In 2019, staying up to date with the latest trends in early childhood education has never been more important. The education is constantly evolving, it is important to stay on top of the latest ideas in early childhood education that put you ahead of the pack.
To begin with, let’s define trends. According to Vocabulary.com, trends are defined as:
“A trend simply reflects what seems to be going around at any given time. A trend can be in any area and doesn’t only reflect fashion, pop culture and entertainment. There can also be a trend in the stock market to be bullish or bearish, depending on economic indicators, or a political trend reflecting a nation’s current mood. Some trends are fun, some fabulous, some appalling, but however long they last, you can be sure there will always be a new trend coming along to replace the old.”
So back to trends in Early Childhood, if you have been around in the sector a number of years, I am sure you have seen a “trend” or two in your time!
Probably ones that didn’t include acronyms at every corner and the word technology in multiple sentences!
Currently, that is exactly what we have trending.
1. STEM in the Classroom – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
Who would have thought twenty years ago when I entered the sector there would be a general consensus of great minds that got together and decided that STEM is a necessary program – labelled and all – that will enhance the 0-5 age group in all learning areas now and into their future (with a big focus on children’s development in later years)!
Now, Early Childhood Educators of years gone past, you probably would have delved into all of the concepts above, just not put a title on them! So, if you may be feeling that you’re not keeping with the latest trends in early childhood education, believe me, you have been doing this intrinsically for years. You now just have an acronym to go with it!
2. Technology is Everywhere
It goes without saying that technology in the classroom is a “trend” that is here to stay, and rightly so. With the correct use and not overuse, technology can enhance children’s learning opportunities second to none. They can build on life experiences and ideas by having access to a myriad of information at their fingertips. Technology allows us to connect with the world around us in very simple ways. Gone are the pen pal days for most, when you Skype instantly around the world for a conversation!
3. Bush and Wilderness Programs
Bush and wilderness programs have really taken off in a big way in the last five or so years. With the introduction of more technology into the classroom, the need for getting back to nature has become more apparent. Allowing children to explore the world around them, breathing in the fresh air, and letting children take risks in the natural environment – this in itself creates the most fantastic learning opportunities and gains for development.
I remember when there was a time when excursions were just all too hard in a big early learning centre, and incursions were the way to go! But excursions are worth it! Planning, organising, seeking permission, packing, reminding. It is all worthwhile when children are able to get out into the community and really embrace their sense of belonging and begin to link past experiences to a new one. Big companies, particularly supermarkets, have really been on trend to visit of late. Offering an inside tour of the workings of these companies, checking out the products and produce and most of all promoting healthy eating! Go on- get your bus ready and away you go!
Although these may be labelled as “latest trends in early childhood”, I feel that these ideas could be around for quite some time. As the benefits to children’s learning and development far outweigh the “popular” stigma with these ones! Stay trendy!!