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Beyond basics in early childhood education ~A checklist for parents~

9 January 2023 11:07 am

A beautifully painted façade is not the complete the picture in early childhood education although, unfortunately, parents are often taken in by “the look”. There are many categories to the sector as teachers are now into attaining paper qualifications in the field. Undoubtedly, as a researcher, I am absolutely elated that it is so. The paper is important but so is the structure. The transition from pre-primary education to primary school is a key milestone in a child’s educational path. Therefore, what a child gains between ages 2-5/2-6 becomes the cornerstone in his progress throughout his school career and in life. The skills developed during these years sets the foundation for life. When parents understand this element it would be an easier guide to extending these skills to the home environment. I was appalled when a teacher quite ignorantly stated that there is nothing ‘new’ to learn in the Montessori system other than what has been happening in the last 100 years! Let’s begin there because MONTESSORI is the most abused, over used and under-valued form of early childhood education in SriLanka. The main reason for this is that teachers receive poor quality training in short duration courses. Student trainees are not willing to spend money and time to study the serious side of the system. It is only when they secure employment overseas that the penny finally drops. Given the situation, they will then opt for janitorial services in the school or begin fresh with proper guided courses. Montessori courses should never be offered online. Children learn better when they’re choosing what to learn, and this is the philosophy which is present in Montessori classrooms around the world. In SriLanka, it would be best to use this as a guide to those who use the name MONTESSORI on their signboards.  

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