What is Early Education and Family Studies?

Early Education and Family Studies (EEFS)

This field deals with children from ages zero to eight. EEFS is also called Early Education, Preschool, Childcare, and they all mean the same thing.

Early Childhood Education is a unique branch of education that is comprised of four areas:

  1. Human Service: provide service to children and parents
  2. Developmental Psychology: most of ECE is based on this area of psychology.
  3. Education Field: ECE is part of the education field
  4. ECE = Human Services + Developmental Psychology + Education

Objectives of ECE

  1. Foster children’s development
  2. ECE is there to support and enhance development but not responsible for a child’s development.
  3. To support and educate the parents
  4. To education the child and teach the child how to socialize. 90% of what is done in ECE is socializing children.

Themes in EEFS

#1 Value of Reflective Thinking. The ECE practitioner has to think about their own education and childhood experience because experience influences how you interact with children. You teach who you are.

#2 Multi-Cultural Perspective. The child’s personality and culture plays a role in who the child is. There are many cultural contexts that are viewed as different vs wrong.

#3 Holistic Approach. ECE looks at the whole child and how he/she is influenced by their family.

#4 Professionalism. It’s not arbitrary. It’s based on what is known about small children. Developmental psychology has a solid base in child development.

Child development helps us make decisions and to know what is developmentally important. We can know how to make a decision about a child based on the child’s characteristics and environment.
Types of Development

#1 Universal. Milestones and stages that are universal to children all over the world. For example, all 2-year-olds spill food when they eat.

#2 Contextual. Social and cultural context of each child. For example, an only child vs a child with siblings. A 2-year old with no siblings may throw their food. However, a 2-year old with siblings may have seen older children be reprimanded for throwing food and so the 2-year old will not throw food.

Source: Notes from “Introduction to Early Childhood Education” class

 

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