- Blog By
Ms. Sumita Sen Mazumdar
Editor – Content & Academic Coordinator – KG
The Indian Public School
November 27, 2020 | In Blog
The whole-child approach in kindergarten focuses on all five key areas of a child’s development, i.e., physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills along with language, math, science, etc. Instead of just intellectual learning, all-round development is the aim of this educational process. While allowing for all facets of a young child’s learning journey to be nurtured, it also supports a smooth transition to subsequent higher grades at school. The whole child approach to learning and teaching encourages children to explore the world around them through their natural curiosity, talents and abilities; learn by being responsive to various experiences; and cultivate their enthusiasm to keep discovering and learning as they encounter different stimuli in their immediate environment.
A kindergarten school engaged in the whole-child approach to education will have policies and practices in place that secure for the children a nurturing environment where they feel safe, supported, engaged and challenged too.
A kindergarten classroom committed to focusing on the whole child such as at TIPS is one where children get to make choices about their learning, will have children interestedly engaged in meaningful activities and hands-on exploration of various materials for learning and also have displays of the children’s work and ideas on paper, craftwork or other forms of expression.
Physical development in kindergarten children will be marked by milestones such as establishing right or left hand dominance; being able to control their breathing; and gross and fine motor skills development. An example of gross motor development is building up core strength, balance and coordination as demonstrated through actions such as being able to run, jump, ride a tricycle, climb stairs alternating feet or skip while fine motor development is exhibited through actions like being able to pick up small items, brush teeth, dress oneself with more independence, eat and drink using utensils, cut with scissors, draw simple shapes like a circle, etc. Some of these activities are also important precursors to development of good pre-writing skills.
Social and emotional learning is necessary in kindergarten so that young children can lay the groundwork for understanding and managing their own emotions, showing empathy, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, setting and achieving positive goals and learning how to take responsible decisions.
Cognitive development means being able to understand, think and reason. It is the basis of all knowledge acquisition. In kindergarten, cognitive milestones include learning how to ask questions; understanding spatial relationships; visual discrimination; matching, sorting, comparing and classification; problem solving; imitation; understanding the difference between fact and fiction or truth and a lie; developing increased attention span; understanding cause and effect; simple reasoning, etc.
Only when we incorporate all these individual areas into daily classroom practices can we bring about the whole-child development approach effectively in kindergarten.
Also read LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL