Child-centered Approach to Teaching Preschool
Teacher as Facilitator
- For child-centered learning to work, the teacher must act as a facilitator, not directly instructing the students but instead providing them with tasks that promote learning. For example, a teacher might have students cut out and glue down alphabet letters; this helps children develop eye-hand coordination, and they learn the alphabet without a teacher standing in front of the class and laboriously discussing the skills.
- Many preschool teachers who adopt the child-centered approach rely on centers when directing students through lessons. By setting up different centers around the room, the children can move through activities more independently and at their own pace. A teacher might, for example, create a station where students count items in boxes and another where they match upper- and lowercase letters. This set-up makes working as a facilitator substantially easier, as it allows the teacher to move about the room and help students as they complete the stations, instead of leading direct instruction.
- Students can benefit from working with peers. Cooperative learning helps preschool students develop the skills they will need later for education success. It also gives them a chance to benefit from the knowledge of classmates. In the child-centered preschool classroom, educators should pair pupils as often as possible, as doing so makes learning enjoyable and effective. When pairing learners, teachers should aim to create mixes in which one student excels and another struggles. This allows students with differing skills to share their abilities and help each other.
- In a child-centered class, observation is the most common method of evaluation. This is ideal for preschool teachers, as their pupils often do not possess the skills necessary to complete any form of written assessment. When evaluating students and their skills, teachers can monitor the children as they complete learning activities and evaluate their degree of understanding based upon this observation.