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Which Preschool is Right: Traditional

Which Preschool is Right: Traditional

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - February 1st, 2016

So far we have looked into Montessori and Progressive schools, but today let’s look at the preschool traditional model.

Traditional Schools

What is the Preschool Traditional Model Approach?

In the traditional classroom, also called cognitive and structured, there is a structured curriculum with specific goals for the children.  Goals are built around teaching children math, letters, numbers, sounds, shapes, problem solving, classifying, listening and more.  The talk around the water table is most likely to be teacher directed instead of child led.  Here, the teacher instructs, directs, explains and organizes each lesson.  Children learn from them instead of their own exploration. 

What does the Traditional Classroom look like?

In this type of classroom, all the kids are likely to be working on the same activity at the same time.  For example, at Thanksgiving, they may all work on putting pre-cut construction paper together to make turkeys.  The emphasis will be more on the finished product than the process.  If you go into a classroom and see a bulletin board displaying 20 matching turkeys, you are probably in a traditional school.  At a traditional school, kids might be working with preschool worksheets to learn math and writing.  There is an emphasis on school readiness.

There is much more emphasis on Formal Instruction.

Certainly there might be a free-choice period, but there is much more emphasis on formal instruction.  Children call teachers Mrs. X or Miss Y.  You might find uniform or a dress code at this kind of school.  At a traditional program, they will be strict about making sure that your child is toilet trained before the age of 3.  Studies have shown that kids who attend traditional schools are less aggressive toward peers, more task oriented and do better on IQ and achievement tests.  On the downside, they show less independence and initiative, their play is less imaginative, and they are less creative. 

Come back tomorrow for the final part of our series, as we explore the combination model!


Preschool Series:

Which Preschool is Right for Your Child?

Montessori Schools

Progressive Schools

Combination Schools

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