Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Lori Pace
High quality early childhood education programs can help children think creatively. So, they may succeed in a complex and ever-changing world. By understanding the philosophy of childhood education for kids, single moms can be more confident in their kids’ futures.
Developmental or Play-Based | Philosophy of Childhood Education
Play-based learning doesn’t mean children can do whatever they want all day. Children will have times when they come together in a group setting where they can learn to communicate with each other, share information and follow rules. Play-based activities do not mean replacing or enhancing intentional teaching.
Children will have long periods of uninterrupted play in a play-based learning environment. They will be able to pursue their interests. The children will also be encouraged to take initiative. Besides, with the guidance of their teachers, the kids can become more independence. They are taught to take responsibility for their work. They will learn to be independent, confident children. So, they can take risks and have the courage to fail.
Play-based learning is about the process and not the product. The most important thing is the learning taking place. Social skills are also critical. This includes sharing, taking turns and solving conflicts with words, rather than crying or hitting.
The children can gain these skills with the help of their teachers. By negotiating who gets to play in pretend play or what role they play, the teacher can demonstrate the skills.
Friends School (Quaker)
Encourage the ideals and values of community, spirituality as well as responsibility and stewardship. The fundamental beliefs of Quaker schools are that all children have unique talents and gifts. Students are encouraged to find their interests and voices. The educational experience is founded on the idea that students’ character, or what kind of person they want to be. This is just as important as intellectual growth and exploration.
A bilingual or language immersion preschool is where the class is entirely or partially in a foreign language. Hence, preschools can teach French and Spanish as well as German, Chinese, Italian and Japanese. Preschools that teach languages are designed to help children learn them quickly.
A language immersion classroom has a teacher who speaks only the language, and she rarely, if ever, can translate. However, she might demonstrate what she means by speaking. Bilingual schools may have English and another language spoken approximately half of the time, either during the day or on specific days.
Preschools can also be used to expose students to another language through storytelling and singing, or optional enrichment classes after school. Be aware that every school will interpret an educational approach differently. Some programs combine different philosophies to create their own approach. Make sure you read the mission statements of each school and speak to the director to learn more about the school’s philosophy.
Montessori “play is a child’s work”
Montessori focuses on independence, self-esteem and confidence, while encouraging learning at the child’s pace. These preschools pay attention on academics but the goal is to let learning happen at the child’s pace. To foster independence, children will be able to make their own decisions and learn skills that promote self sufficiency.
This self-paced education involves changing the role of adults in the classroom to that of “guides” for students. The American Montessori Society also states that guides are responsible for four main goals. These goals encompass the Montessori method hopes and objectives. The guide strives for:
- Your child’s imagination and spirit should be awakened
- Encourage his/her natural desire to be independent and a high level of self-esteem
- Help him/her develop kindness, courtesy and self-discipline so he can become a full member in society
- Help him/her to learn how to independently observe, question, explore and evaluate ideas.
While the guide might introduce a lesson to the entire class, they will focus on small groups of students as they explore topics on their own in a well-prepared classroom setting. Children with special needs, whether gifted or delayed, often thrive in a Montessori setting because they receive individualized attention.
Parent Cooperative | Philosophy of Childhood Education
You may be unable to afford traditional preschools or find one that fits your philosophy. If this is the case, you might consider starting a cooperative school. Because of the sweat equity parents provide, these programs are often less expensive than others. They also allow families to decide what and how their children will learn.
Parents run co-op preschools. They do everything, from helping in the classroom and editing newsletters to managing finances and washing windows. The teacher is usually a professional teacher, who often acts as director. Everything else is taken care of by the parents. A co-op is a great option for parents who have flexible work schedules. The “sweat equity”, which keeps tuition costs low, can make it an affordable option. These preschools are often child-centered, play-based and operate on a part time schedule.
Reggio Emilia “project-based curriculum”
Experts have recognized the Reggio Emilia method as a model for teaching children strong thinking skills. This method aims to provide learning environments that allow children to develop these skills through all aspects of communication, expressive, and cognitive experiences. To achieve this goal, four principles guide us:
- Emergent curriculum: The topics for study are determined by the interests of the child. These interests are results of the discussion between the children and their families. And also identify the area that appeals to many children such as dinosaurs and puddles.
- Projects: Children take part in deep studies of concepts, ideas and interests. These projects can last from one week to a whole school year. The children usually describe this as adventures.
- Representational Development: Teachers present ideas and concepts in multiple formats, including print, art, drama music, puppetry, and so on. This variety is essential to ensure that children of all learning styles can understand the lessons.
- Collaboration: Both large and small groups are encouraged to collaborate to solve problems through dialogue, comparisons and negotiations. To promote a balance between belonging and self, each child should have their say in the group.
Religious | Philosophy of Childhood Education
You might consider a school that is affiliated to a synagogue or church if you want your child’s preschool to be able to provide age-appropriate religious instruction. Religious-affiliated programs include some religious content, such as stories and songs. While schools are open to students of all faiths, some prefer children from that particular faith or whose families are members.
Waldorf programs aim to stimulate children’s bodies, spirits, souls, and minds by providing a homelike, nurturing environment that engages all five of their senses. Rudolf Steiner was the founder of the first Waldorf school in Germany in 1919. He believed that children learn best from their environment and imitation. In a Waldorf classroom, creative play is the best way to learn. There’s a lot of teamwork and togetherness.
Your child will stay with the same teacher whether he attends Waldorf school for several years. This creates a close, intimate relationship where your child is more aware of their needs year after year. The toys used in the classroom are made from natural materials like shells, ropes, beeswax crayons and wooden toys (never plastic). Parents also should not watch TV or use computers at home as recommendation.
Academic | Philosophy of Childhood Education
This approach is more structured and focuses on math readiness skills and formal reading. Preschoolers also benefits from preparing early for the demands of kindergarten and beyond. The daily activities are similar to those children will find in kindergarten.
They are carefully planned and followed. So each day is predictable and consistent. While the children can play outdoors, or during free-play periods, classroom time is specifically for teaching skills like problem solving, time measurement, identification of colors, and writing.