This is a question that every young parent has to ponder, as their child reaches the age when they must enter the formal education system, and with so much importance in these early years, it is critical that your child gets a solid foundation prior to beginning their first year of formal education.
The Student Centred Approach
Why student centred you might ask? Well, history has shown that the best way for a person to learn is by using a hands-on approach, and the Reggio Emilia approach is perhaps the most effective when it comes to early years learning. This is an approach to early learning that was founded by an Italian pedagogist by the name of Loris Malaguzzi at the end of World War II, who sought out the help of the parents and together they created a structure and a recipe for the ideal learning environment.
This approach follows certain core principles, which are as follows:
- Children must have some control over the direction of their learning.
- Children learn best through the experiences of touch, movement, listening and observation.
- Children must have a relationship with other children and material objects that they can explore.
- Children must have many ways and opportunities to express themselves.
When using the student-centred approach, the teacher’s role must change, and instead of instructing the children, the teacher becomes a facilitator, who guides the children to discover knowledge though their own exploration. As an example, the children might be preparing to work together on a project, and even though the teacher knows the obstacles that the children will encounter, they avoid instructing this, as they would rather the kids meet the obstacle head-on. Although the teacher does not instruct in a traditional manner, she will guide the children and facilitate the learning process, and this teaches the children how to think critically and problem solve.
Sourcing a Student-Centred School
Fortunately, there is a very good kindergarten in Bangkok that uses the Reggio Emilia approach, and the school accepts children from 2 to 5 years old. Prior to enrolling, the parents are invited to tour the school, which is an important step, as it reveals the learning environment to the parents, and the school feels it is vital that all parents understand and accept the principles of this form of learning.
Reaching their Fullest Potential
This is the goal of a student-centred learning institution, and by giving the students the tools they need to self-learn, they are much better equipped to succeed in the modern world and reach their fullest potential, whatever that may be. Research shows that children who learn in this kind of environment are far more likely to excel in areas they are interested in, and by giving the children a say in what they learn about, the learners always have a high level of interest.
Give your child the ultimate start in life by enrolling them in a learner centred program, and you’ll be very glad you did.