"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"Magic 8" in Preschool Education

A study that run for two years involving more than eight hundred preschool children across more than twenty classrooms yielded a set of areas that correlates with improved academic and social outcomes. These areas, called the "Magic 8", are reducing transition time, increasing the quality of instruction, creating a more positive emotional climate, teachers listening more to children, providing more sequential activities, fostering social learning (associative and cooperative) interactions, fostering higher levels of child involvement, and creating more math opportunities.

Free Childcare Clipart #1
Above copied from Free Childcare Clipart

These areas are not listed according to any order, but it is still worth noting that the first is about logistics. The time between activities is not only a waste of time, but also a potential gap during which children can become easily distracted which can often lead to either bad or unproductive behavior. Quality of instruction goes beyond a child simply regurgitating information. It must include development of inferential thinking which begins only after a child is given the opportunity to reflect on their thoughts and what they are learning. Children need emotional support and they need their voices to be heard. There must be an order in the activities for this is how a child learns multi-step approaches to solving a problem. Children learn from each other both academically and socially. Recess and free play are important. Children need to participate. Children are never too young to begin learning both math and science.

By the way, the above "Magic 8" not only applies to preschool, but also to basic education.


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