The philosophy of the 2016 Kindergarten program is established based on providing a substantial foundation for 4-5-old-year learners in friendly and safe conditions. The major goals are concerned with the development of young learners’ curiosity, social and emotional competence, creativity, and well-being (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016). The program emphasizes the need for collaboration between children, educators, families, and environments.
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Pedagogical approaches include studying through inquiry, “environment as the third teacher,” responsive relationships, and reflective practice (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016, p. 11). The program identifies several basic principles of play-based learning, including recognizing play as a preschooler’s right, considering every child as having a rich potential, viewing curiosity as the main driver of learning. Also, creating a suitable environment and including play-based learning programs are considered highly important (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016).
The Kindergarten Program views assessment as the main approach to understanding children’s learning. Reporting and communication mechanisms in this area include observations, videos, photos and notes, work samples, interactions, and voice recordings (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016). With the help of these approaches, teachers can analyze and interpret learners’ achievements effectively and focus their further activities on increasing children’s performance. Criteria on which children are evaluated include the use of physical space and reaction to various “levels of sensory stimulation” and the use of time by the preschooler (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016, p. 40).
Also, verbal expression of actions and thoughts, body language, emotional response to the environment, adjustment, and understanding others’ perspectives are included in the assessment. Recent changes to methodology include offering learners numerous opportunities for drawing connections between past and new experiences. The analysis of such associations allows teachers to improve children’s skills. Also, the methodology has been enriched by such approaches as sustained shared thinking and assessment as learning (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016).
To successfully implement and evaluate the new curriculum document, teachers need to function as “reflective practitioners” (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016, p. 117). In particular, educators are responsible for challenging learners and responding to children’s words and actions to make connections to prior knowledge. Also, teachers play an important role in extending their pupils’ learning (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016). When working with children based on the “How does learning happen?” (2014) pedagogy, teachers need to engage in collaborative inquiry.
The major benefit for children, parents, and educators in Ontario kindergarten classrooms is a shared understanding. Parents gladly use teachers’ observations to promote their children’s development. At the same time, insights that parents share help teachers to gain a more extensive understanding of their students (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016). There are four frames supporting Kindergarten learning that promote teachers’ understanding of children’s development.
These frames incorporate thinking about “belonging and contributing,” “self-regulation and well-being,” “demonstrating literacy and mathematics behaviours,” and “problem solving and innovating” (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016, pp. 47, 54, 64, 87). Finally, a significant advantage of the curriculum model is the opportunity for families to become a part of various learning and teaching activities (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016).
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Despite the numerous benefits provided by the Kindergarten program, there are some challenges that educators may meet when implementing it. The major possible difficulty is presented with the process of pedagogical documentation (“The Kindergarten Program,” 2016). While this approach is rather beneficial for understanding pupils’ abilities, some teachers might find it difficult to collect all the necessary data and analyze it appropriately and timely. Another challenge is the arrangement of effective collaboration with preschoolers’ families. Finally, some teachers may find it complicated to arrange the learning environment in the most effective way.
How does learning happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years. (2014). Web.
The Kindergarten Program. (2016). Web.