Current Problems of Preschool Education

ABSTRACT The paper deals with early childhood care and education (ECCE) issues to be discussed at the UNESCO World Conference on 27–29 September 2010. The authors recognize and analyze key trends in the development of preschool education in different countries and offer a well-substantiated approach to the related issues. The paper studies two opposite models of education in early childhood and shows major implications of each of the existing approaches. A special emphasis is laid on the development of a unified comprehensive system of preschool and primary school education. The authors firmly believe that the "junction point" between those two education stages is a critical and, in many respects, a testing element for the entire national system of early childhood education in different countries. A general analysis of current preschool education programs is provided and their impact on the age-specific development of children is discussed. The authors emphasize the significance and a special role of child-centered interaction between adults and children as well as play as a part of the development-oriented preschool education. The training of teachers for early childhood education is also discussed. Keywords: preschool education; two models of early childhood care and education; continuity of preschool and school education; "frame" and "prescriptive" programs; development-oriented program of early childhood care and education; play; training of preschool teachers.

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