Ideas of Comenius and Dewey in Teaching Young Children


John Comenius made the most significant impact on the educational system that formed modern school distribution. He introduced America to the distinctive outline of the academic system: kindergarten, elementary school, secondary school, college, and university. His proposed approach of children learning at their specific gradual level is still used as a foundation for the educational system. Dewey’s method of educating is used in modern American schools to this day. In his classrooms, children had the ability to choose elective classes like cooking and carpentry. Current education allows students to take additional courses apart from the mandatory ones as well. Such a concept creates more engagement in the educational process.

Applying the Concepts Described in the Article in My Life

The concept of Kathy Snow that describes recognizing not the disabilities but rather the unique needs of a person is a significant step towards that could improve the mindset about individuals with disabilities in my community. To make people aware of using different language while referring to individual needs, I would organize specific lectures or training for both students and educators. The author claims that through the process of change, not only would personal perspectives change but also the lives of millions of people who have particular needs (Snow). Educating people on proper language concerning people with disabilities, and most importantly, teaching them that disabilities are not a constant state is one of the main priorities that I should emphasize within the community I live in. With the implementation of such lectures, I could significantly improve the lives of disabled people around me.

Vygotsky’s Concept of Zone Proximal Development

Vygotsky’s concept of zone proximal development (ZPD), in my opinion, is a significantly practical theory that can improve the child’s learning process that is why it is so vital to our studying program. His idea of Scaffolding refers to “the assistance given to a child by adults and peers that allows the individual to function independently and construct new concepts” (Gargiulo and Kilgo 11). Such an approach to educating children helps them learn faster and increases their ability to work independently and cope with problematic situations. Gradual reduction of assistance from adults will consequently make children acclimated to the solitary process of learning.

Question Related to Response to #3 (Significant Concept)

How does Vygotsky’s concept of zone proximal development help children to better comprehend the educational material on their own?

Images, Words, or Phrases from the Video that Caught my Attention

There are a few moments from the video that changed that caught my attention. The fragments of Ted Polito Jr. playing the drums and doing karate inspired me and showed that no disability could define what a person can or cannot do. Ted’s words referring to the people about individuals with Down syndrome “Don’t give up hope with these kids” (“Ted Polito, Jr., An American Man,” 7:21). The young man knows how special he is and encourages everyone around to recognize their individuality.

Key Points in the Video

The video emphasizes the fact that people with disabilities can achieve the same highs as other individuals. The key points outlined are that with faith and determination, individual needs can fade, and such people are capable of anything if given a chance to try. Support is also a vital part of the successful development of children with disabilities, parental attention, and their encouragement to do any activities that inevitably affect the perspective of disabled individuals’ development.

Video’s Relation to the Concepts Described in the Article

The video reflects the concept proposed by Kathie Snow in her article as it shows how special needs people can play out if they are treated equally in their community. Ted Polito Jr. is one of the people with disabilities, who has complete support inside his family, work, and surrounding; therefore, his life experience is so great, and the young man is successful in everything he does. The video is the representation of the successful implementation of Snow’s concept.

Influence of the Video on my Perspective About Disability

The video assured me that disabilities and special needs are not barriers to an individual’s successful and happy life. The example of Ted Polito Jr. demonstrated that support from the surrounding could create an environment that promotes active learning. Encouragement of wishes of people with disabilities can lead to their future successful realization in life through the pursued hobbies or interests. A supportive community is what can make people with disabilities feel normal, equal with other individuals, which is crucial to their well-being.

Works Cited

“Chapter 1: Foundations of Early Childhood Special Education.” An Introduction to Young Children with Special Needs: Birth through Age Eight, by Richard M. Gargiulo and Jennifer Lynn Kilgo, 5th ed., Sage, 2019, pp. 3–18.

“Ted Polito, Jr., An American Man.” YouTube, uploaded by KaiserProf, 2011.

Snow, Kathie. “People First Language.”, 2009.

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ChalkyPapers. "Ideas of Comenius and Dewey in Teaching Young Children." July 21, 2022.