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Early Years Practitioner in Supporting Children’s Moral and Spiritual Development

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  • Category: Religion

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Child care workers have a big role in supporting children’s moral and spiritual development as they are professionals they also play a part in being a role model to the children which links into their moral and spiritual development. Spiritual and moral development for a child is about the mental attitude of the child over moral matters. It’s important that the children develops their moral and spiritual as it can teach them to respect others and teach them the difference between what is right to do and what is wrong to do, practitioners can help children to do this. Education on social and moral responsibility is about children learning appropriate attitude and behavior of themselves and towards others. Spiritual and moral development also helps the children to deal with challenging experiences, e.g. a death of a loved one, practitioners would support the child and family with this. Early years setting’s children would teach the children about Religious Studies which would teach the children about spirituality and morality. By raising awareness of different religions and faiths it would give the children a better understanding of who they are, this would give the children a sense of security and confidence.

Its important for a child to understand who they are as it would give them the opportunity to make decisions for themselves in their own life – these decisions would include what they want to wear, what they look for in a friend etc… Not only would teaching Religious Studies get the child to understand who they are and give them a sense of security and confidence it would also reduce stereotypes and labeling and to challenge discrimination when they are aware of it as they would be taught about different cultures and religion. This would also get the children to understand their feelings and would help them to recognize how others are feeling and also their achievements. By getting the children to develop spirituality and morality it would encourage good relationships, empathy, self-awareness and co-operation in the children. It would also help the children to develop self-discipline and help them to understand the consequences of their actions, for example, if a child something wrong they would have time out, and if they did something good and appropriate they would receive rewards. This would also help the children to develop their own views and thought of things.

As said above practitioners are role models to the children, practitioner must be aware that they need to behave morally correct for the children to follow the example that is given from them. By practitioners doing this children would imitate and learn behavior from others who are significant to them.To support children’s moral and spiritual development it is essential for the early years practitioner to praise and encourage the children’s healthy behaviour. ‘‘The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the child is recognised as being of fundamental importance for the education of all children by Governors, staff and parents of our school. It is taught through all subjects of the curriculum and in particular RE and PHSE.’’ http://www.bromham.beds.sch.uk/schpols/spirit.html Children should be encouraged to tell the truth, keep promises, respect others, care for the less fortunate and to accept responsibility for their own actions. They must also be aware that behaviour such as bullying, lying, cruelty, irresponsibility and selfishness will not be accepted and there will be consequences if carried out by the children. Children need to be taught good manners as a part of their development in their moral and spiritual. Children have assembly in schools which gives a message to the children.

I believe assembly in schools plays a big part in children’s morality and spirituality development as it gets the children to recognise different religions and accept people for it. Assembly in schools also talk about what’s good and what’s bad to do. It teaches the children how to behave and the difference between good and bad behaviour. The children would then learn how to be a good person and how to be better individuals. As noticed, many of the things mentioned above are included in the assembly which is why i believe it plays a huge part of it. Citizenship is being promoted in schools to help the children understand roles in the society, these would include that murdering is not accepted along with stealing. I believe its a good idea that schools are promoting things like these as children would understand better if they are being taught it from a young age as they would be used to it and wouldn’t know different where as if it wasn’t being promoted in schools the children wouldn’t know how to behave and would be hard to teach them later on in life as they wouldn’t know how to act and behave. The Education act supports the children’s modern beliefs:

The 1944 Education Act states that it shall be the duty of the local education authority for every area, so far as their powers extend, to contribute towards the spiritual, moral, mental and physical development of the community. üThe 1988 Education Act which introduces the national curriculum requires schools to provide for the development of children’s spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical. üThe 1992 Education Act which is the school act, created the Ofsted and the frame work for inspection, revised this list to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development which is separating to some extent. The Children’s Act 2004 that is based on the green paper ‘every child matters’ includes mental and physical again but omits the social aspect.

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