Socialization is an important process for humans. Many aspects of social interactions depend on the successful socialization, especially in the period of early childhood. Nevertheless, the American children of the preschool age tend to show poor results when it comes to socializing (Shaffer 436). While, admittedly, personal approach and parental participation play a part that contributes substantially to the successful outcome, a range of group-based institutional solutions dealing with pre-school curriculum, material basis, and the staff efficiency is advised to address the current situation.
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The process of socializing begins in the early infancy when the child’s priorities shift from the individual activities towards accepting a companion other than a parent in play. This stage roughly coincides with the time of admission to the preschool facilities. While the sheer fact of attending a kindergarten is viewed as positive for the socialization process, it does not always guarantee the successful integration into society (Shaffer 435).
The specialists point to several reasons for this. First, the recent tendencies in the kindergarten curriculum have led to the considerable emphasis on the academic development, prioritizing the early exposure to such disciplines as reading, writing, and math. Despite the expected increase in cognitive skills, the studies have shown no such progress compared to children throughout the century (Lansbury par. 2). At the same time, the shift in priorities means the altered schedule, as the increased attention to academics means less time devoted to the development of social skills. Thus, a review of the curriculum is required to restate priorities and distribute time and resources more effectively by eliminating unyielding practices.
The strategies used by the staff also contributes to the lack of socialization. Children at kindergarten are actively forming self-confidence and self-esteem. Both of these are crucial for socializing. Nevertheless, kids often experience shame and are not always rewarded in a way that will encourage the development of these skills. At the same time, the research shows the apparent correlation between the kids’ acceptance by the group and their performance in various aspects of the social activity, such as recognizing and interpreting emotions, appropriate communication, and active cooperation (Shaffer 489).
While this may be viewed as a two-way process, the initial encouragement and reward are still important for kick-starting the development, which, if organized correctly, becomes self-sustainable over time. It is important to note that this strategy is officially recognized and accepted by the preschool teacher community, but the actual performance of certain establishments continue to show up as inconsistent with the official curriculum. The reasons for this are the insufficient training of the staff. Thus, the recommended strategy is the exclusion of human factor by improving the theoretical background and assuring the consistency between the theory and its practical iterations.
Finally, the lack of communication between the educator and the parent often hampers the progress of socializing in the early age. While the effectiveness of the parent-child-educator triad is almost unanimously recognized (Radic-Hozo 343), the actual interaction is usually characterized by the pressure from parents resulting in the alteration of the educational process and, in the long run, decreased socialization (Lansbury par. 5). This drawback can be addressed by establishing transparent and consistent communication between parents and the staff.
To conclude, the current pre-school infrastructure is generally favorable for the development of the kids’ social skills. However, some questionable strategies and the discrepancies between the official educational stance and its practical implementation result in decreased socializing of children. This can be addressed by eliminating the needless academic emphasis in pre-school establishments, proper training of education staff, and establishing the communication between parents and educators.
Lansbury, Janet. 4 Reasons To Ditch Academic Preschools. 2010. Web.
Radic-Hozo, Endica. “Communication Patterns in Preschool Education Institutions–Practical Examples.” Materia Socio-Medica 26.5 (2014): 343-347. Print.
Schaffer, David. Social and Personality Development, Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.