Each preschool has its own ideas about how to provide care for young children, and its own approach to what resources to provide,what rules should be in place,what curriculum is best,how to measure success …
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Each preschool has its own ideas about how to provide care for young children, and its own approach to what resources to provide, what rules should be in place, what curriculum is best, how to measure success and, especially, what it means to support children’s development. That area is in preschool support of social and emotional development. It is critical that the preschool child develop social and emotional development skills, and one of the best ways to do so is in imaginative play. Therefore, this paper argues that preschool teachers must learn how to support young children’s socio-emotional development in imaginative play. There are some basic socio-emotional skills that need to be mastered prior to entering kindergarten. If these skills are not acquired, the child experiences difficulty with school lessons and school experience in more advanced grades. These skills are said to include: Identify and Understand Own Feelings Empathize (understand other people’s feelings) Self- Regulate (control own feelings, moods and behaviors) Cooperate (get along with peers and teachers for group activities) Establish and Sustain Relationships Pay Attention and Follow Directions (Boyd, 2005) These skills build on each other and even activate maturation of the brain (Ginsburg, 2007). For example, self-regulation requires proper pre-frontal cortex development. At the same time, development and maturation of the pre-frontal cortex is improved through practicing self-regulation. ...
argument I want to make, in this paper: that if preschool teachers do not support children in practicing socio-emotional skills, the child’s brain is likely going to be warped in a way that can be permanent, a case of bad teaching causing brain damage. This damage to the developing child’s capacity may go unnoticed at first, but becomes increasingly serious as time goes on. In fact, research indicates that children who fail to develop normal socio-emotional skills are at much higher risk for continued classroom misbehavior, peer rejection, low self-esteem, juvenile delinquency, and eventually a downward spiral into crime (Wenner, 2009). This costs the child a loss of their potential, and it costs society a lot of money and fear and loss. This tragedy is widespread. Kindergarten teachers’ ratings indicate that 20-30% of kindergarten children lack social-emotional skills (Boyd, 2005). The biggest tragedy is that it is easily preventable! One of the most important ways that a child can develop the necessary socio-emotional skills is through imaginative play (Barbour, 2007; Ginsburg, 2007). Imaginative play allows the child to develop both cognitive and socio-emotional skills. The child can practice skills, in safety, that have been slightly introduced earlier. For example, the child may have observed adults shaking hands in greeting, demonstrating politeness. The child may be intrigued by this social ritual but feel too shy to try it, in case of embarrassment. Imaginative play allows the child to create a situation within a personal comfort zone, in which that skill can be practiced. In terms of self-regulation, as another example, the child may have experienced a recent situation that aroused feels of intense anger at a sibling. The child understands that it is not
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