- Emphasis on cognitive structure and social development.
- Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom activity; child is an active participant in learning.
- Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline.
- Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to each student’s learning style.
- Mixed age grouping.
- Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other.
- Child chooses own work from interests and abilities.
- Child formulates own concepts from self-teaching materials.
- Child works as long as she/he needs on chosen project.
- Child sets own learning pace to internalize information.
- Child spots own errors through feedback from the material.
- Learning is reinforced internally through the child’s own repetition of an activity and internal feelings of success.
- Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration.
- Organized program for learning care of self and environment (cleaning the sink, taking care of plants or animals, etc.)
- Children work where she/he is comfortable, moves around and talks at will (yet does not disturbs the work of others); group work is voluntary and negotiable.
Traditional Child Care Setting
- Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development.
- Teacher has domain, active role in classroom activity; child is a passive participant in learning.
- Teacher acts as primary enforcer of external discipline.
- Instruction, both individual and group, conforms to the adult’s teaching style.
- Same age grouping.
- Most teaching is done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged.
- Curriculum structured for child with little regard for the child’s interests or needs.
- Child is guided to concepts by teacher.
- Child generally given specific time limit for work.
- Instruction pace usually set by group norm or teacher.
- If work is corrected, errors usually pointed out by teacher.
- Learning is reinforced externally by rote repetition and
- Fewer materials for sensory development and concrete manipulation.
- Less emphasis on self-care instruction and classroom
- Children usually assigned their own chair in day care; encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions.