Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Well-Prepared I

Knowing How Children Learn!

What exactly do our preschool children need in order to be well-prepared for Primary school?
Isn't this what all preschool teachers have been working towards?
Isn't this the true and real purpose of a preschool education?
Isn't this the ultimate aim and objective of all preschool curriculum?

What does it really mean to be well-prepared?

That is children are able to receive and take it in stride when they enter their Primary school education.
It means to be able to not just cope with the new environment and curriculum but to cope well.

Yet by asking what do children need to learn well, we could also explore the question on how children actually learn?

On Sociocultural Theory

Based on Lev, Vygostsky's Sociocultural Theory, we understand that

1)"mental processes exist between and among people in social learning settings, and that from these social settings the learner moves ideas into his or her own psychological realm." (Forman, 2003)

2) "the way in which information is internalized (or learned) depends on whether it was within a learner's zone of proximal development (ZPD), which refers to a range of knowledge that may be out of reach for a person to learn on his or her own, but is accessible if the learner has support from peers or more knowledgeable others." (Van De Walle, Karp, Bay-Williams, 2013, p.20)

It is to my understanding from previous study Vygotsky's ZPD as being the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent prblem solving and the level of potential dvelopment as determined through problem under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers.

Which in layman terms means that children's learning happens in a social context;
Which also implys the importance of being able to socialize in order to learn well;
And socialization requires children to be able to communicate well;
Which means able to speak and listen well and therefore the need to have good language skill.

To explain, I though of some simple math equation.

Socialization = social skill + language skill

Learning = socialization x new information x prior experience

and that Learning will be zero when any of the factors equals to zero.

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