wilhelm Froebel was
the father of kindergarten and we have kindergarten today. The
great educators of the past are our leaders today because they
have influenced education today in almost its entirety.