Full-day kindergarten program has raised heating debates worldwide. The educational stakeholders seek to determine the effect of this program to the parents, teachers, and the pupils undertaking it (Bingham & Hall, 2013). Whereas the focus is very broad, the pupils’ experiences are the most crucial aspects of this academic focus. In line with this understanding, this paper will discuss the pros and cons of a full-day kindergarten program. Particularly, the paper will discuss the cognitive, physical, and social impacts of the program.
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Evidently, pupils that participate in a full-day kindergarten enjoy more teacher-pupils contact than other programs such as the half-day setup. As a result of this contact, the pupils receive more individualized attention from the teachers. Individualized attention is a scenario that allows teachers to focus on a pupil at the personal level. As such, he or she can identify the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the pupils. Indeed, this may not happen in case the teachers handle the pupils collectively.
In fact, the collective approach leads to a situation in which the bright pupils participate excessively such that the weak ones are not evaluated effectively (Brownell et al., 2014). When the teachers identify the pupils’ weakness in details, they can help them easily according to their weaknesses and strengths. Consequently, the pupils get an opportunity to conceptualize the skills taught in school and score highly during exams.
In addition to increased contact between pupils and teachers, the program provides more time for pupils to engage in experiential learning. Indeed, pupils learn better in an environment where they receive realistic assignments. As such, teacher needs to give practical lessons in order to enable the students to conceptualize some of the theoretical aspects taught in class (Brownell et al., 2014). For example, if the teacher seeks to train the pupils about the letter in English, it can be more effective if he or she gives an exercise for the students to draw the alphabets. This task will play a better role to ensure understanding and faster conceptualizations. However, the practical studies take more time than mere theoretical instructions. In this regard, the full-day kindergarten program provides time for the students to practice the skills taught theoretically.
The full-day kindergarten programs play a crucial role when it comes to the development of social skills. Indeed, it enables pupils to socialize with each other for a longer period than other setups such as the half-day. Importantly, the full-day kindergarten provides enough time for group work during class time. As a result, the pupils can work together in order to accomplish some class tasks (Cooper et al., 2010). The collaborations facilitate the development of social skills among pupils at young age. Ultimately, the pupils can relate with each other easily as they progress to other levels of schooling.
The full-day kindergarten program is a facilitator of favorable social conduct among pupils. In most cases, teachers are mandated to instill positive conduct in class and ensure a state of order among the pupils. When the pupils get more time to participate in educational tasks, teachers can easily monitor them and provide disciplinary actions where necessary (Cooper et al., 2010). In addition, they can trace the pupils’ behavior in order to identify any changes in their conducts. As a result, they can collaborate with the parents to facilitate the positive development.
Physical education is one of the lessons provided to pupils in kindergarten. However, when the time in school is not sufficient, teachers provide the physical lessons for a very short time (Cooper et al., 2010). The full-day kindergarten program provides adequate time for teachers to take students for physical education to play and strengthen their healthy growth.
In essence, the full-day kindergarten program does not come without disadvantages that limit its effectiveness. Cognitively, the program has shown one critical limitation relating to the development of non-academic aspects. In this case, it has been established that full-day program is vulnerable to making the pupils’ experiences very academic. This scenario implies that pupils concentrate too much on the educational skills rather than incorporating additional non-academic factors. In turn, this condition means that the pupils might have little time in their homes where they participate in other domestic chores.
As a result, the system may lead to the creation of very intelligent pupils who have deficient capacity of wisdom. In addition, the program facilitates the development of a scenario where pupils acquire more basic skills which they do not need at that level of four to five years. This setup might have a negative implication on the overall and gradual development of the child. Understandably, a pupil should acquire skills gradually to enable deep conceptualization and understanding. Otherwise, the teacher might train a lot while the pupils learn very few skills.
Although children get more time to interact and socialize with their peers, the pupils that undergo the program may have critical problems when it comes to socializing with their parents. Indeed, the highest number of the parents who choose the full-day kindergarten comprise of the employed people. Of course, the issue of socialization cannot arise for the working parents.
However, it is evident that the full-day kindergarten program is essentially inappropriate for the low-income earning families. In this case, the parents do not have enough time to access the progress of their children in terms of their academic performance and social capacity (Warburton & Hertzman, 2012). This deficiency arises because the pupils arrive home when they are worn out. When they reach home, they seek to rest for the next day because the schedule starts early in the morning.
From a physical perspective, pupils at the age of four and five years are essentially young to handle a lot of stress. As a result, the full-day program is viewed as a tiring venture for those pupils who undergo this kindergarten. Indeed, the pupils report home when they are tired and worn out (Warburton & Hertzman, 2012). They have minimal time to play around home without any instructions from the teachers. Consequently, they accumulate stress gradually in the process of attending school. This depression might have critical implications on the health of the pupils, especially when it comes to healthy growth and rate of maturity.
It is evident that the full-day kindergarten program has evoked many debates in the academic arena. In this regard, the program has both pros and cons that affect its effectiveness when applied to the curriculum. Some of the most important advantages include the increased teacher-pupil contact, facilitation of experiential learning, and the development of positive social behavior. On the other hand, the cons include the reduced pupil-parent interaction and over-concentration on academic orientations as compared to other skills.
Bingham, G., & Hall, K. (2013). Full- and half-day kindergarten Programmes: Examining impacts on second language learners. Early Child Development and Care, 11(7), 185-199.
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Brownell, M., Nickel, N., Chateau, D., Martens, P., Taylor, C., Crockett, L., Goh, C. (2014). Long-term benefits of full-day kindergarten: A longitudinal population-based study. Early Child Development and Care, 6(5), 1-26.
Cooper, H., Allen, A., Patall, E., & Dent, A. (2010). Effects Of Full-Day Kindergarten On Academic Achievement And Social Development. Review of Educational Research, 9(6), 34-70.
Warburton, R., & Hertzman, C. (2012). Does Full Day Kindergarten Help Kids? Canadian Public Policy, 7(3), 591-603.