ERIC Number: ED260832
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The Kindergarten Curriculum.
Bartolini, Leandro A.; Wasem, Leighton
The purpose of this paper, one of several background reports for a comprehensive policy study of early childhood education, is to identify current issues regarding the kindergarten curriculum, particularly in relation to the trends surrounding the shift from a developmental curriculum to a more academic-based curriculum. The single major issue discussed is our society's inclination to introduce children earlier and faster to academic expectations. A brief historical background is provided on early philosophical and pedagogical influences on the development of kindergarten curriculum in the U.S. Five current approaches to the kindergarten curriculum are identified and compared; namely, traditional kindergarten, the Montessori method, behavior analysis, direct instruction, and Piagetian programs. Four reasons for the shift in emphasis from a developmental curriculum to an academic curriculum are discussed. These reasons are as follows: (1) a greater emphasis on kindergarten attendance as the beginning point in school, (2) increased societal pressure to provide academic instruction at an early age, (3) increased use of standardized achievement and screening tests which tend to emphasize outcomes of formal instruction, and (4) lack of appropriate early childhood education training for kindergarten teachers. Next, the controversies related to the shift in emphasis are delineated. Finally, research on the kindergarten curriculum is described pointing to a conclusion that, while studies show that children can learn a great deal at very early ages, it can also be shown that some learning will not occur if children are not developmentally ready. Also included in the paper is a table comparing the two curricular orientations from the standpoint of five criteria: teacher, pupils, activities, materials, and expectations. (DST)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield, Dept. of Planning, Research and Evaluation.
Identifiers - Location: Illinois