Comparative Analysis of the Purpose of

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A Comparative Analysis of the Purpose of
Kindergarten in Finland and Ontario, Canada

The theories of Friedrich Froebel, the founder of kindergarten have influenced kindergartens in several regions including in Finland and Ontario, Canada. The kindergarten program in Finland is one of envy as it contributes the nation’s successful educational system. Kindergarten in Finland is a free service available to all children, which is similar to Ontario, Canada’s program which is also free to children in the province. The following paper will explore kindergarten in Finland and Ontario and illustrate that in spite of their differing systems, the principal focus of kindergarten in each region is to prepare students for formal schooling. The
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The Finnish society believes “that intervention at the kindergarten stage is the best way to give children a good beginning in life” (Jensen, 2009, p. 11). Ontario’s kindergarten system upholds the same belief and the reform that will be implemented in September 2010 will further solidify this conviction. Ontario’s new program will include aspects that are comparable to Finland’s.
Kindergarten programs in Finland and Ontario are organized differently; in spite of the fact that they are derived from Friedrich Froebel’s kindergarten beliefs and theories. The purpose of kindergarten in each region is to prepare children for formal schooling by maintaining continuity between kindergarten and formal school programs. The continuity of the both programs creates smooth transitions for children into the formal schooling stage. This is achieved by providing children with education experiences that bridge the move from one program to another. Although, the structure of kindergarten is unique to each region, the purpose in Finland and Ontario is the same. This paper will exemplify that the purpose of kindergarten in Finland and Ontario is consistent with one another, by examining kindergarten programs, curriculum, teacher qualifications and roles in each area.
Kindergarten in Finland The history of Finnish kindergartens can be traced back to the late 19th century where Friedrich Froebel’s kindergarten pedagogy and beliefs were applied by Finnish educator Uno
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