How Children Learn (Early Learning and Teaching) : Domains of Development and Learning Areas (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Domains of Development and Learning Areas

Development and Learning Areas
  • Development in one domain influences the other domains. A single experience may also impact multiple domains. Children are thinking, feeling and interacting human beings and it is important to give them experiences to touch, feel, observe, listen and express.
  • The early years of development are critical, and the brain՚s plasticity is enhanced by sensorial inputs with emphasis on integrated and holistic development in accordance with age and developmental needs of the child.

Different areas of development in connection with, planning a balanced ECCE curriculum:

  • Physical-motor development: It includes gross motor skills; coordination of fine muscles with dexterity; eye- hand coordination; sense of balance, physical coordination, and awareness of space and direction; nutrition, health status and practices.
  • Language Development and Communication: This domain encompasses listening and comprehension; oral skills/speaking and communicating; vocabulary development; pre-literacy/emergent literacy skills like phonological awareness; print awareness and concepts; letter-sound correspondence; recognition of letters; building words and sentences and early writing and introduction to language of school transaction.
  • Cognitive Development: Curiosity, asking questions to know concepts, words to build pre-number and number concepts comprise elements of cognition. Knowledge or skills related to comparing, classification, seriation, conservation of space and quantity, one-tone correspondence, counting, spatial sense; patterns and estimations in measurement develop with engagement and play.
  • Development of Creative and Aesthetic Appreciation: It is about involvement in different art forms, expression and appreciation for dance, drama and music.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development: It refers to development of self-concept; self-control; life skills or self-help skills; habit formation; initiative and curiosity; engagement and persistence; cooperation; compassion; social relationships; group interaction; pro-social behavior; expressing feelings, accepting others՚ feelings.

Interdependence of Domains of Development

  • Development in domains is not in isolation but in an integrated manner. It is important to understand that deprivation in any one domain influences all domains.
  • If children are physically weak, have low mobility or are listless, it will make them low on attention, participation and may be ignored, thus becoming irritable. These children may require intervention and extra attention.
  • Secondly, the interdependence of domains has to be seen in transaction of activities. Storytelling is largely a language activity; however, it enhances imagination, social skills in listening together and content may appease emotions.
  • Children in outdoor play may be centrally focusing on exercise of physical and motor skills; however, they learn social skills by having to take turns on the swing, sharing play equipment and other such moments.

Features Ensuring Learning in All Domains

  • Observe children to identify their needs and capabilities
  • Develop responsive relationship with children as transaction within the classroom is a journey of mutual learning between children and the teacher
  • Ensure holistic development through challenging activities
  • Respect children՚s social environment as emotional security influences classroom attention
  • Focus on planning and conducting activities as well as processes of interaction modifying according to children՚s responses
  • Create a nurturing and positive relationship with children and among children
  • Ensure social inclusion of children with disability in the ECCE classroom
  • Identify areas of intervention and regulation
  • Work in partnership with parents as they are valuable resources

Promoting Learning

  • Learning in different domains is impacted by the nature of interaction strategies used during early years. The strategies are essentially to be based on child-centered approach. Hence, play and activity-based approach cater to the needs, interests, abilities and social context of the children.
  • Activity is a part of a well-planned series of experiences identified by the teacher for children aimed at a particular learning area/areas and not an isolated learning experience.
  • Attempt to provide pleasurable activities are central to the wellbeing of children. Play stimulates curiosity and exploration and leads to mastery of body controls, encourages creativity and social skills and develops emotional balance and language skills.
  • Play and activity-based transactional strategies provide learning experiences to children in concrete form. Play situations help children to become an active participant and not a passive recipient in the learning process. It nurtures development of learning processes like observation, experimentation, problem-solving and creativity in children, while at the same time, caters to the promotion of their physical, language and social development.
  • Opportunity for learning in all domains happens through mediums that allow expression and participation. Group and individual play activities provide immediate feedback for children՚s orientation to learning processes.

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