With parents becoming more involved in the education and the learning of their children you can see a great increase in the awareness of programs from preschool to the college level. In fact, more and more parents take it upon themselves to understand teaching methods and becoming more involved in what goes on in the classroom. Pre-school is where it all begins, with multiple teaching programs such as the Montessori Method, The Waldorf Method, The Bank Street Method, and The Parent co-op method. All of these programs differ in learning processes, acceptance percentages, and educational structure.
The Montessori Method focuses on academics to an extent but reinforces the idea that children learn at their own pace. All classes have no age limits so there have mixed ages throughout the class; this pushes older kids to help the younger ones in learning and understanding instead of having all of the students sitting in front of a teacher. Montessori toys are all self-corrective and, like puzzles, let a child know if they have done it incorrectly. The self-corrective method is to allow students to figure out what they have done wrong for themselves instead of a teacher explaining. The teacher's role is to help kids find their way into learning, teaching them basic understanding methods that will help them later in school.
The Waldorf ideology bases its teachings on a basic structure that gives every day a new set of creative activities like singing, or gardening. The classrooms all contain mixed ages and each room gives off a warm home like feeling. All of the teachers must be Waldorf certified to ensure that each child gets a well-rounded experience. Another interesting fact is that Waldorf does not include media in its teachings or even formal homework and tests. The programs are all under the initiative to get children outside and developing a child's individualism.
The Bank Street Method is very similar to a form of play-based learning. Bank Street focuses on a child-centered philosophy that understands children are all experimenters and active learners. Their curriculum includes multiple outings, music, and dramatic play. The Bank Street System believes that the teacher is a "facilitator of learning" and pushes the importance of materials and hands on learning. Parents love this method because of the goal to help children feel and touch the world around them. Instead of learning what a leaf is from a picture the students will go outside and touch them, which reinforces learning and memory.
The final learning method is the Parental Co-op, which is the most parentally involved program listed. Parents are involved in this program as reinforcement to the children to learn about cooperation and resolving conflicts. Parents will help in the school; help in the classroom, and working closely with the teachers. The involvement of the parents is also important to the children who can see their parents involved in the message that education is important. While this choice of preschool is very time, consuming it cannot be for everyone. However, the benefits of keeping a positive attitude on learning and family relationships are something that other schools cannot recreate.
Selecting and choosing the right preschool for your child is a huge step in the beginning of their educational lives. Where you begin sends a message about how you want their academic studies to improve. Once you have selected which type of preschool program you wish your child to learn from you are onto the next step. While no child is going to be left behind, it is every parent's right to be as involved and insightful as you can be about how well your child is learning each day. For more information, go to this website, or others like it.