Op­tions for early education

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BRIGHT KIDS - By THERESA BELLE

THE idea that preschool should be a place for learn­ing from in­ter­ac­tions, ex­pe­ri­ences and ac­tiv­i­ties is not a new one.

Teach­ers have sup­ported the no­tion that preschool education should al­low chil­dren to ex­press them­selves through play since Ped­a­gogue Friedrich Fröebel’s renowned work in the 1800s.

Fröebel was the first to recog­nise that chil­dren have unique needs and ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and this no­tion set the foun­da­tion for mod­ern education.

“In re­cent years, gov­ern­ments around the world have given early years education more sta­tus and sci­en­tific re­search has pro­vided ev­i­dence to sup­port what early years spe­cial­ists have been say­ing for years – chil­dren learn best through hands- on, fun ex­pe­ri­ence and learn­ing- fo­cused en­vi­ron­ments,” says Amy Ed­wards, leader and teacher of the early years pro­gramme at Nexus In­ter­na­tional School ( Nexus).

To­day, this in­ter­pre­ta­tion of preschool education sets the ba­sis of learn­ing in most early years cen­tres.

With var­i­ous spe­cial­i­sa­tions and learn­ing styles, pri­vate and in­ter­na­tional cen­tres are in­creas­ingly adopt­ing in­no­va­tive learn­ing meth­ods and widen­ing the scope of class­room ac­tiv­i­ties to en­hance op­por­tu­ni­ties for de­vel­op­ment across a much broader spec­trum.

Be­sides pub­lic and pri­vate cen­tres, many in­ter­na­tional schools also have their own preschools that adapt the early years cur­ricu­lum of their coun­try of ori­gin.

For ex­am­ple, the Bri­tish Early Years Foun­da­tion Stage ( EYFS) and Aus­tralian Early Years Learn­ing Frame­work can be found in in­ter­na­tional preschool mod­ules in Malaysia.

Most in­ter­na­tional preschools adapt the In­ter­na­tional Pri­mary Cur­ricu­lum ( IPC), which is recog­nised as the fore­most early education cur­ricu­lum around the world.

IPC com­bines six core con­tent learn­ing ar­eas, which are lan­guage arts, so­cio- emo­tional, nu­mer­acy, cre­ative arts, sci­ences and mo­tor skills.

Schools also com­monly com­bine one or more cur­ricu­lum type to de­sign pro­grammes that are unique to them.

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