Friedrich Froebel, noted German philosopher, educator, and founder of the kindergarten, asserted that every child is unique and believed that children can best develop the uniqueness through action. He held that all phases of the personality develop through action, asserting that in childhood this action is called "play." Frobel claimed that play should be considered appropriate basis for all childhood education and therefore established the kindergarten as the child's bridge between home play and school life (cited in Ransbery, 1982).
Today there exists a gap between prekindergarten educational programs and the functions of the kindergarten setting. The role of the Kindergarten teachers is also changing, and new curriculum objectives are being sought. Many children have had at least one year of early childhood education before entering kindergarten. As a consequence, kindergarten teachers feel pressured by by parents to provide a cognitively oriented curriculum. Unfortunately, this often causes conflict between kindergarten and primary teachers over educational prerogatives. Another factor contributing to the kindergarten teachers' already difficult task and producing further tension is the Independence gained by children in early education programs. The increasing number of kindergartners entering first grade from formal early childhood programs has prompted teachers to recognise that some curriculum changes may be appropriate (Elkind & Lyke, cited in Nall, 1982).
While approximately 50% of the children attending today's kindergartens have attended prekindergarten programs, the need for reinforcement and expansion of the basic transitional readiness skills still exists and to an even greater degree than formerly. Instead of involving kindergartners in a slowed down version of cognitive exercises that are introduced in the lower elementary grades, expansion of preparatory cognitional aptitude should be developed.
part 2 will be posted Wednesday...