Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kindergarten (German for garden for children) is a name used in many parts of the world for the first stages of a child's classroom education. In some parts kindergarten is part of the formal school system; in others it may refer to pre-school or daycare.
Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel officially opened the first Kindergarten in 1840 to mark the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of movable type by Gutenberg It was at Bad Blankenburg in the small principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, in Germany where had opened a Play and Activity Institute in 1837.
In North America kindergartens are usually administered in an elementary school as part of the K-12 educational system. Kindergarten is considered the first grade of formal education. In Ontario and Wisconsin there are two grades of Kindergarten; Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten (JK and SK).
After kindergarten a child moves to Grade 1.
Kindergartens (German plural Kindergärten) in Germany are not a part of the actual school system, as they are in the USA. The German translation of "pre-school", Vorschule, is used for educational efforts in the Kindergarten, which are handled differently in every German state. Kindergarten establishments (day-care) in Germany are for pre-school children of all ages, and are often run by churches, city or town administrations.
The first year of school in England and Wales is called Reception, or to a lesser extent Year 0. Pre-school daycare (which is not part of the school system) is called Nursery School. Kindergarten is occasionally used instead of nursery school, but this is mainly for marketing purposes.
In the state of New South Wales the first year of primary school is called kindergarten. In Victoria, kindergarten is a form of, and used interchangeably with, pre-school. Other states and territories may or may not follow either model.
Function of kindergarten
Youngsters, usually aged 2-4 years old, attend kindergarten to learn the finer points of meeting friends (and enemies), professional authority (in the form of a teacher), playtime, naptime, drawing, music, reading, writing, math, a foreign language, and various other activities. For children who previously have spent most of their time at home, kindergarten often serves the purpose of training them to be apart from their parents without anxiety.
The youngster continues to Grade 1 after kindergarten.
Many private businesses in the USA name their day-care businesses 'Kindergarten' or 'Kindergarden'.
Kindergartens often last only for half a day (morning or afternoon), though in many locations there are full-day kindergartens.
What should kindergarten activities include?
There seem to be many positive learning and social/behavioral benefits for children in kindergarten programs. At the same time, it is widely felt that what children are doing during the kindergarten day is more important than the length of the school day. Gullo (1990) and Olsen and Zigler (1989) warn educators and parents to resist the pressure to include more didactic academic instruction in all-day kindergarten programs. They contend that this type of instruction is inappropriate for young children.
Also, an all-day kindergarten program can provide children the opportunity to spend more time engaged in active, child-initiated, small-group activities. Teachers in all-day kindergarten classrooms often feel less stressed by time constraints and may have more time to get to know children and meet their needs.
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- Preparing for Kindergarten
- Recent Research on All-Day Kindergarten
- The Shifting Kindergarten Curriculum
- Readiness for Kindergarten
- Full-Day Kindergarten Programs
- Escalating Kindergarten Curriculum
- He Has a Summer Birthday: The Kindergarten Entrance Age Dilemma
|Kindergarten||Primary education||Secondary education||Post-secondary education||Tertiary education||Quaternary education|
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