Children Education Need
Meeting Children’s NeedsThe young of every species have basic needs that must be met for them to develop and mature. Children are no exception. For children, these essential needs include warm, caring, and responsive adults; a sense of importance and significance; a way to relate to the world around them; opportunities to move and play; and people to help structure and support their learning. In the past, these needs were met at home and in the community, but now these needs are being met in our classrooms. According to Jim Greenman (1988), early childhood environments should be:
Rich in Experience-
Children need to explore, experiment, and learn basic knowledge through direct experience. Indeed, childhood is a time when we learn firsthand about the physical world the feel of water, the constant pull of gravity, the stink of rotten fruit, and the abrasive feel of concrete on a bare knee.
Rich in Play-
Play provides a way for children to integrate all their new experiences into their rapidly developing minds, bodies, emotions, and social skills. Brain research supports this idea, stressing that children learn best through an integrated approach combining physical, emotional, cognitive, and social growth (Shore, 1997).
Rich in Teaching-
The role of the teacher is critical in a child’s life. Children depend on teachers to be their confidant, colleague, model, instructor, and nurturer of educational experiences.
Rich with People-
Clearly children need lots of exposure to other people in their early childhood years. One of the greater weaknesses of Western society is that our children have less exposure to the diverse group of people living in the local village—baker, farmer, gardener, carpenter, piano tuner, bricklayer, painter, etc.
Significant to Children-
Young children need to feel important. In past eras children were responsible to water the garden, do farm chores, and care for younger children. Children need to feel that what they do is meaningful to someone besides themselves.
Places Children Can Call Their Own-
A basic human need is the need to belong. Children need to feel they belong, too. They need to be close to people they know, have familiar and comfortable objects, and be in a setting that has a personal history for them.