Teaching And Learning In The Child Day Care Center

What does learning look like in a child day care center? The answer to this question might not be what you're thinking. The words "learning" and "school" make many adults think of neat little rows of desks, worksheets, and a teacher standing in front of a group of children "instructing." But, this isn't what you're likely to see in a pre-k. Why not? Primarily, because the more traditional teaching strategies aren't effective when it comes to helping young children to learn and develop. Check out what types of learning (and which strategies) you should see used in your child's daycare center.

Play-Based Activities

The kids are sitting on the carpeted floor building with blocks. They're creating their own town, making a castle, and fortifying it. Some of the children are turning other blocks into horses and others are turning their blocks into knights, a king, and a queen. It looks like a typical play scene. And, it is.

But, this is also a learning experience. The pretend play that's going on is helping the children to develop creativity and build critical-thinking skills. The young students are problem-solving as they play, while developing fine motor skills. The same type of play-based learning happens during different activities, such as science experiments and art-making.

Experiences Exploring

Exploration is a major feature of the early childhood classroom. Instead of being talked at or told, young children are often encouraged (by the teacher) to explore and make discoveries for themselves. This means that the child acts as the investigator, observes, and draws conclusions.

Science is a prime example where exploration-based learning is used. The teacher won't just say, "When you put a rock and a feather in a tub of water the rocks sinks because it's heavier." Most likely, the teacher will give the materials to the children and let them do the experiment themselves.

Teacher as Guide

Yes, exploration is commonly used in the preschool classroom. But, that doesn't mean the teachers sit back and do nothing. The early-childhood educator serves as a guide, providing encouragement and helping the children to make discoveries. This might include asking open-ended questions (questions that don't have a "yes" or "no" answer), making suggestions, giving specific feedback, or praising the child's efforts.

Learning in the child day care center doesn't always look like what many adults think of as "traditional instruction." From using play as a way to grow and develop to making explorations, early-childhood educators can help preschoolers learn through methods that match the young child's needs and abilities. For more information, contact a child care center like Carousel Of Learning Pre-School & Nursery.