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Analysis of Pre-school in Three Cultures Introduction Initially, a video was shot as an accompaniment to a book on effective pre-school learning, which is titled, Pre-school in Three Cultures. Three social scientists, Joseph Tobin, David Wu and Dana Davidson, had prepared this book and they had shot this video for conducting research on pre-schooling in three different cultures…
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Download file to see previous pages Also this exhibition was repeated in different cities in each country to different audiences and their reaction also recorded. Also the videos from each country were shown to the audiences from the other two countries and their responses also recorded. The outsider opinions were used to determine the cultural differences among pre-school learning processes in the three countries. This final video is a compilation of all those recordings. Constructivism Constructivism is a learning theory, which says that human beings make out meanings by way of the interaction between their behavioral characteristics and their experiences. This process is known to happen from infancy and hence constructivist approach in learning, puts at the pivotal point, child play. Child play is supposed to be the first step of cognitive development of an individual. Constructivist theory also suggests that there are two processes through which each individual makes meaning out of his/her experiences, namely, accommodation and assimilation. Assimilation is the process by which the child or individual absorbs certain new information and incorporates that into the pre-existing meaning structures in his/her mind. The new information just fits into the existing network. But in accommodation, the individual is confronted with a new meaning that is contradictory to his/her existing internal meaning structures. So the individual just reframes those structures so that the new information can be included without contradiction. The basic premise of this theory is the notion, learning by being actively involved in some activity. The constructivist approach demands active learners with care to be taken of the cultural background and individuality and also the role of teachers limited to being facilitators. The most constructivist classroom among the three is the Japanese classroom (Pre-school in Three Cultures). Here, the children are given the freedom to develop into active learners by blending their experiences with their own behavioral patterns. This is a major aspect of constructivist approach. The role of the teacher is very limited, again a constructivist theory-based approach. Even when a child misbehaves, he is not disciplined but is left with a choice to learn proper behavior from his fights with other kids (Pre-school in Three Cultures). The teaching method is solely activity based. In the morning, children exercise, then they are given interesting activities like coloring, and origami and during the playtime, they are left on their own to learn how to create friendship and handle difficult situations like a fight. In this manner, a totally free interaction of behavior and experience is facilitated which is the key concept in constructivist approach. By giving activity-based lessons, the children are motivated to find out their own potential. The situation in the school is a perfect balance between formal and informal learning so that there is optimal opportunity for cognitive learning. The origami lessons are particularly helpful in motivating the children and also make them realize their hidden talent (Pre-school in Three Cultures). Whenever there is a problem for a child in doing an entrusted activity, individual attention is imparted to the child. This is also a practice in coherence with the principles of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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