Many parents today looking at sending their children to preschool would probably have been bombarded with many different fancy specialised curriculum names and terminology they see on advertisements, websites, and even TV programs.
There are many debates on the methods of delivering preschool education, but as a layman, how are we to differentiate the overarching objectives that preschool education should give our children?
How would we then determine what is in the typical preschool education that our child should be going through?
The education landscape has evolved over time, especially in the last 2 decades, but this evolution of the curriculum has also trickled down to even preschool education as well.
With multiple various types/methods of early childhood education, it is understandable that parents would have differentiated understandings of what the curriculum is actually supposed to achieve.
The article here hopes to share these objectives in great detail, not only in potential mediums and activities but also on the impact that it has on the children.
Typical preschool curriculum and education look to incorporate holistic education in our children, through a variety of educational objectives made up of as few broad areas (not limited to just specifically these, but the following do make a good summary):
Emotional development is a broad spectrum that is extremely critical in early education. This is because children in preschool are at the age where they are beginning to learn in greater detail how to express their thoughts and feelings towards people around them. This would also help them to understand the reactions they draw through their actions as well. The typical preschool curriculum should be able to address this with great focus. In addition, developing their emotions and understanding of their thoughts serves as a key baseline for developing other educational objectives.
This could be handled through various class sharing sessions, even play time between children is a great propagator of this growth in children.
Communication and literacy:
This also ties in as a core of the preschool curriculum together with emotional development.
Components such as bilingual language learning and bilingual literacy development play an important role in allowing children to grow, though accurately and effectively expressing themselves towards their teachers, parents, and their peers, thereby allowing them to grow in their emotional development as well. Instilling strong levels of literacy and effective communication goes a long way in helping children build their confidence levels.
Bilingual education tends to lean towards the children’s mother tongue, but normal curriculums are not confined to this. Mediums that work best to develop literacy are books, songs, and rhymes, in conjunction with sharing presentations such as ”Show and Tell”.
Movement and Motor Skill development :
As the sub-header suggests, the next objective is that of motor skills development and looks to ease the child into active movement and the cognitive ability to detect, be aware and avoid potential dangers.
But more importantly, it helps to build the child’s experiences and interest in exploring and learning more about the environment around them. This is usually done in outside excursions, experiential learning such as learning a sport or skill, or even project-based learning.
Building up Growth potential:
Lastly, the culmination of the previous 3 points leads toward the 4th education objective of a typical preschool curriculum, and that is the development of the child’s growth potential.
Children have extremely high learning abilities and are of an inquisitive nature. Thus, it is in the interest of the preschool and parents alike to ensure that this is sustained. This is nurtured possibly through guided projects in group settings, or experiences at an activity that they were curious about.
Allowing the children to undergo such experiences would allow them to make their own decisions, and develop the cognitive ability to query, process and problem solve where required. Through the fulfillment of these 4 broad educational objectives, the preschool curriculum is developed.
Different preschools and schools would base on these objectives to further develop and specialise their programs with various trademarked methodologies, but parents should be aware that these programmes should seek, as a baseline, to strengthen the learning depositions and attitude towards learning for the children.
Of course, there would be other factors that would determine the quality of preschool education as a whole, but the curriculum content needs to be the baseline of this.