In the Glendale area there are many choices for preschool. Yet parents ofter wonder what are the different educational approaches and how can I find what best meets the need of our family. Here is an overview of the different preschool philosophies in our area:

Developmental: Here we see the theories of Jean Piaget, who believed that children as well as adults pass through stages of development that are defined by developmental norms of behavior. The developmental preschool allows for children to be seen individually in a setting that allows for their development to progress through play based learning.

Progressive: This encompasses many of the traits of a developmental school, yet there is an emphasis on community and being a part of the world outside of a school setting. This means there are field trips, where children children study the community. The educator John Dewey held the belief that the educational process begins with the interest of the child, and that the child’s natural curiosity is at the for front of there curriculum.

Montessori: There are four principles of this philosophy: learning should occur in a multi age classroom, the teacher is the guide for the child as opposed to having all the answers, children work at their own pace, and a classroom is set up according to subject areas.

Cooperative: This is a school where the children work in the classroom as teachers assistants, as opposed to having paid personnel. There is a teacher who directs the parents in working with the children, and there is usually a traditional approach such as developmental. The tuition is usually low at these schools, making preschool more affordable.

Keep in mind there are schools that may combine approaches and schools that are strictly teaching a certain method. Look for what resonates with you, with what you want for your child, and what best suits you family:)

 Debbie has been an early childhood educator for the past twenty years as a preschool teacher, director and parent educator. She is a member of the National Association of Early Childhood Educators, Pasadena City College’s Advisory Board and a local preschool directors networking group. Debbie is the owner and Director of La Canada Preschool. Her vision is to provide the best environment for children to experience discovery and their sense of wonder at this magical moment in human development. 
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