Ask any educator and they will confirm that the first 5 years of a child’s life are critical, and during these formative years it is essential that the children learn in the right kind of environment. Research tells us that young children learn best in a learner centred environment, that is to say, the children have some control over the learning material, and with the focus on developing essential social skills, preschool should be all about learning through touch, movement, listening and observation.
Reggio Emilia Approach
This is a system of learning that was created by an Italian pedagogist by the name of Loris Malaguzzi, who had a school in the city of Reggio Emilia, and with the help of the parents, he developed principles for student centred learning. The principles are as follows:
- Children must have control over the direction of their learning.
- Children must be able to learn through touch, movement, listening and observation.
- Children have a relationship with other learners and the material things in the world that they must be allowed to explore.
- Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
Look for Student Centred Environments
There is, for example, a kindergarten in Bangkok that fully adopts the Reggio Emilia approach, and with skilled teachers and facilitators who know how to encourage critical minds to learn, the children enjoy their learning. Once you find a suitable school that follows a hands-on approach, you can book a tour of the school, when the principal will escort you around the facility, and you can see first-hand how much fun the children have. It is vital for such a school that parents fully understand and support the learning strategies, and the administration goes to great lengths to help new parents understand the methodology.
Non Traditional Teachers
In a student centred learning environment, the teacher takes on the role of facilitator, rather than a person who instructs, and this is an important difference. The teacher could very easily instruct their students, yet by doing this, the children miss the opportunity to learn through their mistakes. Learning by doing enables the child to deal with obstacles and problems, and the emphasis is on collaborative learning, with children of different ages learning in the same group.
Laying the Foundation for Success
By enrolling your child in a learner centred school, they will gain the essential tools for self-learning, while also developing the must-have social skills that will enable them to reach their fullest potential. There are many benefits to this kind of learning; the kids always have a lot of fun, and the majority can’t wait for the weekend to be over so they can get back to school. This kind of environment fosters healthy values, with students teaching other students, and everyone joining in, plus the children have a say in the activities they are involved in.
Equip your child with the essential tools that they need to reach their fullest potential, by enrolling them in the right kind of kindergarten.