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In an article written by Scott states the earliest years of a childs life are key to predicting eventual success in school and life. Recent research findings pointing to the importance of the first three years in brain development have serious implications for education. The children's early learning experiences are important determining reasons for emotional and intellectual development and will affect how well a child will perform in their studies. Scientists believed that the neural connections in the brain are stimulated during the early window of opportunity, the stronger they become. It is so important that everyone who has contact with infants - including parents, grandparents, and caregivers - provide these children with lots of touching, loving, talking, and singing to help them develop to their full potential. Without that stimulation, certain types of learning will not be possible when the child enters school. With the proper stimulation, neural pathways are developed that can strengthen a child's emotional, social, and intellectual abilities.
Appropriate early childhood programs not only help your child's brain develop in a timely fashion, they also contribute to physical, emotional and social development. Along with school readiness, it is also important to look for key developmental milestones in your children.
Hurlock (1982) characterized early childhood years as " teachable moment" in acquiring skills. During this period children are enjoying the repetition of skill which is essential to learning skills until there is a mastery of the said skill. Also, during this time a child become "adventuresome" because they like to try new things even it will cause them harm. At this stage, they learn easily and quickly because their bodies are still pliable with the acquisition of new skills.
Avelino and Sanchez (1996) states that, there is a rapid development of the child's mental abilities between 3 to 6 years of their life. In fact, it is asserted to be the period of the fastest rate of I.Q development. Furthermore, by age of 4, the child has attained half of his final intellectual Abilities.
Since learning started from the earliest of ages, a lot of countries have started to go on curriculum reforms in early childhood education. They started to reshape their curriculum towards cultivating those types of people for their countries. Turkey, went on curriculum change on early childhood education in 2006 for the children between the 36-72 months -olds. (Erden, 2010).Singapore launched the Preschool Curriculum Framework in 2003. The resulting new curriculum focuses on developing the child holistically, on learning through play and experimentation, and on interacting with the teacher. (Ng, n.d) In 2001, China launched a large-scale curriculum reform in basic education (K-9) at the turn of the millennium to overcome perceived shortcomings in educational provision and to produce a globally competitive workforce.Â ( Li, Wang and Wong, 2011) In the Philippines, a reform of the kindergarten curriculum was implemented last School Year 2011-2012, wherein all five-year-old children shall avail of the free and compulsory kindergarten education program.
In one of the Educational Assessment on the Philippines education, EDCOM report in 1991 indicated that high dropout rates especially in the rural areas were significantly marked. The learning outcomes as shown by achievement levels show mastery of the students with important competencies. There were high levels of simple literacy among both 15-24 year olds and 15+ year olds. Repetition in Grade 1 was the highest among the six grades of primary education which reflects the inadequacy of preparation among the young children. The children with which the formal education system had to work with at the beginning of Education For All were generally handicapped by serious deficiencies in their personal constitution and in the skills they needed to successfully go through the absorption of learning. (Magno, 2010)
While there is no doubt that education in the early years is crucial, providing public education to young children is only the first step. Something is not necessarily better than nothing. Quality in early childhood education is a must. The program should have prepared the young learners to the rigors of regular schooling. Prior to the implementation of National Kindergarten, there are basic concerns and problems that have been addressed by the Alliance of Concerned teacher to ensure a premium kindergarten education program.Â These include: Â Â Â
Class size should be limited to 25 students per class.
Adequate number of classrooms and sanitary facilities like drinking facilities and toilets.
Provision of a meaningful curriculum that will truly benefit our learners.Â This should help the early learner in his or her preparation for her future - well-rounded citizens that should help in the development of our country.
Based on these premises, this study was conducted to find out if the problem on the Kindergarten education was resolved since the 2011 implementation of the Universal kindergarten curriculum in 2011 by assessing the Kindergarten Curriuculum in National CapitalRegion. The researcher wants to find out if the reform of the Kindergarten Curriculum has really an effect on the Philippine Education.
A wide range of early childhood curriculum models exists, but little is known about the number of early childhood curriculum models presently in use or the number of early childhood programs that use them. Early childhood curriculum models most often are used in center-based settings providing half-day and full-day programs. They are used in public schools, Head Start, and community-based programs. Consistent with their origin, curriculum models are most often used in programs serving low-income children.
Figure 1: The Research Paradigm
The research paradigm is composed of three divisions namely: Input, Process and Output. The input includes the Learning
Statement of the Problem:
This project aims to assess the current Kindergarten Curriculum and sought to answer the following questions
What is the status of the New Kindergarten Curriculum as assessed by preschool teachers with respect of the following components;
Teaching methodologies or strategies
Instructional materials used
What is the level of pupil's performance in terms of:
Physical health and motor development,
Social and emotional development,
Creative/aesthetic development, and
Language literacy and communication
3. What aspect(s) of the Kindergarten curriculum needs to be improved?
Significance of the Study:
This study is hoped to benefit the curriculum planners of the Department of Education since it can provide information on the success or what needs to be improved on the kindergarten curriculum. Another benefit of this study is for the teachers. They might know whether the activities provided to the learners will work to achieve the objectives of the program. The data can be used as a guide by the teachers to check the output of the program.
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study will deal with the 17 Public School Teachers in the National Capital Region. The public pre-schools covered in this study are the following:
Manila: P. Burgos Elementary School- Buenos Aires - Altura, Sta. Mesa
Quezon City: Holy Spirit Elementary School-6 Artillery Road, Garcia Heights
Pasay City: Apelo Cruz Elementary School -E. Rodriguez St., Malibay
Caloocan City: Bagong Barrio Elementary School- Malolos Ave. cor. G. De Jesus, B. Barrio
Mandaluyong: Renato R. Lopez Elementary School- J.P Rizal Mandaluyong
Marikina: Malanday Elementary School-Malaya St. Marikina
Makati: Guadalupe Viejo Elementary School- Guadalupe Viejo Makati
Pasig City: Manggahan Elementary School- Manggahan Pasig City
San Juan City: San Juan Elementary School- San Juan Metro Manila
Paranaque: Baclaran Elementary School-Pinaglabanan St. Baclaran Paranaque
Las Pinas: Zapote Elementary School-F. Santos Avenue Las Pinas
Valenzuela : Maysan Elementary School- Maysan Road Valenzuela City
Malabon: Potrero Elementary School- Pinagtipunan Circle
Navotas: Tanza Elementary School- TanzaMalabon
Taguig: C.P Sta.Teresea Elementary School- Manuel L. Quezon St.
Pateros: Sta. Ana Elementary School-P. Rosales St.
Alabang Elementary School- Purok1 Mendiola St.
Definition of Terms:
Character and Values Development. This refers to the experiences that help children develop a love for God, self, others and community. It also helps children develop awareness of their feelings and sense of right and wrong.
Cognitive/Intellectual Development. Ability to represent real objects, people and events mentally or symbolically ( Andaya, et.al 2007) it includes development in the areas of communication skills, sensory-perceptual and numeracy concepts and skills
Creative and Aesthetic Development. This refers to activities that includes arts, music and physical education taught as one.
Curriculum.This is the sum total of all learning content, experiences and resources that are purposely selected, organized and implemented by the school in pursuit of its peculiar mandate as a distinct institution of learning and human development (Aquino-Naval, 1997).
Kindergarten.A program or class for four-year-old to six-year-old children that serves as an introduction to school (The American Heritage Dictionary, 2009)
Instructional materials.This refers to objects that served as a tool for assisting in the instruction of a subject .
Motor Development.This is an area of development which includes gross and fine motor coordination through play and manipulative activities like games, simple work and those that develop physical fitness.
Physical Health Refers to what the children can do to compete on equal term with their peers in games and sports.
Physical Environment.This refers to the minimum requirement for the school site, the physical facilities and the learning equipment for a preschool.
Preschool Education. This refers to the education of children prior to first grade of elementary schools.
Social-Emotional Development.This refers to the development of a child's ability in relating to teachers, peers and other people through group play and / or interaction.
Teaching methodologies/strategies.Ways of presenting instructional materials or conducting instructional activities. (http://www.education.com/definition/teaching-methods/)
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES
This chapter presents the literature and studies which have bearing on this study. The review is focused on the curriculum, the basis of early childhood education, the foreign and local studies, and vision, perspectives and policies of early childhood.
Early Childhood Education
According to Fuerst and Petty as cited by Howard (2011), Early education programs also known as early childhood education programs or early developmental education programs refer to the early learning programs that focus on children from birth until kindergarten. These programs emphasize the importance of cognitive development, nutritional diet, parental interactions, and emotional growth early on, as a means to support healthy learning and strong development. However, by school terms, early childhood education incorporates the group settings for infants through elementary school grade three. In other words, early childhood education is a special branch of education servingwith children from infancy to elementary grade level of three (Gonzalez-Mena,
2008). As definitions imply, early childhood education brings the children (birth to
eight) into the arena. Significance of the early childhood education increased tremendously all over the world within the last twenty years. This situation is complementary with research results based on long term effects of early education to later life (Groark, et, al., 2007).
mportance of Early Childhood Education
According to The Texas State of Education (1999), children who attend preschool or other early education programs:
Have cognitive, verbal, and social development which is maintained into the first few years of school
Have significantly IQs
Enter school better prepared to learn
Are less likely to have to repeat a grade or be placed in special education classes
Are less likely to exhibit later delinquency and antisocial behavior
Are more likely to graduate from high school
Early education cultivates children in terms of socialization rather than a purely academic enhancement such as math and reading. Webb (2003) elaborated that children learn cooperation through education in child care centers and such skills help them to obey rules and stay safe in a society. Regarding socialization, parents also share the same perspective. In terms of children, in addition to social emotional and academic benefits,
Early education provides them a better future in the long term such as preparing them
for school and increase in high school graduation rates. Inevitably, knowing the benefits of early education for the individuals in the short and long term brings the discussion of early childhood necessity in society as a whole.
Governments start to put early childhood education into their agendas, especially, after it was proved that good quality of early education has long lasting effects on the children's later life productivity of the society. To illustrate, Oppenheim and MacGregor (2002) distinguished that children received early education are less likely to involve crime and more likely to complete their high school education and get into a college education. In other studies such as Chicago Longitudinal study and the Cost, Quality and Child outcome study indicated that getting high quality early childhood education make children become successful students and citizens in their later lives (Reynolds & Ou, 2004).
History of Early Childhood Curriculum
To be able to understand the foundations of early childhood curriculum, looking at the historical process gives us opportunity to see how young children and their way of learning is perceived by the past generations based on religious, ethnic,political and economic pressures of the times (Jackman, 2005). For example,Rousseau, who is famous with his book "Emile", believed in the idea of unfolding.For him "unfolding" can occur as a result of development according to children's innate timetables (Morrison, 2008, p.58). In fact, such an approach is used now as teachers choose their activities according to children's developmental levels.Moreover, Pestalozzi believed in that children learn through their senses and through this they can achieve their natural potential. "Whole person", observation and sympathetic approach of teachers were among the significant principles that he contributed to early childhood education (Clough, Nutbrown & Selbie, 2008, p.28).
Owen, on the other hand, believed in the importance of the environment which has effects on children's development. This idea is still valid today and early childhood Classroom environment helps children to develop their beliefs, behavior and Achievement (Morgan, 2006).
Froebel, known as the father of kindergarten, is another influential figure in
early childhood curriculum (Gordon & Browne, 2004). Froebel used planned curriculum which included gifts and occupations to educate children. Today, it is the same with the toys we use when we educate children. The concepts of unfolding and learning through play are among the biggest contributions of Froebel to early childhood curriculum models (Morrison, 2008).
Curriculum Models Used in Early Childhood Education
Throughout the history of early childhood education, diversity in early childhood curriculum can be seen. For example, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Head Start, High/Scope can be given among the well-known early childhood curriculum models. Today, principals of those models are appreciated in many early childhood education settings (Clough, Nutbrown & Selbie, 2008). In many parts of the world, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Head Start and High scope schools applying the principals of those models can be found.
The name itself comes from Maria Montessori, an Italian medical doctor whom was affected from Pestalozzi. Pestalozzi thinks that a teacher must have a special training combining both intellectuality and the ability of touching the hearts by feeling respect and sympathy for the children (Montessori, 1972). Montessori followed the ideas of Pestalozzi and she focused on the process of normal development to discover how human beings could reach their potential more fully than they did in traditional schools. Dr. Montessori worked with younger children before elementary schools. Dr. Montessori began her experiment in January 1907. She viewed her schools as laboratories in which to study how children learn best (Lillard, 2005).
According to Dr. Montessori's philosophy, child-sized environment offering beauty and order is the best for children's learning because it is cultivating and stimulating. In such an environment, children may choose her own work- activities that have meaning and purpose for her. In addition, there are times when carefully sequenced and structured materials (sensory materials) are introduced by the teacher to the child (Wortham, 2006). The Montessori curriculum is divided into motor education, sensory education, and language and intellectual education (Wortham, 2006).
Motor education: Montessori classroom is designed in order to provide children's free movement during the day. Children's fine motor skills are enhanced by the sensory materials as well as the work in the area of practical life. In addition, as children learn pouring materials, sweeping, polishing shoes, they have opportunity to foster both large and fine motor skills.
Sensory education: Manipulative and didactic materials are used for sensory education. The sensorial curriculum includes a large number of sets of materials that promote seriation, classification and conservation activities in a variety of media. The materials are sequenced according to difficulty with control of error being a primary objective.
Language and intellectual education: The sensorial materials are part of intellectual education. The teacher involves in careful pronunciation of words as he or she talks to the children and during teaching a concept, it is common to use physical dimensions of the objects such as big, thin, large and small. On the other hand, there is a three part lesson and when learning, for example, concepts of large and small, the teacher would first say, "This is the small ball". Second the teacher wants the child to show the small ball and finally, the teacher wants the child to name the object.Writing and reading activities are also crucial in Montessori curriculum. Firstchildren's fine motor skills are enhanced by active hands-on activities with the sensory materials. At the same time, the visual-motor understanding of alphabet letters and how to form them introduced. Exercises to write letters, words and how to read them are done. Once a child does those independently, reading and writing are expanded to writing sentences and reading simple books.
Reggio Emilia, a small city in industrial northern Italy, established what is now called "The Reggio Emilia approach" shortly after Second World War, when working parents helped to build new schools for their young children (New, 2000).
Founded by Loris Malaguzzi, the early childhood schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, have captured the attention of educators from all over the world. Inspired by John Dewey's progressive education movement, Lev Vygotsky's belief in the connection between culture and development, and Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development, Malaguzzi (Thorton & Brunton, 2009) developed his theory and philosophy of early childhood education from direct practice in schools for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The teachers in Reggio Emilia are partners and collaborators in learning with the children and parents. The teachers become skilled observers of children in order to plan in response to the children. Each group of children is assigned co-teachers. There is no lead teacher or director of the school. A pedigogista, a person trained in early childhood education, meets with the teachers weekly. Every school has an atelierista, who is trained in visual arts, working closely with teachers and children. The hundred of languages of children is the term teachers use in referring to the process of children depicting their understanding through one of many symbolic languages, including drawing, sculpture, dramatic play and writing. Teachers and children work together to solve any problems that arise (Goffin & Wilson, 2001)
The hundred of languages of children is the term teachers use in referring to the process of children depicting their understanding through one of many symbolic languages, including drawing, sculpture, dramatic play and writing. Teachers and children work together to solve any problems that arise (Goffin & Wilson, 2001)
Head Start is a publicly funded program. Developed in the 1960s for intervention with at-risk minority and low-income children, it is a comprehensive program that addresses the educational, nutritional and social needs of such children. It can be associated with public school districts or conducted as a separate program through a community agency.
These programs are the largest publicly funded educational programs for infants and toddlers (Early Head Start) and preschool children. They include health and medical screening and treatment, required parent participation and involvement, and comprehensive services to families. "Today there are Head Start programs in every state and territory, in rural and urban sectors, on American Indian reservations, and in migrant areas" (Essa, 2003, p. 24). From its inception in 1965, Head Start has sought to provide classroom-based and, most recently, home based comprehensive developmental services for children from low-income families.
High scope is a cognitively oriented curriculum (Wortham, 2006) when it is first developed in order to serve 3 and 4 years-old children from poor neighbors in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1962 so it helps children to become independent thinkers and problem solvers (Peyton, 2005). However through the four decades of working, the curriculum has evolved to the model that is used today. There are principles of the curriculum (Morrison, 2008, pp.101-102):
Active learning: Active learning is the most crucial way for children to make sense of their world because as they interact with the real world, as they have immediate first hand experience, they are able to build their own understanding.
Key experiences: Interacting with people, materials and ideas through a creative and ongoing way helps children to enhance mentally, emotionally, socially and physically.
Plan-do-review process: Children have right and time to plan their own activities, perform them and at the end, reflect on what they had done.
Parent component: By offering ideas about child development and learning, teachers make home visits.
Among those principles, active learning and key experiences form the core of the High Scope Model. In fact the four elements, child-adult interaction, learning environment, daily routines and assessment are the ones support active learning.
Child-adult interaction: Adult is the supporter in High-Scope Preschool program. Positive interaction strategies such as focusing on children's strengths, sharing control with children, forming an authentic relationship with children are highly valued in High- Scope classrooms. In other words, when dealing with the every situation in the classroom, the teacher is the guider and supporter which creates a harmony in the classroom.
Learning environment: Environment is significant in this model and it is arranged into different areas to foster children's different developmental levels. Many kinds of activities can be carried out in High-Scope classroom by the wide variety of materials.
Daily routines: Active learning is also supported by daily routines. Consistent routine is important. Plan- do- review session, small group and large group times when teachers also engages in, are crucial part of a typical High-Scope preschool classroom.
Assessment: There is a special observation record used for assessing the children's progress, The High/Scope Child Observation Record (COR) because observation is the major tool to understand children's development and learning. While observing and interacting with children, teachers also keep daily anecdotal records and planning sessions.
Brief History of Kindergarten in the Philippines
Kindergarten education in the Philippines started formally with private tutoring among children of well-to do-families. As recorded, the purpose of this type of pre-education at home was to prepare children right away for more advanced work and to save one or two years in school.
Formal education started during the Spanish era, with the Christian doctrine and prayers as the core. It is utilized with certain books like Cartilla which contains letters of the Spanish alphabet. Young Filipinos are coming mostly from the "bourgeois"(middle class) usually underwent some training in Cartilla that lasted for three to six months depending on the ability of the child to learn. The more educated adults in the community become the lawful teachers.
It was 1924, when Harris Memorial School in Manila pioneered preschool education under the directorship of Miss Mary A. Evans. A class was established by Mrs. Brigida Fernando after her training at Columbia University Teachers College. Interest in the Kindergarten movement was picked up by other private schools, both Catholic and Protestant. In 1935, The National Federation of Women's Club (NFWC) became the forerunner of nursery education. In 1940 the Bureau of Private schools had authorized 129 kindergarten classes getting an enrollment of 6, 449.
Harris Memorial School obtained government recognition to confer degrees of Junior Teacher's Certificate to graduates in kindergarten education in 1948. Through the leadership of Dr. Miguela Solis, then Superintendent of Teacher Education in the Bureau of Public Schools, preschool education was started in the government regional training schools.
Today, an interest in preschool education has grown not only in private schools but also in colleges and universities. In 1995-1996, Department Education implemented the eight-week curriculum known as Early Childhood Education in Grade 1. This is an integral part of the grade 1 curriculum and helps children especially those without the benefit of preschool experience to have a smooth transition from home to school.
In November 2011, the REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10157, known as Kindergarten Education Act was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate stating that
" In consonance with the Millennium Development Goals on achieving Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015, it is hereby declared the policy of the State to provide equal opportunities for all children to avail of accessible mandatory and compulsory kindergarten education that effectively promotes physical, social, intellectual, emotional and skills stimulation and values formation to sufficiently prepare them for formal elementary schooling. This Act shall apply to the elementary school system being the first stage of compulsory and mandatory formal education. Thus, the kindergarten will now be an integral part of the basic education system of the country." (http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2012/ra_10157_2012.html)
Preschool Education in the Philippines
Legal Bases. President DiosdadoMacapagal showed his support for the preschool
Education program when he issued the " Declaration of Filipino Children's Rights and Responsibilities" which provides: 1.) Every Child has he right to receive an education to help him become an asset to society; 2.) Every child has the right to the care , assistance, and protection of the government for the purpose of a well-rounded development; 3.) Every child has the right to live in a community, and facilities for s wholesome growth and development. ( Aggasid, 1997)
Public elementary and secondary education is a public or state function supported by the national government. The Constitution (1987) stipulates that " the State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps make education accessible to all.
The Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Law, enacted in 2000, recognizes the importance of early childhood and its special needs, affirms parents as primary caregivers and child's first teachers , and establishes parent effectiveness, seminars and nutrition counseling for regnant and lactating mothers. The law requires the establishment of a National Coordinating council for the welfare of children which: (a) establishes guidelines, standards and culturally relevant practices for ECCD programs; (b) develop a national system for the recruitment, training and accrediting of caregivers; (c) monitors the delivery of ECCD services and the impact on beneficiaries; (d) provides additional resources to poor and disadvantaged communities in order to increase the supply ECCD programs; and (e) encourages the development of private sector initiatives.
The Universalization of early childhood education and standardization of preschool and daycare centers was established through Executive Order . 58 of 2008 ( Expanding the Preschool Coverage to Include Children Enrolled in Day Care Centers). (UNESCO, World Data on Education, 7th edition, 2010/11)
The REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10157, known as Kindergarten Education was implemented last School Year 2011-2012 to ensure access to and quality education for all the five (5) -year old children. Its implementation aims to:
Expand the coverage of Kindergarten education to reach 5-year old children in the poorest households; and
Improve their readiness and foundational skills to be ready for the primary grades. (DepED ORDER 37 s. 2011)
The Department of Education (DepEd) is the principal government agency responsible for education and manpower development. The mission of the department is to provide quality basic education that is equitably accessible to all and lays the foundation for lifelong learning and service for the common good. (http://www.lawphil.net/administ/deped/deped.html)
The framework of the Kindergarten Curriculum ( 2012) upholds the sixteen (16) general principles of the National Early Learning Framework (NELF) as guides on (1) child growth and development (2) learning program development and (3) learning assessment development:
ON CHILD GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT .The following are the general guiding principles of child growth and development:
1. Every child is unique. Growth and development varies from child to child of which the first six years of life are most vital. He/she has an innate desire to learn and is best done through meaningful and real experiences.
2. Every aspect of growth and development is interrelated and interdependent. The child needs to be nurtured in a good and caring environment that enhances healthy and dependable relationships with other children and most significant adults.
3. The learning and development of every child involve a series of complex and dynamic processes that are best attended to in a more positive and responsive manner. 4. The child must be encouraged to aspire beyond one's own level of achievements and to practice newly acquired competencies.
5. Every child is a thinking, moving, feeling and interactive human being able to actively participate in the learning and development of self in the context of one's family and community including cultural and religious beliefs.
ON LEARNING PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT.
6. The learning program is child centered. It promotes the holistic way by which young children grow and develop; and recognizes the role of families and communities to support the child through various stages of growth and development.
7. The learning program is appropriate for developing the domains of development identified in the NELF; and must sustain interest in active learning of all young children including those with special abilities, are marginalized and/or at risk.
8. The learning program is implemented by way of diverse learning activities that may be enhanced with technologies such as interactive radio and audio/video clips for learning areas.
9. The use of learning materials and other resources that are locally developed and/or locally available is encouraged.
10. The mother tongue shall be used as the child's language of learning in the early years and shall be recognized as a bridge language of learning.
ON LEARNING ASSESSMENT
11. Assessment is done to monitor learning, know where the child and inform parents of the child's progress.
12. Assessment is essential to identifying the child's total developmental needs and does not determine academic achievement.
13. Assessment is best conducted on a regular basis so that a timely response may be made to improve learning areas.
14. The results of the assessment of learning of a child shall be kept strictly confidential
15. Ratings should be qualitative/descriptive and not only numerical.
16. The family and community may be informed of the general outcomes of learning in the early years so as to encourage further cooperation and partnerships
The philosophy of early of early childhood education considers theChild, the school and the teacher with the support of the family in maximizing the child's potential. Early childhood education is based on his knowledge that each child is a unique individual with his own biological make-up, interest, capabilities and ways of viewing the world. It aims to develop children in all aspects (physical, social, emotional, and cognitive) which prepare him to adjust and cope with life situations. Furthermore, it develops the child to become a self-propelling, thinking, and contributing individual enabling him to make decisions which will prepare him for the more complex demands of the future life.
( DECS Order No. 107, s. 1989)
The Philippine Kindergarten Curriculum adaptsDevelopmentally appropriate curriculum that is age-appropriate, individually appropriate and socio-culturally appropriate ( NAEYC, 2009) This covers the three philosophies in education: behaviorism, maturationism and constructivism.
Behaviorism is a teacher centered philosophy that focuses on human behavior as a reaction to external stimuli, and believes that changing the environment can change misbehavior. B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) is the best known of the modern behaviorist. He built on other behaviorist theorists by noting that children's (and adults, for that matter) behavior and learning can be shaped by providing rewards and punishment. He believed that there is a great deal of diversity in behavior and learning because all children experience different rewards and punishment from the adults in their lives. ( Swim, ND.)
Maturationist philosophy holds the belief that we can maximize young children's earning by listening to nature. ( MacNaughton, 2003) Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), believed that a child is like a seed that contains all the elements to produce a wonderful apple if given the proper mounts of nutrients from the soil and water along with sunshine and an ideal climate. Maturationists believe that each child's physical, social emotional and intellectual development follows an individual schedule that is basically predetermined and will develop to his potential when placed in an optimal environment.
( Brewer, 2004)
In a Constructivists point of view,children create knowledge through interactions with the environment. Children are not passive receivers of knowledge; rather, they actively work at organizing their experience into more complex mental structures. Piaget and Inhelder's description of children's thinking include the concepts of assimilation, accommodation, and equilibrium. Assimilation is fitting information into existing schemas or categories. If child developed a schema for "dog"and is presented with a new example of dog such as St. Bernard, the new example can be included the existing schema. Creating a new category is accommodation. Through a series of repeated assimilations and accommodations, the child eventually creates a mental structure that will account for animals. Equilibrium is the balance achieved whenever information or experience is fitted into a schema or new schema is created for it.
Vygotsky (1978) described learning as the construction of knowledge within a social context. He believed that learning could not be separated from its social context and that learning could lead development. The table below shown general overview of the three philosophies on the development of children: ( Brewer, 2004)
No special Attention
Indicator of readiness for social and intellectual tasks
Internally motivated; influences other areas of development
Learning is achieved through reinforcements and rewards; is incremental
Learning is unfolding of the child's potential if in an optimal environment
Learning is a continuous process of assimilation and accommodation; results changes in thinking, rather than incremental growth of facts
Shaped by reinforcements
Dependent on optimal environment
Learned through process testing hypotheses; same learning in other areas
Shaped by reinforcements
Dependent on optimal environment
Learned through internal process; developmental
External: rewards and punishments
Internal; child follows own program
Internal; child is active in own development
In a Joint Position Statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS/SDE they believed that High-quality early education produces long-lasting benefits. The curriculum that should be implemented is thoughtfully planned, challenging, engaging, developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically responsive, comprehensive, and likely to promote positive outcomes for all young children. Indicators of effectiveness are a.) Children are active and engaged, b.) Goals are clear and shared by all, c.) The curriculum is evidence-based, d.) Valued content is learned through investigation, play, and focused, intentional teaching, e.) Curriculum builds on prior learning and experiences, f.) Curriculum is comprehensive, g.) Professional standards validate the curriculum's subject-matter content., and h.) The curriculum is likely to benefit children. ( Early Childhood Curriculum Assessment and Program Evaluation, 2003, p. 2)
In the Philippines, the Department of Education believes Kindergarten is a transition stage between informal literacy and formal literacy (grade 1-12) Central to the kindergarten curriculum is the child who is envisioned to be prepared for life. It is anchored on the developmental practices and leading early childhood education principles and approaches. There are no formal subjects in kindergarten. Instead, there are six developmental domains, namely:
Physical Health and Motor Developmentrefer to a child's physical growth, health and safety, and the development of skills related to the use of large and small muscle groups.
The Physical growth and maturation are important aspects of the overall development of the preschool children. Young children are energetically and need be physically active. They use their bodies to investigate interesting people, objects, and events; to represent their thoughts and feelings; to express their responses to literature, music and the visual arts. ( Andaya, et, al. 2007)
Motor skills both gross and fine resulting from physical development enabling children to perform smooth and coordinated physical acts. Children at Age 5 can hops about 50 feet, balances one foot, can catch large ball. They can color within lines, form letter, dresses and undresses self with the help, and eats more neatly. ( Dacey and Travers, 2009)
Social - Emotional Development- refers to the child's ability to know one's self, express and understand feelings, and relate to others.
According toOesterreich (1995), Five-year-olds are cheerful, energetic, and enthusiastic. They enjoy planning, and spend a great deal of time discussing who will do what. They especially enjoy dramatic play, usually with other children. Five-year-olds are more sensitive to the needs and feelings of others around them. It is less difficult for them to wait for a turn or to share toys and material. "Best friends" become very important.
3. Character/ Values Development-refers to a developing understanding of justice and fairness, right and wrong, love and respect for different arenas of the child's life.
4. Cognitive/Intellectual Developmentrefers to a child's ability to abstract, understand concepts and their logical relations, and to manipulate them to arrive at new ideas or conclusions.
On Piaget's Cognitive development a five - year old falls under second stage, preoperational thought. It features the flourishing use of mental representationsand the beginnings of logic (intuitive thought).Although logic is emerging, it isbased only on personal experience (Piaget called it intuitive). Also, as you will see shortly, children still do not recognize that some logical processes can be reversed. During the preoperational stage children will practice, and even playfully exaggerate, their new symbolic or mental representation abilities. (Cook, 2005) They remember and talk bout their memories, which signals growing symbolic ability and language acquisition. With no formal training, and often exposed to incorrect language models, children learn sounds; they combine the sounds into words. They put words in the correct order; they distinguish past from present and they identify plurals. ( Dacey and Travers, 2009)
5.Language development refers to a child's ability to understand and use language to communicate ideas, learn to acquire language skills in preparation for reading, writing and counting.
At age five, children are able to understand relationships between objects, such as "the girl who is playing ball" and "the boy who is jumping rope.", Usually can carry on a conversation with another person, often call people (or objects) by their relationship to others, such as "Bobby's mom" instead of "Mrs. Smith." and Can define words such as "spoon" and "cat."( HealthwiseStafff, 2010)
6. Creative and Aesthetic Developmentrefers to the child's awareness of and development of their innate talent and creative skills. The domain includes music, visual arts, drama, dance and creative movements.
This Creative and Aesthetic Development Domain is a recent addition because it is recognized as equally important as the other five domains in the development of the young learner. Thus, the benchmarks and expectations particular to this domain are yet to be finalized. (K to 12 Curriculum Guide -Kindergarten, 2012, p. 8-11)
Developmentally Appropriate Early Childhood Programs
Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has been an important guideline for early childhood programs in the US since its inception in 1987. In addition, other national associations such as National Education Goals Panel (NEGP), National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS/SDE, and Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) also strongly support DAP ((Bredekamp & Copple, 1997; Moyer, 2001).
Charlesworth (1998) argued that DAP is for everyone with diverse socioeconomic status, culture, race, gender, age, or special needs. Elkind (1989) also stated that a challenging, developmentally appropriate learning environment would help children develop creative thinking and critical thinking abilities. Empirical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of DAP in enhancing kindergarten children's learning and development. For instance, kindergarten children who enrolled in DAP classrooms had better grades in science and in physical and social skills (Marcon, 1993) and scored higher on rote learning and applied knowledge skills (Huffman & Speer, 2000).
Teachers are an important element of high-quality, developmentally appropriate early
childhood programs. According to NAEYC and NAECS (NAEYC, 2003), teachers are the key to the implementation of high-quality curriculum and assessment in early childhood programs. They are decision-makers in the classrooms and their role is critical in supporting children's development and learning (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). Early childhood teachers should be knowledgeable about child development and learning, the uniqueness of the individual child, and the social and cultural context when making decisions about their practices (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). The Association of Childhood Education International (1986) also advocates for developmentally appropriate kindergartens staffed with early childhood teachers who are knowledgeable in child development, listen thoughtfully to children, regularly assess children's interests, needs, and skill levels, design positive learning environment, help children establish their self-esteem, utilize a variety of instructional approaches, and provide varied experiences for
kindergarten children. Because the teacher is critical in the implementation of the developmentally appropriate approach, the teacher's attitudes and beliefs about classroom practices are important. Research showed that teachers' developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices not only influence program quality but children's learning outcome. McCarty, Abbott-Shim, and Lambert (2001) found that teachers in low quality classrooms tended to have more inappropriate beliefs and practices than did those teachers in high quality classrooms. Jones and Gullo (1999) found that both teachers' developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices were associated with children's
positive social skills ratings, but not academic achievement. Research findings indicate teachers' beliefs and how they are related to their practice are important issues in the delivery of early childhood education (Rusher, McGrevin, and Lambiotte, 1992). Through understanding kindergarten teachers' beliefs and practices, teacher educators and policy makers could provide and develop educational opportunities and policies to enhance teacher and program quality of kindergartens.
Behrman, Ghuman, Duazo, Gultianoand Lee ( 2005) evaluated the importance of ECDinitiative of the Philippine government using longitudinal data collected over three years on a cohort of 6,693 children age 0-4 at baseline in two "treatment" regions that received the ECD program and a "control" region that did not receive the intervention. The main method used to estimate the program impact is to match children in the treatment and control regions with respect to a variety of observed characteristics measured at the municipality, barangay, household, and child level, and to then estimate the relative change in ECD across time in treatment compared to control regions (i.e. The "difference in- difference" estimator). The results indicate that
There has been a significant improvement in weight-for-height Z scores among children age 5 and above in the third survey round (age 3 and above at baseline).
We also find evidence of substantial increases in cognitive, social, and motor development scores for children age 3 and below who reside in ECD program areas relative to those who do not.
Finally, there is evidence of an important decline in the proportion of children below age 4 with worms in the program compared to non-program areas.
This paper has presentedat the Population Association of America Annual Meetings in Philadelphia on 1 April 2005 at Session 108 on "Long Term Effects of Early Childhood Interventions" by Sharon Ghuman.
Ruberinstein Reich (1993) focused on the curricular event of the preschool program called "circle time". In Sweden the preschool institution caters to children aged one to seven. " Preschool" is the general term, denoting day- care centers and part-time groups. The chief question addressed study was what actually happens during circle time, and what are the implications for the participants? The results indicate that circle time is both a ritual and meeting. To the staff, circle time corresponds to a need for structuring activities and indicating obvious changes during the day. Circle time also makes it manifest that something is being done, involving a legimitation and also an opportunity to appear before others and be acknowledged. Circle time affords the staff a scaffolding for their working day, a chance of gaining recognition and justification in their professional roles. To the children, the circle can be an asset entailing affirmatorymeeting, but also restraint where discipline and coercion are prevalent. The person conducting circle time faces a number of dilemmas which are resolved by resorting to different strategies.
Baptiste's (1993) purpose of study was to utilize the input of current New Mexico early childhood program administrators to:
Describe the New Mexico early childhood program administrators
Determine perceived immediate (in-service) training needs in four tasks to perform areas; and;
Suggest knowledge and skill areas that should be required prior to employment (or service) training needs.
The study revealed an educationally and experientally diverse group pf early childhood program administrators, the meajority of whim represented licensed day care centers. Respondents indicated;
A perceived need for further training in all aspects of their jobs but particularly in the task performance areas of organization theory and leadership and legal and fiscal issues;
A lack of training in the content areas of early childhood administration program management and business administration; and
That's all the knowledge and skills in the task performance areas of organizational theory and leadership and child development and early childhood programming areas should be required prior to employment.
Erden (2010), aimed at investigating the challenges preschool teachers face in the curriculum implementation and whether these challenges differ in relation to teachers' level of education, the department they graduated from, the type of the school they are working in, teaching experience and level of in-service training.. In addition, in this study, it was also aimed to find out the underlying reasons of most frequently stated issues of implementation from the teachers' perspectives. The results indicated that the most frequently reported issues by the participants were the problems related to evaluation and physical facilities followed by the ones related to planning science and math activities, organizing field trips, providing parent involvement and inclusion. Results showed that the problems related to physical facilities experienced by preschool teachers working in public kindergartens were significantly differed compared to teachers working in private preschools.
Bose ( 2005) sought to evaluate the pre-school program in the public city schools of the Division of Tarlac she found out that majority of the pre-school teachers finished Bachelor of Elementary Education ( BEED). No one of them finished a specific course for pre-school. All of the teachers were not qualified to teach in the pre-school. In terms of teaching strategies, most of the pre-school teachers used story telling because children love to listen to stories and teachers can easily catch their attention. In addition, the general average of the pre-school pupils was only 82.62, with a descriptive rating of satisfactory only. This implies that city schools were not efficient in the attainment of the specified objectives of the program.
Zapanta (2003) studied the effectiveness of the preschool program in the public schools in the Victoria West District in Tarlac. To measure the effects of the program in the child's physical, personal-social, affective and cognitive development based on actual performance of the pupils, 100 pupils were sampled from the district'senrollment.Teacher made test was used to measure the output of the program in terms of the development components. This was validated by a table of specification. It was a dry run to pupils in different district for item analysis and to establish the difficulty and discrimination indices of test. The results showed that;
Under physical development, the curriculum was found weak in the development of large muscle and In developing the creativity of the children. Fine muscles development was the most emphasized.
Under personal-social development, good habit formation, independence in grooming, cooperative play, and following rules and routine were not fully developed by the preschoolers. The performance of the preschoolers in this aspect was satisfactory.
The curriculum was satisfactory on the affective development.
Among the 3 skills involved under the cognitive development, the numeracy skills were the most developed.
A Masters thesis of Valencia (2001) he suggested in terms of instructional and learning materials the acquisition multi-media instructional technology like VHS, VCD, computer, television, overhead projector, etc. should be financed thru resource seeking activities, i.e., seeking a donation or sponsor of concerned business and industry. Supervised lunch activities, rest and free periods must be observed religiously, play and field trips must be initiated as integral parts of the preschool program.
A study conducted by Arakakias cited by Bose (2005) of the Baguio Colleges Foundation attempted a survey of ten preschools inthe Baguio City area. Involved in the survey were five non-sectarian and five sectarian preschools. The phases of school administration and supervision covered by the survey were the philosophy, curriculum content, administration, school financing, facilities and equipment, qualification of teachers, salary scale and also the in-service education programs of the preschool schools. The study revealed that the different preschool schools have various administrative and supervisory activities and practice for the four areas covered.
Vito (1990) tried to assess the significant relationship between pupil's profile and pupils' performance. The result was that there was a significant relationship between the profile of pupils in terms of age, family size, and parental assistance and academic performance in the social-emotional and cognitive aspects. In addition, there was a significant relationship between teachers' profile and cognitive development and motor and creative development.
Galang (1999) attempted to analyze the effects of preschooling to the academic performance of primary grade pupils at the Victoria West Central School. She found out that in grade level, significant differences were recorded in grades I and II, with the t-value of 4.44 and 2.4163 respectively and insignificant in Grade III with the t-value of 0.0567. She also found out that in al subject areas pupils with preschool education performed much better than those with no preschooling.
Based on her findingsshe concluded that 1.) pupils who underwent preschooling are better than those who did not have the preschool educational experience; 2.) nobody among the primary pupils achieved an outstanding remark in all subject areas; 3.) the effect of preschooling is felt until the Grade II level. From Grades I and II, pupils with preschooling significantly showed superior pew or ace over their counterpart. However in Grade III pupils without preschooling begin to catch up with the performance of pupils with preschooling.
Margallo (1999) studies were regarding the factors involved in the establishment of preschool learning center. She found out that with the many profile factors identified in the study, preschool teachers were proven to be the most important factor in facilitating quality education and is reflected from the kind of program/curriculum, the school management observed and were found to be related to the school's image. Furthermore, the achievement of the aims which are in the development and progress of the intellectual, socio-emotional, including value formations and physical skills of the children, rely on the approach of preschool teachers with the observance of management policies.
METHODS OF RESEARCH AND SOURCES OF DATA
This chapter presents the research design that will use in the study, population, the procedures in gathering data and the statistical treatment of data.
This study utilized the descriptive survey method This is an evaluation study which will use the input-output model. The inputs refers to the teaching strategies, physical environment curricular content and instructional materials used. The output of the program will be measured in terms of the performance of the pupils as to Physical and Motor, Social-Emotional, Character, Cognitive, Language and Creative-Aesthetic Development. This model will be used to evaluate the Kindergarten Curriculum in National Capital Region.
The Population and Samples
The population of this study will include 17 school administrators, 17 preschool teachers in the National Capital Region. All these people will be tapped at the study. To measure the pupils performance, the Preschool teacher will be asked to evaluate the class average rating regarding the given Indicators on the questionnaire.
Data Gathering Tool
To collect data and information for the study, the researcher will construct two sets of questionnaires to be administered to the school administrators and preschool teachers. The questionnaires for teachers will be asked about their evaluation of the Curricular Content, Teaching methodology and Instructional materials used. The question for the administrators will be about the physical environment of the preschool.
There are two assessment tests that the researcher is thinking to use to measure the output of the program. 1.) The DepEd's School Readiness Assessment Examination (Syria). SReA is aligned with the standards and competencies for five-year-old children. 2.) Teacher made test that will be validated by using tables of specification to assure well distribution of content among the objectives of the program. The test will be done by a dry run to provide the characteristic indices of the items. The item of the test will be validated using item analysis.
Collection of data
Before administering the questionnaire to subject respondents, permission to conduct study from the City Schools Division Superintendent , and from the District Supervisors of the schools. A visitation schedule will be prepared. The researcher will personally conduct the distribution of questionnaire to one school each in the city of National Capital Region:
The data to be collected from the respondents will be examined, analyze and interpret carefully using frequency counts, percentages and averages.
The formula for the mean is as follows:
Â X= Î£fX;
Where the sum of; f=frequency; X= index