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  • On Choosing a Preschool, Expert Says “Children should Have Choices”

    Dr. Thomas Armstrong on what makes a good preschool, assessing your child’s readiness, and how gadgets aid in learning.
  • Dr. Thomas ArmstrongOne of the biggest milestones in a child’s life is when he starts going to school. With different kinds of teaching methods and educational systems being introduced, what should a parent’s key considerations be in choosing a school for his/her child?

    Smartparenting.com.ph got the chance to interview Dr. Thomas Armstrong, an American multiple intelligences expert, educator and psychologist during his talk at the Superkids 2012 Conference on Early Childhood Education. Read on to learn about his recommendations.

    (Related stories: Picking The Right Preschool: What to Consider, The 5 Ps of What to look for in a Preschool, Choosing a Preschool (Traditional vs. Progressive))


    Smart Parenting (SP): What should a parent look for when searching for a perfect preschool?

    Thomas Armstrong (TA): “[It should be a school] where children are treated with respect.”

    “The curriculum is oriented toward drawing the child out.”

    “Kids get the chance to really read good children's literature.”

    “Children have the opportunity to make choices in what they are to learn.”

    “Teachers have a genuine and deep passionate interest in helping children achieve their full potential.”

    “There's a climate. What does the climate feel like? Does it feel dead? Does it feel too serious? Too formal? Or is there a sense of lightness and happiness and playfulness in the classrooms? Are the children engaged in the material; do they seem to be self-motivated? Or do they have to be motivated with rewards with points and smiley faces?

    If they have to be rewarded with points and smiley faces and little prizes and stuff like that, that's extrinsic learning. What you want in the best school is a school that promotes intrinsic learning, which is learning just for the love of learning.

    Look for a school that that instills in the children the desire to figure out how the world works and to learn how amazing the world is, to be astonished by all of the incredible things in nature, all the different life forms they are, in the universe, how it's structured, and to be inquisitive; to ask questions and to be curious and to have teachers who take those questions seriously and honor those questions and really respond to them in an honest and clear way, and then ask their students questions, and listen carefully to those responses, and to take those seriously.”


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