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Just What Should Kindergarten Teach?

Behavioral Dimension of Academics

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What Should Be Taught In The Early Grades Beginning With Pre-Kindergarten

  • Mar 28, 2013
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This article will focus on what children should be taught in

the first years of school which include pre-kindergarten,

kindergarten and the early grades in primary school.

A whole host of constituencies are in the process of preparing

children as young as 4 or 5 years of age for the new world of

formal schooling. Parents greet the advent of school for

toddlers with enthusiasm because taking children out of the

home for a half day or more means a respite from caregiving.

For most children, pre-kindergarten or even kindergarten means

an introduction to peers and a whole new experience of interaction,

compromise, argumentation and personal involvement beyond

watching television, playing outside or milling around the house.

Children need an introduction into a formal classroom setting

with the usual academic tools like building blocks, crayons,

educational toys, flash cards, arts and crafts and readings by the

teacher or local librarian.

Beyond the formal academics, children need a firm grounding

in the relevant behavioral dimensions for the learning

experience. And so, children may interact in small groups

in order to learn the fundamentals of cooperation, listening

skills, critical thinking and constructive argument or criticism.

To be successful academically, children will need to set

boundaries at home and with their relatives and friends

once they leave school. Part of the learning experience is

the assignment of quality homework to be done by all

students. To complete the learning cycle involving

assigned homeworks, children must set boundaries

with everyone outside of school.

Without boundary-setting, children cannot do homeworks

or complete the cycle of learning transfer which begins in the

classroom and is confirmed, as a result of formal in-class tests

as students progress through the lower grades.

Once students leave school and go home, they are confronted

with all sorts of demands on their time. These demands can

involve students in chores, shopping, medical appointments, outside

visitors, phone calls, text messaging and other things which

quickly take time away from doing homework to complement

the learning introduction begun in school.

And so, students need to rehearse the relevant behaviors which

are requisite for turning back a constant stream of requests which

tie-up their time and limit the opportunities to finish assignments

begun earlier in school. The relevant behavioral responses require

that students assert themselves at home so that there is time to

complete homeworks and projects.

Another important condition precedent is a quiet environment so

that learning and deep concentration can take place. Parents

should be instructed to set aside a quiet spot in the home so that

children can complete assigned homeworks unimpeded by

outside noise. In some cases, parents may find it easier to take children

to the local library or school library, if necessary.

Before academics can be attempted in any meaningful way, students

must learn to concentrate and work independently in quiet

surroundings. Then, they can think clearly about assignments in

all of their academic subjects.

Many school districts throughout the United States teach subjects

in English. In districts having bi-lingual students, the attainment of a

consistent curriculum content is more difficult due to language


There are new technologies available to teach any language

quickly. For instance, Pimsleur guarantees a basic core fluency in just

10 days. Rosetta Stone has a good program of language instruction,

as well as others in the field. School districts need to utilize the most

up-to-date language teaching models so that all students can achieve

a basic competence in the early grades. Otherwise, students risk

getting to college with a very weak foundation to tackle the more advanced


In summary, the early grades from pre-kindergarten onward represent an

ideal time to introduce students to learning, the optimal setting for

learning, boundary setting and the fundamentals of the host language.

With the passage of time, students may lose the opportunity to learn these

life skills comprehensively. The stakes are high at the outset and the

passage of time only makes the task of teaching the basics harder and more

expensive to achieve.

Credits: First Listed on Blogcritics


What Should Be Taught In The Early Grades Beginning With Pre-Kindergarten

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March 30, 2013
thanks for this!
April 08, 2013
You are very welcome.
About the reviewer
Dr Joseph S Maresca ()
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Dr. Joseph S. Maresca CPA, CISA      26 Amazon / KDP Books including:      http://www.amazon.com/Dr.Joseph-S.-Maresca/e...11866699&sr=1-2-ent      … more
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