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Abstract

Learning is very important in our life.
School plays a great role in everyone’s life. It changes our way of
thinking, it opens new paths, and new experiments. We must give importance to
the education than other targets in life as it is the one the most important
tools discover yourself and the world around you.

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Yet it’s not given enough attention
in Egypt. The problem of education in Egypt in the last few years began to grow
and to be recognized by all parts of society. The root of the problem is the
traditional education system that we work with, it forces the kid to sit in
class full of students to receive the information in a very boring way, the
children have a different background and experiences, they are living in a very
adventures environment, so forcing the kids to set and listen to the
information to memorized is not going to work, children need to touch and feel
the information they got. It also one of their rights to play and have the free
choice

The paper is going to discuss some
of the causes that made this problem rise like: memorized subjects, the lack of
technology and the absence of interactive learning. Discussing solutions of how
to convert the current curriculum to subjects based on children’s needs,
interests and patterns of learning promotes agency, self-regulation and
control.

 

 Keywords: Play-based
curriculum,
kindergarten, teacher
perspectives, developmental education, interactive, learning.

 

1.    
The problem of education process in Egypt

 

It is unknown when the problem
really started but according to M. June Allard and Pamela R. McKay in their
research about education in Egypt “that in 1990 when Egypt started to face
a serious population explosion. In 1985 there were only one hundred and fifty-five
thousand teachers that served approximately ten million students” (Allard,
& McKay, 2010)

that means that every one teacher
had sixty-four students to serve. That statistical review was before what it is
called population explosion. That of course did not serve the educational process,
due to the overcrowded classes the educational system in Egypt started to
deteriorate gradually.

Till it reached the current situation
where experimental education or self-learning is almost non existed. The standardized
exams are the only thing that matters and evaluate the educational processes as
whole which of course kills any chance of creativity or thinking that can be
found in the student.

The main disaster is that this way
of current educating system is conducted on students in Egypt form a very young
age. Most of the schools nowadays are requiring an interview with the 4-5 years
old kids so they can evaluate the kid and accordingly they accept or refuse the
children.

 

Such a stress to be put on the
children from a very young age, also be educated by the same old traditional
way of education, evaluated by the end of the semester by one standardized exam,
facing the stress of failing only by the age of five.

Lack of technology, adequate
laboratories and libraries is also one of the major defects in many schools in
Egypt. Unfortunately, most of the schools in 2010 still do not have any kind of
technological development. The libraries hardly have useful books to use and
the laboratories do not have any proper physical equipment or any chemical
compounds that the students can even see to know and visualize what he is
taught.

 

2.     Definition of learning styles

 

Learning style was defined by
several researchers such as Dunn (1979), Reid (1998), Fleming (1998), Kolb
(1984), and others. Gallaher
and Nunn (1998) compared a learning style to human beings ‘fingerprints. They
argued that a learning style is very unique and very individual, so they
compared it to a human fingerprint.

Scientists and psychologists have
developed a number of different models to understand the different ways that people
learn. One popular theory, the VARK model, identifies four types of learners: visual,
auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.

Each learning type responds best to
a different method of teaching. Visual learners will learn the best by using
pictures, colors and spatial understanding, while auditory learners will
remember information best by using sound and music, reading/writing prefer to
use words, they try working with others and using role-playing, kinesthetic
learners will jump at the chance to participate in a hands-on activity.

Although every type of learners responds
differently to the same information, there is only one constant fact, that they
all need different types of learning environment, that cannot be limited in the traditional classroom, where the
furniture design and disturbing is the same, without considering the requirements
of each class, and each subject. Changing the learning environment to suits
best the requirements of the subject, at the same time suits all the students
is the main aim of the paper.

 

3.     Technology effect on children

 

Today, more
than ever before, technology plays an important role in society. It is changing
and will continue to change every aspect of how we live. It is changing
the way we communicate, the way we do business, how we learn and teach, and
even it’s changing the way we think.

children
used to play outside all day, riding bikes, playing sports. Masters of
imaginary games, children of the past created their own form of play that
didn’t require costly equipment or parental supervision. Children of the past
moved… a lot, and their sensory world was nature based and simple.

Children now
rely on technology for the majority of their play, their interaction with the external
environment is very limited, it very often to see Children as young as two can
be seen watching a cartoon on a tablet or playing with a cell phone.

Child who
excessively uses electronics may become isolated and fail to develop normal
communication skills such as conversational skills, listening, and making eye
contact.

School is
one of the most important tools to make the children escape the technology bad influence
on their personality, as it introduces them to different types of people, different
types of environment, it’s also supposed to educate them how to use technology to
their advance, how they learn, search through it, avoiding its bad influence.

This is why it’s
a necessary that the traditional classrooms of the current educational system change
as soon as possible, as the technological effect on children is huge on their mindsets,
their way of thinking, how to analyze current information, and how to make
friends.

 

4.     Interactive Learning environment

 

We live in an era where
interactivity is gradually becoming more available, yet our schools are not
catching up to this trend, instead we are faced with passive learning
environments where active construction of knowledge is limited. Classroom
environment is a second teacher for any student, a large amount of
the child’s time is spent sitting in a school classroom. This place is
where they will learn the various skills.

With the classroom being such an
important place, it is important to understand the ways in
which to manipulate the environment in order to receive
maximum effectiveness in instruction.

Classroom design should be according
specific design parameters: light, flexibility, connection, complexity, and color,
and texture.

Each one of those parameters should
be conducted, designed to suit the educational process the best.

1.      Light

There’s
no substitute for natural daylight in a classroom, but if sunlight is limited
make sure that there’s enough artificial light, lighting undoubtedly influences
the perception of comfort in a particular space. The natural
daylight might be that more light always creates a better, more positive
impression of a classroom’s qualities.

2.      Flexibility

Took
into consideration how well a given classroom could accommodate pupils without
crowding them, in addition to how easily its furniture could be rearranged for
a variety of activities and teaching approaches.

 

3.      Connection

which
is also evaluated according to the furniture type and displacement, is it a
moveable desks or chairs that can easily connect children with each other and
with the teacher, where they are centered in the space and no one is left
behind in the corner of the classroom.

4.      Complexity

the more
the design of the classroom is complex the more it is adventurous for the children.
The classroom should include more than one type furniture to suite all the
types of learners, it should include different colors, different textures on the
wall, shelves used should be from different materials, the last thing the
architect should do while designing a school, is using prototypes for the
classrooms, which is mostly conducted on the school, which lead to the boredom
that affect the students form a young age causing them to hate the school and
the whole education system.

5.      Color

The
effects of exposing people to particular colors have always intrigued
scientists. Color most certainly affect the way our brain works. Each
color has a certain effect on the students for example:  red—alert, increased pulse,
activity; green—balance, judgment, arrested movement, stasis. 

According
to stone (2001) observes that if any relationship does exist between the color
of the classroom and the student’s performance, the most likely associations
are red and yellow colors with stimulation and blue and green colors with
calming effects. Stone also found out that color did have an impact on
qualitatively different tasks (math task versus reading task). The color of the
surrounding environment affected performance on more difficult tasks, i.e., the
reading task. A further finding was that the lowest performance on cognitively
demanding tasks was in classrooms with red walls.

 

6.      Texture

The ideal
classroom design should continue more than one finishing design especially in
the early stages of learning, the should continue a place where the students
can hang their artwork, their assignment, their to-do list, it also should
continue a place for storage and a place for the board.

By following those design parameters
in the classroom, it should improve the learning process by increasing the ability
to engage in preferred learning methods, active involvement, collaboration, feeling
comfortable to participate, focus, opportunity to engage, physical movement, real-life
scenarios, repeated exposure to the material through multiple means.

Eventually it will make the students
feel more comfortable in the class, create a calm environment around him to
help him learn.

 

 

5.     Learning through playing

Playing is one the fundamental
rights for children, especially at the preschool stage, where all the children
can do, want to do, have the right to do is playing.

“how can my child learn anything
while all what they do is playing “is often a question that a lot of parents ask
for the teachers in the preschool phase, while most of the teachers don’t have
a real answer for these question. Will the real answer be that kids need to play?

Playing is the foundation for all
learning for young children, and giving the child the time and a few basic toys
can provide them with a variety of valuable learning opportunities.

“Play is how children begin to
understand and process their world,” says Angie Rupan, Program Coordinator
for Child Development Center in South San Francisco, CA and
early childhood educator for over 20 years. “Children’s play unlocks their
creativity and imagination, and develops reading, thinking, and problem solving
skills as well as further develops motor skills. It provides the base
foundation for learning.”

Playing increases, the ability of
imagination and creativity for the kids, children who do not play have a difficult time entertaining
themselves as they simply do not know what to do without instruction. By
providing opportunities for open ended play, your child will automatically get be
creative try to think of different solutions, they get creative, imaginative
and finally they have learned something at the end of the day which is how to get
creative and how to think without further instructions whether it’s from the
parents or form the teacher, the child was able to manage the situation.

Children can solve complex problems
that arise as they play and learn a few mathematical principals as well. Blocks
and puzzles are excellent “basics” to provide the children with many
opportunities to foster these important skills.

Instead of telling kids to sit on
the tables copying some letters that they do not understand, and actually do
not care about.

 Is kind of education will produce
people who can discover and innovate, or will merely produce people who are
likely to be passive consumers of information, followers rather than inventors.
Which kind of citizen do we want for the 21st century?

 The educational curriculum should be based on
playing, it is widely accepted that planning a curriculum based on children’s
needs, interests and patterns of learning promotes agency, self-regulation and
control.

According to Tina Bruce There are 10
common principles that should be conducted on the early years of education:

1.     
The best way to
prepare children for their adult life is to give them what they need as
children.

2.     
 Children are whole people who have feelings,
ideas and relationships with others, and who need to be physically, mentally,
morally and spiritually healthy.

3.     
Subjects such
as mathematics and art cannot be separated; young children learn in an
integrated way and not in neat tidy compartments.

4.     
Children learn
best when they are given appropriate responsibility, allowed to make errors,
decisions and choices, and respected as autonomous learners.

5.     
Self-discipline
is emphasized. Indeed, this is the only kind of discipline worth having. Reward
systems are very short-term and do not work in the long-term. Children need
their efforts to be valued.

6.     
There are times
when children are especially able to learn particular things.

7.     
What children
can do (rather that what they cannot do) is the starting point of a child’s
education.

8.     
Imagination,
creativity and all kinds of symbolic behavior (reading, writing, drawing,
dancing, music, mathematical numbers, algebra, role play and talking) develop
and emerge when conditions are favorable.

9.     
Relationships
with other people (both adults and children) are of central importance in a
child’s life.

10.  Quality education is about three things: the child, the context in
which learning takes place, and the knowledge and understanding which the child
develops and learns.

 

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