Many people including many politicians believe that that it is important for young children to prepare for school by doing things that are similar to school activities. For example, learning to sit still and listen to the teacher on the carpet.
There is another school of thought and some research evidence (Sylva et al 2010) that by requiring young children to do these school preparation activities, that some find difficult, their confidence can be undermined, and they can learn to dislike school before they even start.
Many countries (e.g. Finland) discourage formal literacy activities in preschools and kindergarten so that children concentrate on learning through play, things that are enjoyable to focus on independently or autonomous learning. However, some worry that this learning lacks structure.
In this unit we are seeking to distinguish the features of these two types of activity and consider the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Apply Your Thinking:
Categorising Preschool Activities
By completing this activity you will begin to distinguish between two approaches to School Readiness. You will understand how these two approaches are defined. Download the file below to complete an activity where you will be asked to categorise preschool activities into two types; Preparation for School Activities versus Building on Current Strengths.