Institute of Childhood, Family, and Education Studies, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia
Background. The variety of preschools is one of the primary issues of contemporary early education in Russia. The traditional approach focuses on the transmission of knowledge, patterns of social behavior, and assumes teacher-centered interaction between child and teacher. The developmental approach focuses on developing the child’s abilities and using cultural tools, rather than just transmitting educational content. A comparison of different preschool approaches and outcomes may help in choosing the most suitable one for each child.
Objective. The aim of this study is to identify the connection between approaches in preschool and children’s school readiness.
Our hypothesis is that the traditional approach and the developmental approach provide different school readiness outcomes.
Design. Ninety-two preschool students (51 boys and 41 girls) aged six to seven were involved in this study. These children attended preschools in the western and southwestern districts of Moscow. Six preschool psychologists and teachers were interviewed. The research was conducted between 2011 and 2013.
Results: An empirical study proved that most children achieve a high level of cognitive readiness, can interact with successfully peers, and can control aggression; however, they also have difficulties with cooperative relations with their teacher and with expressing their opinion. A comparison of school readiness outcomes of the traditional and developmental approaches showed that the children who attended a preschool with the developmental approach demonstrated a higher level of school readiness: they are able to ask for help, to coordinate their creative intentions with peers, and to empathize with them. Their self-consciousness is greater than that of their peers who are educated under the traditional approach. Also, they demonstrate a greater voluntary readiness for school. Meanwhile, children who attended preschools with the traditional approach demonstrated а higher level of verbal-logical reasoning.
Keywords: infantilism, overcoming academic and professional infantilism, self-actualization, internality, structural components of infantilism, conditions to overcome infantilism