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Building Blocks of Early Learning

The educational philosophies of different preschool approaches


May 2014

It's a big milestone – sending your little one off to preschool. Those first years of school are vital to forming a child's life-long relationship with learning. Every parent wants to make the best school or daycare decision for their child, and it can be helpful to understand the many educational philosophies and methods out there.

In recent years, many states have made a push toward regulating early childhood Education programs to help children prepare to enter kindergarten. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has issued the "Foundations to the Indiana Academic Standards," which provides guidelines for educating children from birth to age five. The Foundations are based on national research that indicates the skills and concepts children need to master to excel in school.

"The Foundations are the building blocks that lead to developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood classrooms," says Mary Lowe, special education supervisor for Indianapolis Public Schools. "Schools and teachers have the flexibility to develop their own methods and lesson plans aligned to the Foundations."

Embedded in the Foundations are lessons in language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, health, art and music. According to the IDOE website, "Readiness includes ready children, ready families, ready communities, ready early care and education, and ready schools. It is the responsibility of schools to meet the needs of children as they enter school and to provide whatever services are needed to help each child reach his or her fullest potential."

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Tags: Education, In This Issue, Kids

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