Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Paper Of Education Speak English


The Early Childhood Education has changed considerably in recent times. The process of acquiring a new identity for the institutions that work with children has been long and difficult. During this process came a new conception of the child, totally different from the traditional view. If, for centuries the child was seen as being an unimportant, almost invisible, today it is considered in all its particularities, with personal and historical identity.

These changes led to new social and economic demands, giving the child a role for future investment, this came to be valued, so their care had to follow the course of history. Thus, early childhood education from a welfare perspective becomes a pedagogical coupled with care, seeking to meet the child holistically, where their specific (psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, etc ...) should be respected. In this perspective, this paper proposes a discussion on the historical evolution of the concept of childhood and its impact on care for children in early childhood education institutions.


The design of present-day childhood is very different from a few centuries ago. Importantly, the vision one has of the child is something historically constructed, that is why one can see the stark contrasts in terms of feelings of childhood throughout the ages. What today may seem an aberration, as the indifference intended for small children, ages ago it was absolutely normal. For larger strangeness that cause, humanity will not always see the child as being a particularly long and treated her like a miniature adult.

To be an unimportant, almost imperceptibly, the child in a secular process occupies a greater emphasis on society and humanity, it launches a new look. To better understand this issue we need to do a historical survey on the sense of childhood, seeking to define it, register its birth and its evolution. According to Aries:

the feeling of childhood does not mean the same as affection for children, corresponds to the consciousness of the particularity of children, this peculiarity that distinguishes essentially the adult child, even young (Aries, 1978: 99).

From this perspective the feeling of childhood is something that characterizes the child, its essence as a being, his way of acting and thinking, which differs from adults, and therefore deserves a more specific look.

In the Middle Ages there was no clarity over the period that characterized the childhood, many were based on the physical issue and determined that childhood is the period of the teeth until the age of seven, as the quotes from the description given by Le Grand Propriétaire (Ariès, 1978: 6):

The first age is childhood teeth that plant, and such an age when the child is born and lasts up to seven years, and at that age what is born is called the enfant (child), which means non-speaking, because at this age one can not speak well or take the words perfectly, because it still has no teeth and no firm arranged ...

Until the seventeenth century society did not give much attention to children. Due to poor sanitation, infant mortality has reached alarming levels, so the child was seen as a being which could not hold on, because at any moment she might cease to exist. Many could not overcome their early childhood. The birth rate was also high, which led to a kind of replacement of dead children. The loss was seen as natural and something that did not deserve to be deplored for a long time, as can be seen in the commentary of Aries "... people could not get too attached to something that was considered a potential loss ..." (1978 : 22).

In the Middle Ages, the child was being seen as a miniature, so that could perform some tasks, this was inserted into the adult world, without any concern about your training as a being specific, being exposed to all kinds of experience.

According to Aries, until the seventeenth century, the socialization of children and transmitting values ​​and knowledge were not provided by families. The child was removed early from his parents and went to live with other adults, helping them in their tasks. From there, most of these not distinct. This contact, the child would direct this phase to adulthood. (Aries, 1978).

The duration of childhood was not well defined and the term "childhood" was used indiscriminately, being used even to refer to young people aged eighteen or older (Aries, 1989). Thus, childhood was a long duration, and the child would eventually assume positions of responsibility, skipping stages of their development. Even his outfit was a faithful copy of an adult. This situation began to change, featuring a major milestone in awakening the sense of childhood:

In the seventeenth century, however, the child, or at least the child of good family, be it noble or bourgeois, was no longer dressed like the adults. She now had a costume reserved for his age, which distinguishes it from adults. This essential fact appears at initial glance at the numerous representations of children's early seventeenth century (Ariès, 1978: 33).

The great social changes in the seventeenth century contributed significantly to building a sense of childhood. The most important were the Catholic and Protestant religious reforms, which brought a new vision of the child and their learning. Another important aspect is the affection which has gained in importance within the family.

That affection was demonstrated, mainly by emphasizing that education has to have. The education of children, who once gave the children living with adults in their daily tasks, has given up on school. The work for educational purposes was replaced by the school, which became responsible for the deformation process. The children were separated from adults and kept in school until they are "ready" for life in society. (Ariès, 1978).

Comes a concern with the moral education of children and the church is responsible to direct learning, aiming to correct the deviations of the child, it was believed that it was the result of sin, and should be guided to the path of good. Among educators and moralists of the seventeenth century, formed the childhood feeling that would inspire all education in this century (Aries, 1989). Then comes the explanation of the types of care for children, and repressive nature of compensatory.

On one side the child is seen as an innocent being who needs care, the other as being a fruit of sin. According to Kramer:

At that moment, the feeling of childhood corresponds to two contradictory attitudes: one considers a naive child, innocent and gracious and pampering is translated by adults, and another appears simultaneously at first, but is opposed to it, making the child an imperfect and incomplete, in need of "morality" and education made by the adult (Kramer, 2003:18).

These two feelings are caused by a new attitude of family towards the child, who now assumes its role more effectively, the family begins to perceive the child as a future investment, which must be preserved, and therefore must be rejected for bad physical and moral. For Kramer (2003: 18) "is not the family that is new, but rather the feeling of family that emerges in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, inseparable from the feeling of childhood."

Family life has a more private, and gradually the family assumes the role formerly assigned to the community. Importantly, this sense of childhood and family is a bourgeois model, which became universal. Kramer said:

... The idea of ​​childhood (...) appears to capitalist society, urban-industrial, to the extent that change their social inclusion and the role of children in the community. if, in feudal society, the child played a productive role direct ("adult") so it exceeded the period of high mortality, in bourgeois society it becomes someone who needs to be cared for, educated and prepared for a future function. This concept of childhood is therefore determined historically by the modification of the forms of social organization (2003: 19).
In the eighteenth century, the education the family became interested in issues related to hygiene and child health, which led to a substantial decrease in mortality.

The changes benefited the children of the bourgeoisie as the children of people remained without access to the gains represented by the new conception of childhood, such as the right to education and care more specific, being directed to work.

The child slowly comes out of anonymity and occupies an area of ​​greatest prominence in society. This evolution brings profound changes in relation to education, it had to seek to meet the new demands that were triggered by the appreciation of the child for learning beyond the religious issue became one of the pillars in the care of children. According to Loureiro:

... This period begins to be a concern to know the mentality of children to adapt the methods of education to them, facilitating the learning process. Surge an emphasis on the image of the child as an angel, "testimony of baptismal innocence" and therefore close to Christ (2005: 36).

You realize the Christian character to which the education of children was anchored. With the rise of interest in children, concern began to help them acquire the principle of reason and the Christian adults and make them rational. This paradgma guided the education of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Today, the child is seen as a subject of rights, historically situated and that must have their physical, cognitive, psychological, emotional and social needs met, featuring an integrated and comprehensive care of the child. She must have met all its dimensions. According to Zabalza Fraboni quote:

the historical stage that we are living, strongly marked by "transformation" scientific-technological and the ethical and social change, meets all the requirements for making effective the winning jump in the child's education, finally legitimizing it as a social figure, as the subject of rights as a social subject "(1998:68).

Thus, the notion of children as a particular being, with characteristics very different from those of adults, and simultaneously as a bearer of rights as a citizen, will it produce the greatest changes in kindergarten, making the treatment of children 0-6 years still more specific, requiring a teacher's attitude should be aware of how accomplished the work with young children, what their needs as a child and as a citizen.


For a long time, care and education of young children were seen as tasks of the family, especially mothers and other women. After weaning, the child was perceived as a little adult, when it reached a degree of independence, started to help adults in daily activities and learn the basics for their social integration. Did not consider the child's personal identity.

Due to the nature of family care for infants, the first names of children's institutions make a reference to this aspect, as the French term "kindergarten" means manger crib. And the Italian term "asylum nido" which means that houses a nest.

In primitive societies, children who were in difficult situations such as neglect, were cared for by a network of kinship, or within the family. In ancient times, the care provided by mothers were mercenaries, who had no kind of concern for children, and many died under his care. In the Middle Ages and modern times, there were the "wheels" (hollow cylinders of wood, rotary), built in the walls of churches or charitable hospitals where children were left gathered. Within this perspective, it is evident that in the words of Oliver:

the ideas of abandonment, poverty, guilt and love pervade so precarious that care for children during this period and will permeate certain ideas about what is an institution that takes care of early childhood education, stressing the negative side of care outside the family ( OLIVEIRA, 2002: 59).

Given this situation, are clear roots of the devaluation of professional Early Childhood Education, which needs to change this stereotype, that for working with children is not necessary qualification, for most professionals working in this area is for laymen, which demonstrates that even with such progress as regards the concept of a child, there remains a kind of care that applies only to physical care, ignoring global aspects in the care of children.

In Europe the Industrial Revolution, the agrarian and mercantile society becomes urban-manufacturing, in a situation of conflict where children were victims of poverty, neglect and abuse, with high mortality rate. Gradually the children's work becomes more formal response to this situation were emerging institutions for the care of disadvantaged children or children whose parents worked in factories (OLIVEIRA, 2002).

In the eighteenth and nineteenth originates from two types of assistance to small children, a good quality for the children of the elite, which had the characteristic of education, and another that served as the custody and discipline for children from disadvantaged classes.

Within this scenario raises the discussion of how to educate children. Thinkers such as Comenius, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Decroly, Froebel and Montessori configure the new bases for the education of children. Although they had different focuses, they recognized that children had characteristics different from adults, with its own needs (OLIVEIRA, 2002).

In the twentieth century, after the first World War, the idea grows respect for children, culminating in the New Schools Movement, strengthening important precepts such as the need to provide a school that respects the child as a being specific, so this should direct their work to match the characteristics of child thought.

In psychology, in the '20s and '30s, Vygotsky supports the idea that the child is introduced to the world of culture by more experienced partners. Wallon out affection as a determining factor in the learning process. Research arise from Piaget, who revolutionized the vision of how children learn, the theory of stages of development. Pedagogical theories were gradually apropos of psychological concepts, especially in early childhood education, stimulating its growth.

In the context of post-second world war, there is a preoccupation with the social situation of children and the idea of ​​children as holders of rights. The UN promulgated in 1959, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, as a result of the Declaration of Human Rights, this is an important factor in the conception of childhood that permeates the contemporary, children as subjects of rights.


The history of early childhood education in Brazil, in a sense, follows the global parameters, with their own characteristics, marked by strong welfare and improvisation. The children of the urban area were placed in the "exposed wheels" to be collected by religious institutions, many of these children were from mothers who belonged to traditional families.

In the early nineteenth century, to solve the problem of childhood, there are isolated initiatives, such as crèches, nursing homes and boarding schools, which were seen as institutions designed to care for poor children. These institutions only covered up the problem and lacked the ability to search deeper transformations in the social reality of these children.

In the late nineteenth century, with the liberal ideals, began a project to build a modern nation. The country's elite educational assimilates the principles of the Movement of New Schools, developed in the centers of social changes in Europe and brought to Brazil by U.S. and European influence. Brazil sees the idea of ​​"garden-care" was received enthusiastically by some social sectors, but it generated much discussion, because the elite did not want the government does not take responsibility for care to needy children. With all the controversy, in 1875 in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in 1877, the first gardens were created-schools, private in nature, aimed at children of the upper class, and developed an educational program inspired by Froebel (OLIVEIRA, 2002 ).

In half of the twentieth century, with increasing industrialization and urbanization of the country, the woman begins to have a better insertion in the labor market, causing an increase in the institutions that take care of small children. Begins to take shape with a strong service assistance nature.

In 70 years, Brazil absorbs the theories developed in the United States and Europe, who argued that children from the poorest social strata suffer from "cultural deprivation" and were asked to explain their failure in school, this design will aim for a long time Childhood Education, a vision rooted welfare and allowances, as Oliver says:

concepts such as cultural deprivation and marginalization and compensatory education were then adopted, without there being a critical reflection on the deeper structural roots of social problems. It also has influence on policy decisions of Early Childhood Education (Oliveira, 2002:109).

Thus, one can observe the origin of fragmented care that is still part of early childhood education for disadvantaged children, an education geared to meet the alleged "deficiencies" is an education that takes into account the poor child as a being able, as someone who will not respond to stimuli received by the school.

In the '80s, with the process of political opening, there was pressure from the grassroots to expanding access to school. The education of young children is being claimed as a duty of the state, which until then had not been legally committed for that purpose. In 1888, due to great pressure from feminist movements and social movements, the Constitution recognizes education in kindergartens and preschools as a child's right and duty of the state.

In the '90s, there was an expansion on the conception of the child. Now we seek to understand the child as being a socio-historical, where learning occurs through interactions between the child and the social environment. This perspective has social interaction as the main theorist Vygotsky, which emphasizes the child as a social subject, which is part of a concrete culture (OLIVEIRA, 2002).

There is a strengthening of the new conception of childhood, into law guaranteeing children's rights as a citizen. It creates the ECA (Statute of Children and Adolescents) and the new LDB, Law No. 9394/96, incorporates kindergarten as the first level of basic education and formalized the decentralization of this phase.

In 1998, it created RCNEI (National Curriculum for Early Childhood Education), a document that seeks to guide our work with children aged 0 to 6 years old. It represents a breakthrough in the quest to better structure the role of early childhood education, bringing a proposal that integrates care and education, which is today one of the biggest challenges of kindergarten. We must say that the proposals brought by RCN may not materialize to the extent that all involved in the process seek effective implementation of the new proposals, if not he will become just a set of rules that do not pencil out.

5. Concluding Remarks

Through this historical study, one can see that the concept of childhood resonates strongly in the role of early childhood education because directs all care provided to infants. Thus, the kindergarten is deppest linked to the concept of childhood, and its evolution marked by the social changes that led to a new vision of the child.

Education focused toddler only gained notoriety when it came to be valued by society, if there were a change of attitude toward the vision that had a child, early childhood education would not have changed the way they conduct the teaching work and would not have arisen a new profile for this stage of teacher education. It would not be charged to your specific field, and the child would remain with a service aimed only to physical issues, and its other dimensions, such as cognitive, emotional and social unnoticed.

You can not lose sight that the concept of childhood caused by mankind built a standardization of the child, as if it were a universal, without characteristics of each society and every historical context.

Therefore, the Early Childhood Education and ended up being a child of the bourgeois, and a proposal away from poor children. In spite of early childhood education in Brazil have been institutionalized as rights of children, few have access to quality care, with teachers who are unaware of the pedagogical assumptions that should guide work with young children, characterizing the specificity of early childhood education.

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