The purpose of preschooler education is to prepare children for formal school by giving them the skills needed for thinking, socializing and expressing themselves while having fun with learning from their new experiences. Preschool, also called kindergarten, is also a gradual way to prepare young children under five years old to leave their parents for longer periods without feeling separation anxiety. In these new times when two salaries are needed to give children a decent quality of life and culture, preschooler education is a good compromise for parents who would just love to stay home with their little ones, but who cannot due to financial reasons. preschool children whose parents have chosen carefully can learn, have fun with friends and prepare for ‘big school’ in as home-like an atmosphere as possible. These preschoolers are moving into a stage when they learn that other adults (such as teachers) can be trusted, not just parents. Little by little, their world will expand to encompass new people, peers, friends and teachers from whom they can learn the skills they will need for ‘proper’ school.
Much research was done early in this century by noted academics, doctors and educationalists about what pre-school learning actually entails and how preschooler education could provide for that. it was learned by Jean Paul Piaget and his colleagues that much learning takes place before a child even leaves toddler-hood. Preschooler education should therefore build on what has gone before in a child’s life.
Before early preschool, toddlers were moving from the stage when the ways they learned new things came mainly from actions and physical sensations. The purpose of preschool education is to build on that and move children on from this sensory learning time. During that stage, experiences such as eating their favorite cereals, candy or healthy nibbles provided strong sensory experiences for children.
Seeking variety and novelty was also important to them – as demonstrated by any crawling baby pulling a closet door ajar in order to investigate the contents! During this time, up to two years old, those learning experiences represented the important events in their day to day lives and the knowledge they gained during that stage is called sensory-motor intelligence.
As the children start to approach preschool education age, between the ages of two years to four years, representations of experiences become more possible for them in terms of language, imaginative play and artistic play. Now, kindergarten-age children are moving towards more concrete,or real, thought operations and good preschooler education will maximize this time fully by providing many opportunities for talk, vocabulary enrichment, early mathematical games, letter recognition, storytelling, musical experimentation and appreciation,role play and art. Pre school pupils will also be encouraged to get along with each other and with adults,so preparing them for the rules and conditions under which public schools operate.
At the end of preschool education, at the age of four years to five years, many children will be developing further, towards more intuitive thinking. In this stage of development, high-end preschool-age children are entering a learning curve where their ideas about shape and size, number relationships, pattern, social cues and role play come mainly from their observations and daily experiences of their lives. Preschoolers are very subjective and their ideas are not yet rational. The purpose of preschool education at this time is provide an environment where qualified adults can gradually move the preschool pupils to a stage where they can begin to think more logically. Its purpose is also to prepare them for this kind of learning in public school.
Preschool teachers will skilfully guide the children towards play-learning opportunities where their thought can be more directed and guided by real situations. Games involving actual rather than mental manipulations will be used first, such as counting, sorting and matching real, (or concrete) things.
A useful source for any parent wanting to understand more about the process and stages of intellectual development in children from birth is the work of Jean Piaget and that of the child development researchers who came after him. Piaget was a Swiss psychologist whose research work has helped us to understand the development of childrens mental organizational powers.
The learning curves we pass through in our earliest years show the ways in which we need to actually need to understand the things we are asked to do, rather than perform tasks,lessons or procedures like automatons – going through the motions without understanding the process at all.
The purpose of preschool education is to provide children with real, physical play-learning opportunities to help them make sense of the world before they head for elementary school.
Useful Book For Parents:
All I Really need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten – Robert Fulghum