Select an individual (philosopher) you have studied in this unit and elaborate on how this individual has/will influence you in your workings with children in a pre-school setting.
“Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself.” – John Dewey (1859-1952) (Ministry of Education, Singapore, 2003) The set of Desired Outcomes of Pre-school Education that the Ministry of Education(MOE) had put together in 2003 highlighted the significant importance of pre-school education being the platform for lifelong learning. It’s intention were far beyond preparation of these children merely for Primary School curriculum (Wong,2000). Very much alike to John Dewey (Dewey)’s quote, MOE’s take on pre-school education
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Interactive learning is also vital to social development. Being able to develop a positive and satisfying relationship with peers and adults is crucial for effective social interaction and is often a focus of pre-school programs (Early Childhood Teachers’ Association, 2003). In my workings with children, I have realized the important role social interaction plays in a child’s development. Children across all pre-school levels enjoy talking and interacting with each other over their thoughts, opinions and experiences. One way I encourage this is by planning for problem solving in group discussions. For instance, the kindergarten children would be issued a problem at the start of the day: “What are the features of an insect?” They would then be divided into groups to explore the problem by going into the various learning centres I have set up to acquire the information. This can be followed up by bringing the children on a field trip to the Botanical Garden where children are able explore on the topic and make drawings and notes on their observations as a group. At the end of the day, they would discuss about their gatherings again in groups, and then present their findings. Other than learning how to function as a member of a group, children would also be able to learn cooperative skills and conflict resolution through the activity. Besides peer interaction, adult interaction plays an equally important role. In the Assessment of Licensing Standards