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Christian Service News

Issue 36 (July 2002)

Topic : Opinion Feedback

A Study on The Quality of Pre-school Education

Parents and teachers are advised to pay more attention to the cultivation of arts appreciation, creativity, and physical health training in children.

A study we conducted in May this year, 'The Quality of Pre-School Education', with the questionnaires that we had sent out 2,731 were returned from 50 kindergartens and child care centres throughout Hong Kong, representing a 78.03% success rate. The results show that among 25 specific "good character traits" in children who finish pre-school education, both "the capability to take care of oneself" and "an active learning attitude" are the top two desirable qualities considered by parents and teachers. The results also show that parents put less value on those qualities such as appreciative in arts, creativity, and being physically fit.

The questionnaire of our study also asks the respondents their views on parental participation in school to ensure the quality level of their children's pre-school education. The respondents believe that attending the parent-child activities at school, regular meeting with teachers, go over what is taught with their children at home, and to keep telephone contacts with the teachers are the most effective means to help ensure the pre-school quality. The other given choices on the questionnaire require extensive involvement from parents and appear to have received the least enthusiasm from them. Such choices are like: make necessary observations by attending school with their children, participate in course design, assist in library management, involve in teaching and help to create teaching materials.

To improve the quality of pre-school education, 5 recommendations are made for parents of the preschoolers and organizations that provide pre-school education:

  1. To shape and refine children's character ; and to impart proper everyday attitude to them are more meaningful than to merely teach them skills and knowledge.
  2. Create an atmosphere for children to learn to appreciate arts; encourage and aspire them to value all the different things that happen everyday.
  3. Facilitate creativity training; strengthen the development of critical thinking and their problem solving ability.
  4. Improve physical health training facilities; emphasize and cultivate interest on physical health that will lead to a healthy development in their coordination.
  5. Encourage the participation level from parents; strengthen the ways and channels of communication between parents and teachers.

Many researches reveal that the nursery stage is the most important stage in a child for his/her psychological development and knowledge building. It is best to have the significant parties that would affect the growth and development of a child, i.e. -- parents, teachers and schools, to work closely together in order that the highest possible standard in pre-school education can be maintained.