It is time now to take a look at the past 8 weeks, probe the depth of new knowledge and insights you have gained, contemplate, and complete this Reflection Assignment.
First, review the four major course objectives presented at the beginning of the course in the “Welcome to the Course” announcement:
- To become knowledgeable about some of the major issues and trends in the early childhood field
- To examine and reflect on ways current issues and trends affect young children, their families, and the community of early childhood professionals
- To detect and analyze different viewpoints and evaluate consequences of actions
- To reach out to, and learn from, practitioners in the field, both nationally and internationally
Next, examine your responses to the assignments in each week and assess in which ways you have been able to accomplish these objectives.
Further, think about the four ideas presented in the multimedia presentation in Week 1:
- The early childhood field is constantly changing
- All change is embedded in specific contexts
- All actions have intended, as well as, unintended consequences
- The constant amidst the changes is the commitment of early childhood professionals like you to the well-being of children, their families, and the professional early childhood community
Then, consider your initial reactions when you first encountered the four categories of issues presented in this course and any changes in your thinking that might be a consequence of your studies. Review your Discussions with your colleagues, feedback from your Instructor, and conversations with your international conversation partners.
Now, reflect on and respond to the following questions:
- What are the major professional insights you gained with regard to each of the four categories of current issues you studied in this course?
- Changing demographics and diversity
- The influences of economics, neuroscience, and politics
- Equity and excellence in care and education of children, families, and EC professionals
- In what ways does your current position regarding any or all of these issues differ from your initial reaction to them?
- When you now think about analyzing issues and trends in the early childhood field, in what ways does the consideration of intended as well as unintended consequences influence your analysis?
- Considering the specific issue that you identified this week as one that stokes your professional passion most at this time: In what ways do you think children and families will most likely benefit in your work with them from your current understanding of this issue?
- In what ways have the conversations with international professionals, listening to podcasts, or studying international websites influenced your professional development?
- What additional insights have you gleaned from this course? What assumptions, if any, have been dispelled?
- In what ways would you choose to professionally contribute to positive social change in the future?
- What have you gained most from this course experience?