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Preschool Curriculum: What To Teach And How To Teach
At its simplest, curriculum refers to what to teach and how to teach. By the time children start attending preschool they have already had a myriad of experiences at home and their surroundings and have already developed different skills. An effective preschool curriculum utilizes the learning that has already taken place and induces new learning by providing stimulating and challenging environment.
Ideally a preschooler needs a curriculum that:
Motivates, challenges, stimulates and engages.
Meets their social, physical, cognitive, emotional needs at a particular stage of development.
Broad and balanced.
Focuses on developing the learning associated with 4 domains:
1. Personal, social, emotional and physical development.
2. Language development
3. Creative/aesthetic development
4. Cognitive development
It is important to note that there's interdependence among the mentioned domains. For instance, a child's language skills affect ...
... their social skills i.e. ability to interact with others. Therefore learning of these domains can't be considered in isolation from each other.
Young children are curious and like to learn through actively exploring their surroundings, engaging in concrete activities and interacting with their peers and adults. It won't be wrong to call them little investigators! Thus, it is very important to provide kids with a setting that lets them understand the world around them and in the process help them in developing a range of competencies and skills. A preschool curriculum should aim for a balance of child-initiated and teacher -initiated activities to maximize a kid's learning.
Since parents are the primary care providers of the children, they should be aware of the preschool curriculum. They should know about the program's aim, activities that their child will participate in and the expectations from the kids at the end of the preschool years. Preschool teachers along with the parents and other family members must work collaboratively to ensure that the children are receiving optimal learning experiences.
Each child is unique in the rate of growth and development of skills. Some kids may have delays in reaching a developmental stage, in such case it is important for the teachers as well as the parents to adapt the activities set in the curriculum so that the child can achieve a particular performance standard.
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