What Makes for a Good Early Learning Program?
If your child is beginning to walk and is keen to explore the world around them, it is time to think about an early learning program. Prior to beginning your search for a nursey school, it is worth analysing what makes a good early learning program, as this will no doubt help you in your quest for a suitable institution.
Regio Emilia Approach
Of the many early years learning programs, the Reggio Emilia approach really does stand out, and this unique style originated in the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy after the Second World War, when a pedagogist called Loris Malaguzzi formulated an early learning environment with the help of local parents. Today, the Reggio Emilia approach is widely recognised as one of the best in the world, and there is a nursery in Bangkok that follows this approach, which is called Raintree International School.
Principles of Reggio Emilia Approach
The core concept is that every single child is unique, and must be able to express themselves in many different ways, and rather than the child being seen as the target of instruction, they are regarded as apprentice learners. The teachers have to make some serious adjustments, moving away from the traditional instruction to become a facilitator who guides the children through experiential learning.
Learning through actual experience is the most effective way a child can acquire knowledge, and this is the core foundation for a hands-on learning program. When the teacher plans an activity for their students, they will already be aware of the obstacles the kids will encounter, yet they do not instruct this, rather they guide the children to the point where they will encounter the obstacle, then helps them to find a solution, rather than simple instruction. So, the teacher is more of a facilitator than an instructor, and it takes special training to be able to implement this in the classroom.
Students Direct Their Path in Learning
This is another critical aspect of hands-on learning, and activities are based solely on the students’ interests, which ensures a high level of interest. Some kids like to build things, while others prefer art as a medium, or perhaps dance and movement, and the best early learning programs are based on the students’ interests.
Creativity and Imagination
One of the biggest downfalls of the rote learning system is it kills off creativity, whereas the child-centred approach actually encourages creativity and imagination. When a child draws a picture, there is no such thing as right or wrong, and children should be able to explore their own creativity without ridicule, and with activities like storytelling, the children have an opportunity to use their imagination.
The first 5 years of a child’s life are known as the formative years, and this is the time to develop essential social skills, plus allowing the learner to explore their own creativity and interests. Give your child a head start by enrolling them in a program that focuses on experiential learning and you won’t regret it.