JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 905

Why Deep Education in Early Childhood?

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Why Deep Education in Early Childhood?

conni 680x400

The Deep Education approach strives to provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful learning related to the unique qualities and situational contexts of individual learners.

This occurs in early childhood education settings when teachers facilitate children’s self-initiated play and projects. Early childhood education research states that children learn by engaging all of their senses during self-directed activities. However, increased implementation of quality rating systems in many countries has reinforced formal conceptualizations of quality with standardized requirements that leave little time for extended projects and true free play. Further, observation has long been encouraged as an approach to achieve depth in understanding children’s development, and a method to inform the design of activities to meet children’s individual needs. Yet, most often in today’s early childhood programs child observations are interpreted through checklists that rate a child’s developmental outcomes along an age-based norm reference of predetermined milestones. Rather than providing children with open ended prompts to promote self-initiated learning, the teacher instead may manipulate the child’s materials and play options with the aim to achieve a specific standardized outcome. More and more, early childhood classrooms appear with the same materials, in the same arrangements, seeking the same developmental outcomes, with teachers performing according to a nationally approved script.

The early years have a profound effect on a child’s ability to learn, their self-confidence, their self-esteem, and their sense of themselves as learners. Children are natural learners who engage deeply with every aspect of their environment to create coherence from their daily experiences. It has been demonstrated that children learn within relationship-based, real-life contexts. Nonetheless, many early education settings offer didactic lesson plans and superficial environments resembling educational toy stores. This superficial approach results in loss of a deeper form of self-knowledge in which children are able to form and follow their own patterns of thinking and learning and gain a sense of their own competence as learners. This is not to say there are not many deeply positive relationships formed in early care and education settings and that learning does not take place, but rather to consider the potential of what could be. Deep education does not require prescriptive materials and is not associated with a specific, predetermined curriculum. It is a continuously evolving approach to teaching and learning that is based on the mindset and actions of the teacher in a reciprocal relationship with the student. Deep education can be embedded in any setting at any time that children are encouraged and facilitated to engage in the curiosity and wonder of their own learning processes. In fact, early childhood educators share many values in common with deep education such as anti-bias education that centers on human social justice, eliminating inequity, and supporting sustainable ecology, healthy living, and inclusion for the well-being of all. Thus, early childhood settings are ideal for the implementation of deep education concepts. The challenge is to continuously realign early childhood policy and professional development to support teaching practices that allow for the realization of these values.

latest blogs

Deep Institute in the near future will create a campus in southern ...
 21 June 2017
Observing and reflecting upon the similarities and differences of the ...
 21 June 2017
In archaeology, a multidisciplinary, deeply socio-cultural approach ...
 20 June 2017
Francois Victor Tochon, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, ...
 20 June 2017
As early as 2,300 years ago, the Book of Rites, one of the Five ...
 20 June 2017
I am writing in celebration of the new website of Deep Institute (DU).
 19 June 2017
I was raised between two families and two conflicting worlds, between ...
 19 June 2017
Providing high quality, effective learning experiences is the ...
 19 June 2017

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Newsletter Subscription

Subscription to the Newsletter of Deep Institute can also be done by email: newsletter@deepinstitute.net


Our courses will officially open after approval of the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board, probably in Summer of 2018.

The deep approach is about mindset and embodied action. It is about persons, humans, in the dynamics of living. It is something people want to live and work for. It is never fully achieved, it is always in the making, and depends upon situations.


Feel free to contact to get information on our programs

Address : 10,657 Mayflower Road, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin 53517 USA

Hotline : (608) 437-7669

Template Settings


For each color, the params below will give default values
Blue Red Cyan Green Orange


Background Color
Text Color


Patterns for Layour Style: Boxed
Layout Style
Select menu