Is Aistear Important In Early Childhood Development

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‘Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood’- Fred Rogers.
As trainee teachers, Aistear will play a huge role in our lives as future educators. Throughout this essay, I hope to explore Aistear, identifying what it is, how it is run and its benefits.
What is Aistear? Its Background and Main Components.
What is Aistear and where did it come from? Aistear can be described as the ‘journey’ of learning. It focuses on children ages 0-6 years of age, and describes what types of learning children of this age should be engaged in. Aistear focuses on early childhood development focusing on the child being a child. It was developed after research
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Aistear is based around learning through play. Children not only have the need for play, but they also have the right to play ‘States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child’ (United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, 2010).
Play has many benefits to children. It helps them to put into practice things they have learned, it helps them to socialise, to become leaders and to act naturally as children should, using imagination and make believe. According to Broadhead, 2004 children can become very protective of play, scaraed of interruption from adults. Aistear is important in this sense as it as time devoted to play, any interruption from a teacher/ classroom helper is through shared play, asking questions about their
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Aistear can be used in many settings, unlike the primary school curriculum which is for the sole use of primary schools in Ireland. Aistear may be implemented in primary schools, playschools and other child-care centres and even in the home.
Aistear’s interconnected themes reflect the integrated nature of the Primary School Curriculum. Through Aistear and the Priamry School Curriculum, there is much scope for integration between themes and subjects. Aistear in the classroom can act as a reinforcement for what children have learned during lessons, using play as a learning support tool to enhance the child’s learning experience.
Although Aistear and the PSC are aimed at varying age groups, their aims are pretty similar. ‘to enable children to meet, with self-confidence and assurance, the demands of life, both now and in the future’ (PSC, Introduction, p. 6). ‘To enable children to grow and develop as competent and confident learners within loving relationships with others’ (Principles and Themes, p. 6). Both the Primary School Curriculum and the Aistear documents aim to ensure children gain confidence as learners and to develop
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