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Shaping Young Minds: Fostering a Love for Learning in Preschoolers

The preschool curriculum offers a unique approach to early childhood education, emphasizing play-based learning and holistic development. While the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework is practised in small groups in the West, this can be challenging in the Indian context with its large, diverse student populations. My experience in preschools in India and overseas has guided me in integrating various educational initiatives for preschoolers into the CBSE curricula of my school, to nurture young minds.

Preschool education shapes and develops young minds at their formative ages, which becomes crucial for the generation of well-rounded individuals who are active contributors and concerned citizens of the country. It is a huge responsibility and a daunting task as it not only determines the future of children but involves understanding the aspirations of parents while trying to raise confident and active youngsters.


Context

As an educator, the major challenge is to spark children's curiosity, aligning with national goals and leaders' visions. As a leader, my goal was to create a model of education that ensured the profitable survival of the school. This article details the implementation of a new curriculum in response to a critical external audit scheduled in two years. With previous observations highlighting deficiencies in the preschool curriculum, we embarked on a journey to develop and implement strategies for students aged 3 to 6 in our CBSE school. Post-implementation, the audit yielded highly satisfying results. This journey led to the establishment of my school, renowned for its curriculum excellence.


It has been eight years since, and operating the preschool has been a source of continuous enrichment, with each day bringing new learning experiences. This article encapsulates the major takeaways from this two-year assignment, which presented both challenges and exciting learning opportunities.


Overcoming hurdles


Engaging preschoolers: Initially, there were challenges, though I prefer not to use the word "obstacles." The first challenge, in my opinion, was to overcome the fear within our minds. With the backing of senior leadership and a team of innovative facilitators, we embarked on a successful journey. Implementing new teaching strategies among young students is difficult. But understanding that their impatience is due to the lack of mental stimulation led us to address this. We introduced various strategies like role play, outdoor activities, and dedicated reading sessions to engage their curious minds. We established a Kid’s Lab for hands-on experiments and designated storytelling areas and water play zones to foster creativity and enjoyment. As the students became less agitated and restless, their enthusiasm for learning grew.


Changing the parental mindset: While it is scientifically proven that brain development occurs predominantly in the first six years of life, many parents believe that children should play rather than learn during this crucial period. Changing this mindset was crucial because parents play a vital role in their children's development. Therefore, we engaged parents in many school activities, tailoring these activities to encourage both student and parental participation. This involvement led to increased interest from the children, as their parents encouraged them to pursue their unique potential. The success of any curriculum implementation heavily relies on collaboration.


Implementation: a learning process

Implementing the curriculum is an ongoing learning process, constantly evolving and transforming based on feedback from stakeholders to improve our initiatives. It requires patience, motivation, and practical strategies. For me, motivation came from the need for proper curriculum implementation in preschool. We conducted workshops for facilitators to familiarize them with strategies to implement play-based learning in the classroom. We also found that open communication with parents about the curriculum's philosophy and encouraging parental involvement in activities played a vital role in the implementation process. Drawing from my experience as a teacher, I realized the importance of instilling a love for learning from an early age. This has inspired me to develop an ecosystem conducive to nurturing this love in students.


Witnessing positive impact

The most rewarding aspect of the implementation was observing its positive impact on the children. By focusing on play and exploration, we nurtured a genuine love for learning. We witnessed significant enhancements in children's communication and problem-solving skills and social interactions. Moreover, the emphasis on self-expression through creative activities boosted their confidence and imagination. This approach also enabled us to meet broader expectations, including discerning right from wrong, sharing and collaborating with others, relating effectively, fostering curiosity and exploration, listening and speaking with understanding, cultivating self-confidence and happiness, developing physical coordination, adopting healthy habits, and engaging in and enjoying various artistic experiences.


Continuing the journey

Shaping young minds is an enriching journey, made enjoyable by our dedication and the trust of parents. Balancing structured learning with open-ended play is crucial. As a business leader, discovering the EuroKids "Eunoia" curriculum was a truly exciting experience, as it encapsulated many developmental elements I had worked with. This discovery further fueled my commitment to nurturing young minds and led to establishing my own preschool.

At our preschool, we are committed to shaping young minds through conceptual and experiential play, helping them confront real problems, make choices, and find solutions. This approach helps us in developing students socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. Research suggests that using “play” is one of the most effective ways to learn.


Our vision is to provide a learner-centered education where each child achieves excellence in academics, social responsibility, and personal integrity within a safe and supportive environment. We aim to meet every child's academic, social, and emotional needs, preparing them to be responsible citizens in a changing world.


So let's instill a love for learning in every child, ensuring their happiness and growth, while preparing them for the future.


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Rubi Pal
Rubi Pal
a day ago
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Absolutely amazing..


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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Excellent work! It’s inspiring to see where modern education is heading.

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