Re-mix of Bev Bos’ “Constructivist Pre-School FAQ”

To sit children down and “teach” language and math takes those things out of the context of everyday life and of how young children learn – which is by doing, observing, collaborating and trying again.

Bev Bos is often cited as an inspirational mentor to pre-school teachers and program directors – she provides an accessible entry point for educators who want to learn what pre-school can be.   As well as being an inspiration to the Fullerton School District, she will be presenting at Fullerton’s Symposium on developing a Constructivist/Reggio pre-school program in a public school setting, to be held in Fullerton on October 17, 2015.

Adapted from http://www.rosevillecp.org/faq/

It seems so unstructured – is there any structure, or control?

There is structure and control. We “structure” the environment, and the children control how, when, and where they play.

Do you teach “phonics, numbers or the ABCs”?

We don’t drill the children and there are no worksheets. Our days are full of rhymes, chants, language, conversation and problem-solving. To sit children down and “teach” language and math takes those things out of the context of everyday life and of how young children learn – which is by doing, observing, collaborating and trying again.

Children's work area - (with power tools!) at Roseville Pre-school
Children’s work area – (with power tools!) at Roseville Pre-school

Do you teach the children to read?

What has to come first before a child learns to read, is having “experiences to attach words to” and “pictures on the walls of their mind.” Trying to teach young children to read is an example of how we tend to get things out of order. Everything builds on what just happened, so you need to be in the present developmental stage – it’s not only the best, but the only one the child can be in.

How will the children do when they go on to kindergarten?

Think of all your child has learned to do on their own: talk, walk, feed themselves, dress themselves, wash… Parents and educators seem to stress over children being able to sit still, for instance, when they reach kindergarten. You have to decide if that’s really what you want to impart to them, what is most important, or do you want to understand where the child is right now developmentally, and help them learn at full capacity, right where they are?

Roseville Pre-school - covered area and exterior play areas
Roseville Pre-school – covered work space and exterior play areas

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