Monday, June 13, 2016

A Day In Chinese Kindergarten

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Today I had the unique opportunity of being able to observe in the Greentown Kindergarten building.  I was…amazed.  The school building is only a year old and was architecturally unlike anything I have seen.  From the moment you step into the building it is clear the architect had children in mind.  Everything from shorter steps to accommodate the little legs that walk up and down them, to including kindergartener sized windows in all door, so the kids are able to look into rooms just as adults can.

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As you walk into the building you automatically find yourself in a child’s wonderland.  The lobby is something every teacher would dream of.  The design is so incredibly imaginative and playful.  On the opposite side of the lobby is a wallless gymnasium, open to the outdoors.  Again, something out of a child’s wonderland.
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It was quite evident that the philosophy of this school was to allow the students opportunities to discover the world around them at all costs.  Check out the room with knex type blocks built up around the entire room for the students to build and the science discovery activities hanging on the wall in the hallways!
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The kindergarten program was quite unique as well.  The students arrive at 9am and have group exercises led by the phys ed teacher first thing each morning.  After their exercises, they come up to their classrooms and begin their day of learning.  What amazed me the most was their level of independence.  I watched pre-k three year olds serve themselves lunch and clean up their plates after in a way that was just remarkable.  It was quite clear that very specific procedures had been taught and each and every student was following them precisely.
Interestingly, kindergarten teachers are required to have a wealth of skills, which are assessed before certification is administered.  In addition to the typical educational background knowledge, kindergarten teachers must also be proficient in playing the piano as well as creating artwork.  Each classroom had a piano and they had an amazing art room where the teachers work with their students to create beautiful works of art.
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The most drastic difference between American kindergarten and Chinese kindergarten is the level of expectation.  The student expectations are much more focused on behavior than academics.  While traditional kindergarten skills are taught, besides writing, it seemed as though kindergarten is more of a way to prepare students for primary school, rather than a time to push rigorous skills, which certainly brings up a lot of philosophical questions about the purpose of kindergarten.
On a more lighter note…..at dinner, I ate the Hangzhou specialty.  Something they are known for all around China……roasted duck tongue!  While it had the unusual texture of cartilage, the taste was quite good.  The bone in the middle of the tongue threw me, though!
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2 comments:

  1. The teacher allowed me and my son to tour her facility, and actually encouraged parents to aid in their child's transition by attending the Phoenix kindergarten for a week with child.

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  2. The tea and talk restaurant delhi & NCR offers a perfect sit out for the people of all age groups. As the name suggests the veterans can enjoy their own cuppa of tea over long political discussions, while the younger ones can enjoy their cup of tea with a variety of snacks on the menu. Phoenix Chinese Restaurant

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