I hope the word PRESCHOOL brings a smile to your face & a feeling of sentimental remembrance of time spent playing & learning with peers. Of projects, the play dough table, & sharing in the block center- & learning to be curious & confident.
And whether you did or did not attend (or do or do not have fond memories!) – I hope the children in your care will be able to look back & have those types of thoughts!
In terms of the definition by the State of NJ- Preschool refers to children aged 3-5– essentially any child above age 3 who is not yet in Kindergarten (in public school Kindergarten the curriculum is under a different set of guidelines & requirements).
These children are on the 2nd half of their Early Childhood journey (which we will refer to as Stage 2 in think10fold content)- & are preparing for their Elementary School introduction!
Critical Learning Period
You may be familiar with the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori. From Montessori we get the concept of Sensitive Periods.
Let’s begin by understanding what the standards are…from there we can think about them the right way.
The 2013 preschool teaching and learning standards are grounded in a strong theoretical framework for delivering high quality educational experiences to young children. The Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards document:https://www.nj.gov/education/ece/guide/standards.pdf
- Defines supportive learning environments for preschool children.
- Provides guidance on the assessment of young children.
- Articulates optimal relationships between and among families, the community, and preschools.
- Identifies expected learning outcomes for preschool children by domain, as well as developmentally appropriate teaching practices that are known to support those outcomes.The preschool standards represent what preschool children know and can do in the context of a high quality preschool classroom. Childhood experiences can have long-lasting implications for the future. The earliest years of schooling can promote positive developmental experiences and independence while also optimizing learning and development.
If you’ve been exploring the think10fold site- or also have a child in the Birth-3 age range & have been to that page- you know I warn readers not to panic at the length of these state produced documents!
The in depth nature of the original source is excellent for reference. But I, like yourself, appreciate the ability to work off a summary- & double check myself from there.