ERIC Number: EJ959732
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Reference Count: 9
Meeting Standards in the Changing Landscape of Today's Kinder"garden"
McLennan, Deanna Pecaski
Young Children, v66 n4 p106-111 Jul 2011
First conceptualized by Friedrich Froebel as a "children's garden," kindergarten classrooms in Canada today emphasize play and exploration as the primary methods of learning and development. This garden provides multiple opportunities for children to become lost in spontaneous play and creative interactions with peers. Kindergarten has slowly transitioned from an environment for exploration and play into a setting for academic preparation that emphasizes use of a standard curriculum and assessment procedures. Proponents of this current approach believe it can lead to success in later grades. Nevertheless, it is still possible for today's early childhood educators to continue to nurture socialization, personal exploration, and meaning making in their kindergarten classrooms. In this article, the author discusses practical classroom strategies she has implemented to maintain an effective balance between standards and authenticity--providing children with opportunities to collaboratively direct their learning in a holistic, exploratory environment. The goal is to cultivate a garden for learners in all kindergarten classrooms.
Descriptors: Play, Foreign Countries, Kindergarten, Teaching Methods, Holistic Approach, Classroom Environment, Curriculum Development, Creativity, Student Evaluation, Interdisciplinary Approach, Reggio Emilia Approach, Academic Standards, Professional Development
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.naeyc.org/yc/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada