You are part of a preschool board that has just been awarded a large grant
You are part of a preschool board that has just been awarded a large grant to design a new preschool in your area. This is a tremendously exciting and daunting task, and you are very glad to have the other members of your board to work with as a team on this project! The institution awarding the grant has asked that you design an alternative preschool and you have one week to put together a presentation to address the following areas and secure the next phase of your grant:
1. First, your team will need to fully understand what an “alternative” preschool is! To do this, you must start by researching the traditional preschool. Using your textbook as a starting point, you will look up “teacher-directed programs”. You will then use at least 2 additional sources (outside your textbook) to define, explain, and give examples of this traditional form of preschool program. You will also need to establish the need for an alternative program by explaining at least two problems or criticisms of traditional/teacher-directed preschools.
Now that you know what type of preschool you are *not* going to design, you can get to work on the details of your new, alternative school. For this next step, you will need both general and specific information.
2) In general, you will need to decide upon a guiding philosophy for your program. You are free to choose any model(s) from the following list (all found in your textbook):
- Vygotsky (apprentices/scaffolding)
- Emotional development/regulation (Erikson)
Use your textbook as a starting point and then find at least three other sources on this concept/theorist. After doing all this research, summarize your school’s guiding philosophy in 100-150 words. What wisdom or research will guide your teachers? What do you hope students will take away from your program? How is this program different from a traditional program? Remember to properly cite and give credit for direct quotes and paraphrased material.
3. Next, you will get into the specifics… How does this philosophy translate into your day-to-day program? Please address the following specific areas:
- What is the name of your school? What is the significance of this name and how does it reflect your philosophy?
- What is the physical layout of your school? In other words, what will your school look like? How many rooms will there be and what size will they be? What function(s) will each of the rooms serve? Will there be walls? Doors? Windows? What learning and play materials will be present? Remember to explain how these choices reflect your chosen philosophy.
- What will a typical day look like at your preschool? In other words, what is the schedule/agenda? How is the lesson plan determined? Are children separated by age level or integrated? If integrated, for some or all of the day? Do children stay in one room or switch rooms? If they switch, how much and for what purpose? What field trips might you include? Again, how does this typical school day reflect your chosen philosophy?
- Lastly, design an activity that a preschool teacher might have in her classroom. Make sure this activity is within the framework of your school philosophy. Compare this activity to that of a “traditional” preschool activity – how are the two tasks different? What are the benefits of the “alternative” preschool activity?
You will compile all of this information into a Powerpoint presentation. You will need to write and design a professional presentation as though it were for an educated audience. Estimated length of the presentation is 15 slides, including a title slide (with all team members’ names) and a reference slide. The reference slide will include all sources used, in APA format, is required. Please see the APA format help folder below for assistance!
Once your presentation is complete, you will submit it to the Class Discussion Board ( providing a 300-500 words essay ) under the Alternative Preschools project forum. Your group’s work is not officially submitted until it is in the Class Discussion Board forum.
You will also have a chance to grade your group members on their contributions to the project – that will happen next week after the project is completed. But, keep in mind that to earn a good grade, you will need to impress your group members with timely, consistent, and full participation on this project.
This group project will help you to understand the differences between the traditional form of preschool in the U.S. and several alternative types of programs. Applying this knowledge to this task will deepen the meaningfulness of the theoretical material. Additionally, working in a group will develop your team work skills.
This assignment is worth 50 points. It is due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday night of the 6th week. Late projects will be reduced by 3 points each day late and will no longer be accepted one week after the due date.
This assignment will be graded based on the completeness, accuracy, and quality of how each required component above is addressed. The explanation and critique of traditional preschool programs is worth 25% of the grade, the philosophy and day-to-day specifics of your alternative preschool program is worth 60%, and your writing and adherence to APA format is worth an additional 15%.
All students in a group will receive the same grade based on the submitted presentation. However, students are also graded by their group members (in week 7) and a low grade from your group members *will* lower your individual assignment grade.
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