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Parent Resources

Early Childhood education

  1. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in USA defines “early childhood” as occurring before the age of six, and it is during this period that a child goes through the most rapid phase of growth and development. Their brains develop faster than at any other point in their lives, so these years are critical. The foundations for their social skills, self-esteem, perception of the world and moral outlook are established during these years, as well as the development of cognitive skills.

  2. During the first few years of life, a child learns a lot about themselves and the world around them, and parents are their first teachers. Parents teach them how to speak, how to walk, how to feed themselves. They teach them the alphabet, shapes and colors, and even how to count and spell very simple words. But for healthy development, children need active stimulation and interaction with others. This is where early childhood education is the most beneficial. It is in these classrooms where children apply what their parents have taught them to a practical setting and have their first interactions with people outside of their family. Beginning with children as young as two, teachers guide them through an important transition and oversee their adjustment. Early childhood education focuses on “learning through play” by providing a hands-on, interactive atmosphere where children learn about themselves through playing with other children.

  3. Early childhood education is encouraged for the healthy development and nurturing of all these important foundations, and trends show that parents are increasingly recognizing this. In fact, according to the latest available statistics, enrollment in prekindergarten-level education has risen 72% in the last 15 years

Preschool

  1. Preschool is not daycare, contrary to some general misconceptions. Whereas daycare is often childcare without an emphasis on learning, preschool is a child’s first formal learning environment. Preschool focuses on cognitive and social development by stimulating a child’s curiosity and imagination. Children learn through sharing toys, taking turns, and interacting with their teachers and each other. The classrooms themselves are very lively, brightly decorated with posters of the alphabet, maps, number tables and student artwork. Classrooms must be interactive and stimulating to foster an exciting learning environment. Teacher-student ratios are also closely monitored to ensure close interactions, and class sizes are kept relatively small

International Montessori Method of Education

  1. Montessori method of education is founded by Dr. Maria Montessori over a hundred years ago, that emphasizes the curiosity, creativeness and self-motivation of the child and stresses independence. This “child centered” approach to education differs from traditional methods in several major ways. Perhaps the most notable feature of Montessori based education is the classroom itself, where multiple age groups learn within one environment. Children in Montessori classrooms range from ages two and up, with no distinction in education levels. Thus, a four-year-old learns side-by-side with a two-year-old to simulate a real-life social environment and promote peer learning. Younger children learn from the older ones, while the older children are able to practice teaching things they already know.

  2. Montessori classrooms are also designed to foster independence and exploratory learning. In these classrooms, students are given the freedom to chose what to learn and to set their own pace. The classrooms have multiple interactive spaces, each dedicated to a different academic area, such as language arts, math and science. Children are encouraged to explore these areas in the order that most interests them, and they often end up working closely with other students to explore these areas together. Despite the autonomy, teachers in Montessori based education are by no means passive or uninvolved. Rather, the teachers work alongside students, guiding them through their exploration of the classroom, answering questions and facilitating group work. They are highly involved in this self-motivated learning process. The International Montessori society provides a very detailed description that further illustrates the methods and pedagogy of this innovative approach.

Indian CBSE system of Education

  1. In ancient times, India had the Gurukula system of education in which anyone who wished to study went to a teacher's (Guru) house and requested to be taught. If accepted as a student by the guru, he would then stay at the guru's place and help in all activities at home. This not only created a strong tie between the teacher and the student, but also taught the student everything about running a house. The guru taught everything the child wanted to learn, from Sanskrit to the holy scriptures and from Mathematics to Metaphysics. The student stayed as long as she wished or until the guru felt that he had taught everything he could teach. All learning was closely linked to nature and to life, and not confined to memorizing some information.

  2. The modern school system was brought to India, including the English language, originally by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in the 1830s. The curriculum was confined to “modern” subjects such as science and mathematics, and subjects like metaphysics and philosophy were considered unnecessary. Teaching was confined to classrooms and the link with nature was broken, as also the close relationship between the teacher and the student.

  3. The Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education was the first Board set up in India in the year 1921. In 1952, the constitution of the board was amended and it was renamed Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). It was the function of the Board to decide on things like curriculum, textbooks and examination system for all primary and higher secondary schools.

  4. A Preschool should impart the basic foundation of the CBSE curriculum in the kindergarten classes along with the early child-care philosophies like the International Montessori system so that the children develop as per the early Gurukul system and are also equipped with integrating with the CBSE stream as they move onto the higher classes.

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