What is Preschool Education?
What is preschool education?
Preschool education provides for the optimal development of children during their preschool years. It does not mean formal teaching from text books. It does not mean taking the child away from his mother. It means that parents and teachers cooperate in providing the best possible environment for the growth and development of young children. Children learn from experience and by imitation.
Educators and psychologists are agreed that more learning takes place during the first five years than at any other period in life. It is during these formative years that character and personality are developed, and basic attitudes formed. Children are entitled to an opportunity to grow and develop under the most favorable conditions.
For many years much emphasis has been placed on improving the child’s health and nutrition, but his psychological guidance has been largely a matter of trial and error. Children have been reared by methods based on tradition rather than on scientific findings. Our schools have not trained young people for parenthood. A good program of Preschool education considers the whole child-his physical, mental and social welfare.
Preschool Education Provides
For the child’s physical growth.
Preventive and remedial health measures.
Good health habits.
Rest and sleep periods.
Active play balanced by quiet activity to prevent fatigue and over stimulation.
Providing young children with companions of their own age.
Opportunities to make social contacts in small, carefully supervised groups; to share and to cooperate
To feel secure in the care of parents and teachers, but not too dependent upon them.
An opportunity to learn about the world around him.
To have first hand experiences in nature: garden, trees, pets, insect and bird life.
To explore the mechanical world around him and see how things work: the family car, the fire department, the cement mixer, the new building construction.
To investigate all household appliances from egg beater to vacuum cleaner.
A foundation of aesthetic and cultural experiences which will enrich a child’s life.
Exposing him to good and beautiful things.
Letting him hear good music and giving him an opportunity to make his own.
Allowing him to experiment with sound and rhythm.
Providing him with beautiful but childlike pictures, books and literature at his own level.
Allowing him to use appropriate paints and crafts in a creative manner.
A wide variety of materials for experimenting and learning:
These materials are the child’s tools and his text books.
Playground apparatus for large muscle development: climbing, swinging, riding, balancing.
Sand pile, wheel toys, large hollow blocks for building.
Boats, trucks and trains to use with block structures in imaginative play.
Housekeeping materials and furnishings for “playing house.”
Hammer, nails and wood for simple carpentry.
Poster paints and clay, picture books, drums and other simple musical instruments.
A planned program of cooperation between parents and teachers.
Sharing of materials.
Utilizing community agencies and resources.
Keeping of records.
Parent participation in Preschool school.
Building habits and attitudes in children which will go far towards insuring their favorable adjustment to later life in school and in the outside world.
Learning to eat the right foods and enjoy them.
Accepting rest and sleep as a regular procedure.
Forming satisfactory toilet habits.
Accepting examination from nurse or physician without fear.
Acquiring a wholesome attitude toward sex.
Showing an eager interest in the world about him, free from unnecessary fears and inhibitions.
Fitting into his social group: sharing, waiting his turn, accepting disappointment, conforming to reasonable adult demands, making decisions and solving problems on his own level, and accepting the consequences of his actions.
Feeling adequate and secure at home and at school.
Preschool schools are recommended as a supplement to education and learning at home. The length of time a child should spend in Preschool school is an individual matter to be decided by parent and teacher. Preschool schools must be staffed by skillful and well-trained teachers.