Tuesday 28 June 2011

Full-day kindergarten in Ontario

Role play and play dough
The costs are enormous. The benefits for the kids are questionable. Many schools are crowded, with portables set up even before a new school opens.


finger puppets
As someone with a B.A. (ECE) I think tax dollars are being wasted on full-day Kindergarten. Kids need more love, nurturing, and play-based learning than regular teachers in a union care to understand.

Kids learn best in an activity-based setting, not a school, but a day care-type setting, in a comfortable environment, in which life isn't controlled by that gawd-awful bell.

Where teachers with more than a 1-year B.Ed., but knowledge of creating playspaces have a holistic understand of of wee ones learn.

I've worked in schools and done my time in day care, and private schools. McGuinty is making a mistake creating a full day school for kindergarten kids who learn by play, by makig choices about sand, water, art, house centre, not sitting at tables colouring pictures..

We need subsidized day care for the kids who need it. The working poor. Schools are too expensive, the infrastructure too onerous. Single parents, kids with disabilities, need licenced day care, not an education. In licenced day care, with registered, trained caregivers kids get the best start. We could help many more children who need early identification of psychosocial, emotional disabilities. We need to ensure they have dental and medical care.

running outside in the forest
outdoor play is a big part of an integrated program
We need subsizided day care places in top notch centres, for children who need day care while parents work. These are children who benefit most from quality, government supported assistance. We know that kids need to develop prereading skills through play.

Early Childhood Education specialists who understand the developmental process, not a teacher slotted into a kindergarten by a principal/manager who similarly may not understand how forcing an education on a child may be a huge mistake.

Playing 'snake' with kittens
running free
We need teachers who integrate crafts with social skills, playtime is learning time. We need kids to be exposed to prereading skills, not to have reading pressure thrown at them. Especially the boys who tend to read later than girls.

Swimming at the beach
Hugs from gramma
The McGuinty government claims they are introducing a 'new' theory, yet when I earned my ECE degree at Ryerson (1979), this is the philosophy of most of the theorists and the philosophy of most of the facilities in Toronto, where I did 900 hours of practicum placements in nursery schools and day care centres. It was not the philosophy of most of the JK, SK, Gr. 1 classes. The school system still fights the play-based learning and integrated programs.
finger puppets

toes in sand
water and sand play
buckets, shovels; playing with others


Olga said...

Yes, I sometimes feel sorry for today's kids. Life just does not seem as care free as it once did. At my grand kids school, they no longer have regular recess time...they have "brain breaks"...like there is something wrong with just play for the pure joy of it.

redd said...

You make a very strong case for day care and home experience. I would prefer the home type nurturing and teaching. However, not all kids have the opportunity for great day care or home care . In some case parental care is frightening. It's sad when parental care can be so fantastic. Therefore I come down on the side of whole day kindergarten. Possibly it could be optional but all kinds of preschoolers need that day of kindergarten.
Now you have to take this with a grain of salt from a life long middle school teacher. I know one thing if there were conferences or inservices I always tried to get in an early childhood session or gr 1-3 session. They had much better methods.