In this day and age, many children in my generation attend a preschool or some form of learning center. It is a big norm in the U.S. due to multiple reasons, like having both working parents. These were places that children around ages 3 and 4 could go and start learning before turning 5 and heading off to kindergarten. Some of these programs also include 4 year old and 5 year old in the same school. In this blog I’m going to talk about the variations in education.
There are two variations in types of schools: child-centered kindergarten and Montessori schools.
Child-centered kindergarten puts big emphasizes in all aspect of a child, that being their physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development. This school is focused on the child’s learning style and holding a great empathize on their needs and interest. It has a very nurturing approach. It is a very hands on approach and wants the child the develop fully and in every area needed for them. This is seen in their three principles:
- each child follows a unique developmental pattern
- children learn best through firsthand experiences with people and materials
- play is extremely important
Some activities that these programs will present would be adventuring, discovering, practice in speech, experiments, and overall trying new things that would interest the child. These programs help the development of 4 to 5 year old.
Another type of schooling is Montessori schools. These type of education was developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician-turned-educator who crafted a revolutionary approach to young children’s education at the beginning of the 20th century. (Santrock, 2011, pg. 267) In this approach to education children are given a good amount of independence and have the ability to make choices on their own individual activities. The teacher is only there to act more as a mediator in their independence. Here the teacher will show the child how to do the activities, show different ways to create and explore, and offer help if the child requests it. This type of schooling helps teach thinking and making their own decisions at a young age, which leads to better problem-solving skills and management in the future. Montessori schools are still less known then child-centered kindergarten, but are starting to find a rise in them amount appearing in the U.S.
Between the two variations, developmentalist will favor Montessori schools, but believe it to limit children’s social development.
Either way, researchers have found that children learn best from a more hands-on education. Also, a better strategy for educating the young is the let them learn and develop at their own pace, since we have seen time and time again is that children learn at different speeds.
References – Articles and Images:
Santrock, J. W. (2011). Children (13th ed.). New York : McGraw-Hill Humanities.
Athens Montessori [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2017, from http://athensmontessori.com/
St. Paul’s Child Care Center [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2017, from http://www.stpaulschildcare.org/pre-kindergarten-dinos.html
Children’s Nest [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2017, from http://www.childrensnestofmanateepreschool.com/day-care-preschool