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THE VALUE OF PRESCHOOL
Table of Contents
Learning approaches: 5
A preschool is also known as a nursery school and is defined as an establishment that offers early education to the children. The onset of preschool begins in the industrial era. At the time, majority of the children received basic education at home with the help of nannies and parents. This is before proceeding to primary education which in most cases was at boarding school. Mothers who could not afford nannies and needed to work in the factories to support their families felt that their children were at a disadvantage. Campaigns began to establish institutions that could give such children basic academic knowledge in reading, writing and number work.
The first preschool was opened in Britain and with its success several other institutions opened their doors for the education of young children. The idea was quite popular with the nobility social class and soon gained fame with middle and lower social classes. Today, preschool is almost guaranteed for each child. However, there are some who question the importance of these programs in as far as education is concerned. Critics are often clear in stating that the preschool skills can easily be mastered with the help of parents at home, in a much safer environment which allows bonding of children and parents in the early formative years. While this is true, (Vinovskis 23) states that preschool is not just about academic skills for the children, these institutions also offer social, adaptive and vital experiences in an all-round child. Today, there is much emphasis put into preschool with parents might for, working towards and booking places in renowned preschools. This is out of the belief that the right preschool builds the foundation for the child’s achievement curve in later life.
Preschool is ideal for handling various circles in a child’s development. Majority of the critics of preschool focus only on academic achievement and learning, but preschool is much more that academics for the young ones.
Social and emotional development: while at home, toddlers often grow attached and dependent on parents. Their emotional development goes only as far as crying and perhaps making demands with actions. Pre-school allows young children to interact with others for a few hours in a day. During these hours, they make new friends, engage in a variety of activities and master their own independence. They are able to make decisions, choices and even develop simple emotions such as patience because they are away from home. (Zigler et al. 11) states that pre-school is the most ideal ground for toddlers to gather information and experience the reality of gender roles. Children move from what is often termed as parallel play often experienced in play group to group play. Parallel play is whereby each child though in a group are playing individual games. On the other hand, group play means that children are now playing with each other.
World knowledge and understanding: prior to preschool, toddlers have only interacted with the environment in their home and perhaps play group. They have little if any knowledge and awareness of the world that exists beyond them. In preschool they not only interact with other children who are different from them, physically, socially and even in abilities; they also get to learn more about the world and understand different aspects of the society. In essence preschool, is a child’s first interaction with the real world.
Creative development: although the preschool curriculum is directed at academic learning, it is also equally focused on creative skill development. It is through preschool that parents are able to gauge the creative skills of their children. The children engage in a variety of activities, from drawing, coloring, narration and different other hobbies which allow experimentation with their creative abilities.( Schweinhart et al . 144) suggests that sometimes children can surprise even their own parents by developing skills which parents were not aware existed. He gives an example of shy children who are surprisingly good with narration o stories.
Literacy: of course at the foundation of all these developmental skills is the ability of a child to gain literacy. Children acquire reading skills, numbering as well as writing skills. (Zigler et al. 90) state that when reporting to pre-school, children cannot differentiate between different letters, either tell a number from another. Even those who can, only possess basic reading skills, basic numbering and poor and unstructured writing skills. The professionals at the preschools are well trained in assisting children to navigate through the difficulties of becomi.............
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