The core values that best relate to this situation include: basing work on the knowledge of how children develop and recognizing that children achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on trust and respect. In this particular situation, I am responsible for all of the children in my care.
Within the NAEYC Code the most relevant statement to this situation is found in Principles 1.1. This principle, rightfully so, has precedence over all other principles within this particular code. The code clearly states that above all, children shall not be harmed. Practices that are emotionally damaging, physically harmful, disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitative, or intimidating are not within the parameters of the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct.
This code is relevant to the situation addressed as stated in P-1.5 “We shall use appropriate assessment systems….” In the situation, the assessment system is not appropriate as one of the core values is to be knowledgeable of the way that children learn and develop. As highly qualified educational professionals, it is our responsibility to know and understand the children we teach.
Research has proven that standardized testing is not best practice for young children. Also, removing children from an environment where they feel safe pushes the limits of the code of conduct for early childhood education. As previously mentioned, the guiding principle in 1.1 describes how it is the responsibility of educators to keep children safe. While the assessing is taking place, another professional is being left alone with children. Not only is this stressful for the aid, it is not safe for the children she is now solely responsible for. As an early childhood professional, I would bring this situation of standardized testing, removing children from the learning environment, and lack of supervision to the immediate supervisor or director of the program. I would also use the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment to defend my stance.
As educators, we have a responsibility for the type and quality of care of young children whom are too vulnerable to care for themselves. The core value in this scenario is finding a way to assessment the skill set of the children by using traditional methods such as standardized pencil and paper tests. The concern is that removal of the children to perform these test might disrupt their daily routine and could burden the teacher’s aide that has to remain in the classroom with the other children that are not being tested at the time. To explore other scenarios on how the address this issue, there are several things that can be tried to see what systems would work best. If there is another classroom that is already practicing this method, observations of that class can be done and a few students can be “tested” by being removed from the class and going to the practice test classroom. The students can be taken in small groups or the classroom can be broken up so half can test and half can remain to see how this may disrupt the routine of the classroom. One or both ways could be tried to see which seems more effective and less burdensome. Once this trial is complete, the test can be assessed to see how the well the children did. One will have to take into consideration that not every child performs the same on test, so some leniency will have to be used. If an overwhelming number of children perform poorly, the topic of incorporating observations may have to be revisited to assure that each child’s grading scale is determined by many different factors instead on objective viewpoint, such as a test. Once this is revisited, as the educators we then need to look at the procedure and why certain methods were initially put in place and revisit these ideals again. Again, it is the educator’s job to protect those whom do not have a voice and are vulnerable. If the educator feels as though this method is not successful, they will need to be firm with their beliefs and conclusions.
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