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ERIC Number: ED472131
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Let Them Play, They Will Learn: An Argument for Nationalizing Montessori Style Preschool Education in the United States.
Michel, Greg
Asserting that widespread Head Start and state universal prekindergarten programs validate the need for a nationalized preschool program, this paper presents an argument for nationalizing Montessori-style preschool education in the United States. The paper maintains that Montessori-style classrooms use developmentally appropriate practices as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and that by realigning resources already in place, a national preschool program could exist. Head Start programs for at-risk children and state prekindergarten programs for all children are described as highlighting play as a tool for developing social skills. The Montessori approach to preschool is presented as a model wherein play meets work and learning, and the prepared environment is described as comprised of practical life and occupational materials, sensorial materials, culturally based materials, and hand crafts and materials for the development of a spiritual/religious life. The paper describes the control of error, aesthetics, activity, and limits as fundamental qualities of the prepared environment. The paper maintains that the role of the educator is similar in the Montessori preschool classroom and in Head Start and prekindergarten classrooms. Additionally, the paper describes the NAEYC's code of ethical conduct and standards for developmentally appropriate practice. It asserts that consolidating the resources from Head Start and state universal prekindergarten programs, the Montessori environment, and the ethical contract of the NAEYC and developmentally appropriate practice will essentially create a nationwide preschool policy. Nevertheless, it is noted that persuading the government, private concerns, educators, parents, and the public to embrace a cohesive idea could be formidable. (Contains 12 references.) (Author/KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A