People who have nothing to do with little children have almost no understanding about what goes on in children’s minds and what is good for them developmentally. Those in the know however, realize that there many different philosophies based around the best way to educate in the early childhood years. You may find some of the best kindergarten teacher websites but, they will not tell you the differences in the philosophies. The only thing you will get from them is ideas. You may get creative curriculum preschool lesson plans and all kind of worksheets but no philosophy.
I am going to discuss some of the more well know early childhood educational philosophies. The first one is an old school one called traditional education. Most of us have had experience in this kind of education. We spend most of years with textbooks and rote learning. The teachers stands at the front of the class mostly giving out information. The students have to memorize what she or he is teaching and then spit it back on tests. This is in the elementary school years. In kindergarten instead of textbooks they have worksheets, lots of them.
There are many other philosophies that are more progressive. Waldorf education, Montessori, Reggio Emilia are just some of the philosophies that allow the children more creativity, choice and interesting learning than the traditional approaches. They believe that in order to teach children you have to understand how children develop in order to plan curriculum. They also believe in the whole human being and not just the intellect. That means the social, psychological and emotional well being of the children are taken into account as well when planning what and how to teach them. These philosophies of education are the ones that produce the most productive children in our society today.