Field Experience Report: The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem

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Abstract
Being able to understand the development of a child is vital in aiding that child during that process. Parents play a vital role in this regard by offering the necessary support. On the other hand, once the child has been enrolled in a kindergarten or a preschool, most of the responsibilities of shaping the child are transferred to the teachers. This makes it vital for teachers to be able to help the child during their developmental stage. In this field report, the learner visits one kindergarten and one preschool to assess the learning environment. A comparison is made between these two schools as well as comparison with those proposed in Meier in her book The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in
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The advantage of this kindergarten school is the fact that its enrolment is not dependent on specific times of the year but rather it runs throughout the year. This makes it easier for parents to enroll their children at any time that they will. Apart from taking interns and other part-time teachers, the school employs AMS certified teachers thus making the school quite competitive. The school’s environment is quite serene, specially made for children. From the entrance of the main gate, one is met by artistically drawn child oriented graphics on walls. Visible and legible alphabets and numerals zero through nine can be seen on the walls and pavements of the school. This creates a good learning atmosphere for the children that they are able to differentiate between home environment and other entertainment environment from a school environment.
It is expected that since it is the introductory class towards a long journey into formal education, the child’s environment is expected to be one that the child can easily identify with as well as comfortable with. Cartoon pictures from famous films like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry among others are visible on various walls of the school making it an environment that the children can easily identify with. Al-Hooli & Al-Shammari (2009) asserts that during the early childhood education, it is important that the child identifies with the
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