Many parents struggle with decisions about what makes for a quality early childhood education and Preschool. Should the curriculum be based on academic standards, or should it emphasize social skills and emotional growth?
The preschool curriculum is more than just eating the right food and getting a good night’s sleep. It’s about enabling a child to learn and develop at their own pace, encouraging them to be curious by providing experiences that will spark their interest in exploring the world around them and nurturing their creativity. It’s about helping a child to develop their language and communication skills so that they can communicate with the world around them, learn new things and make sense of their experiences.
Also about providing opportunities for children to build social relationships with other children, adults, and families in their community. These relationships are important as children learn how to get along with others, share toys and play together.
The philosophies driving different kinds of preschools are important for parents to understand when selecting a school, so let’s take an overview of early childhood philosophies.
- Play way
- Reggio Emilia Approach
- India’s Shanti Niketan Philosophy
Let us look into each of these Early Childhood educational approaches in brief:
The Play-Way method of preschool learning is an educational approach that emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning through play. This method is based on the idea that young children learn best when they are actively engaged in their environment, using their senses and creativity to explore and discover new concepts. The Play-Way method also encourages the development of important social skills, such as cooperation, communication, and problem-solving. Children are given the opportunity to work together and interact with their peers, which can help them to develop strong social bonds and a sense of community.
The Montessori method of preschool learning is an educational approach developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, and educator. It is based on the belief that children are naturally curious and capable of learning, and that the role of the teacher is to provide a supportive and nurturing environment in which children can explore and discover their interests and abilities.
The Waldorf method of preschool learning is an educational approach that emphasizes the role of imagination and creativity in learning. It is based on the belief that children learn best when they are engaged in activities that allow them to express themselves creatively and use their imagination. One of the main features of the Waldorf method. It is the use of imaginative play and creative expression as a key part of the learning process. Children are encouraged to engage in activities such as storytelling, puppet shows, and dramatic play, which help to develop their creativity and imagination.
Reggio Emilia Approach
The Reggio Emilia approach to preschool learning is an educational approach that emphasizes the role of the environment in supporting and facilitating learning. It is based on the belief that children are naturally curious and have an innate desire to learn. They are most successful when they are given the freedom and resources to explore their interests at their own pace. One of the main features of the Reggio Emilia approach is the use of the classroom environment as a third teacher. The classroom is carefully designed to be visually appealing. With a variety of materials and resources that are accessible to children and invite exploration and investigation.
The Shanti Niketan model, developed by Indian education reformer Rabindranath Tagore, is based on the belief that children are natural learners and should be given the opportunity to explore and discover the world around them. This hands-on approach to learning allows children to develop a deep understanding and appreciation.
For their surroundings and encourages them to think critically and creatively. One of the key principles of the Shanti Niketan model is the importance of nature in the learning process. Children are encouraged to spend time outside and to engage with the natural world. Whether it’s through gardening, nature walks, or simply playing in the dirt. This helps children to develop a sense of connection to the environment and to understand their place in the world.
Based on the above approaches a parent should choose an approach that best suits their child’s personality and temperament. As well as their own beliefs about how children should be taught. It’s important to continue monitoring your child’s interests and progress. As well as their emotional responses to their experiences in the natural world. This can help you tailor your approach so that it remains effective for both of you.