Since the 1980s, a variety of pre-school approaches has existed within the ACT Public School System. These approaches are in theory based on different educational ideologies and principles. The Field Study Project evaluates and compares three different educational models; existing classroom processes and procedures, and student achievements in a ‘traditional’, a modified Montessori and a Weikart pre-school currently operating in the ACT Public School System. Using selected criteria, an analysis of the three educational models, an ecological survey and student assessments were carried out to make the evaluations and comparisons. The analysis of the three educational models indicate different program orientations and instructional preferences in the different models. The ecological survey results suggest that the ‘traditional’, the modified Montessori and the Weikart approaches identify with the models they are based on. Nevertheless, educational trends and orientations are similar in the three programs, which are predominantly cognitively oriented. In contrast, teaching styles differ slightly. It is significant that the teacher in the ‘traditional’ program fulfills a more nurturing role, while her colleagues in the modified Montessori and the Weikart programs fulfill more instructional roles. The evaluation and comparison of the student assessments seems to indicate that there are no significant differences in achievement in drawing, specific cognitive tasks and in self-concept development between matched groups of learners in the three pre-schools. The findings support the notion that middle class children enrolled in approved pre-schools develop cognitive abilities regardless of the type of program they attend. The evaluation and comparison of the three existing approaches in the ACT suggests that the pre-school organisation in the ACT Public School System is still strongly committed to the ‘traditional’ model, and makes only minor attempts to change educational patterns in pre-school education.
|Date of Award||1985|
Pre-school education in the act an evaluation and comparison of the traditional the Montessori and the Weikart approaches
Bleeker, M. (Author). 1985
Student thesis: Master's Thesis