The kindergarten program sets out and details the basic principles of elementary education in Ontario. It is aimed at teachers, parents, and officials who are expected to implement this program, in reality, to provide high-quality learning to children. In this paper, the key propositions and pedagogical aspects of the document as well as assessment and curriculum will be discussed.
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The philosophy of the Kindergarten program of Ontario revolves around shaping the experience of a pre-school child in a manner that helps him develop learning capabilities furthering his or her development later in life. The process of pedagogy according to the authors should proceed in five domains such as curriculum, classroom leadership, student engagement, social and physical environments, home school, and community (“The kindergarten program,” p. 6). The teacher should act in a way to ensure safe, positive, and meaningful interactions that promote the zeal for knowledge.
The evaluation strategies are guided by the two key principles such as “assessment for learning” and “assessment as learning” (“The kindergarten program,” p. 38). The former implies guiding the cognitive process of a child based on evaluation and the latter means enabling children to gain knowledge autonomously. The main communication mechanisms are reciprocal connections with parents and children that aim to collaboratively develop a child’s potential.
Pedagogical documentation is the core reporting practice that reflects the child’s and educator’s thought process about specific learning actions. The primary assessment criteria that teachers are using under the program are pattern learning, communicative, social, and problem-solving skills. The main methodological addition of the new curriculum is the shift from taking notes to pedagogical documentation, which contains more insight and serves better to the goal of guiding the learner’s development process.
The key skills that teachers will require to provide high-quality education for children include the ability to lead professional conversations on learning, understanding of pedagogical concepts, and reflection skills. All of the named competencies are required to create a meaningful bond between parents, educators, and children with the goal of nursing the potential of the latter. In addition, children under the care of an educator should be capable of saying, doing, and representing to show their learning process. Working with children also requires attention to the individual’s relationship with peers, which could be observed through responding, challenging, and extending (“The kindergarten program”).
One of the core advantages of this curriculum model is its emphasis on the collaboration between learners, teachers, and parents. Such a connection allows tracking and guiding children towards their learning goals in Kindergarten through meaningful communication and data exchange in a better way. Another benefit of the program is that it lays the holistic foundation of learning with the long-term purpose of shaping better citizens and members of society. Furthermore, the program is distinctive of the role it assigns to parents (“The kindergarten program”). The former are viewed as active participants of their child’s development that happens in Kindergarten and at home. Educators’ benefits are the possibilities to explore new ideas and approaches in contrast to traditional views.
Possible challenges to implementing HDLH in kindergartens might be the reluctance of parents to participate in the learning process of a child due to a belief that it is the Kindergarten and teachers’ work to shape cognitive behaviors. In addition, the changing nature of the ways of obtaining and processing information might also form future barriers towards fully implementing the concept.
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All in all, the kindergarten program is a fundamental document that sets out the principles of learning and teaching. Its philosophy, assessment strategies, and teaching practices are all aimed at shaping children into autonomous individuals and avid learners with enough capacity and foundation to later become responsible citizens and members of society. The document’s key advantages are its emphasis on collaboration, the role of the family, and meaningful data exchange between stakeholders.
The kindergarten program. (2016). Web.