Our group, Active Minds, consists of 3 people:
Fatma HALIPINAR - the group leader
Vildan VAROL – project coordinator
Zülal ÜÇLER – technical officer
We chose the problem of passive preschool children as our topic because we observed that this is a common problem in Turkey and children cannot display their real abilities. Since children cannot participate in classroom activities actively, their interests in the class may decrease in time. They even may not want to go to the school. Also in a class environment which is teacher-focused they may not discover their interests and talents.
Our first step was brainstorming. Our problem was “Passive Preschool Children”. We chose three reasons to determine the main cause. These were education system, students’ characteristics and environment. We decided on the education system as our main problem through matrix diagram. The education system consists of curriculum and lack of resources. Then we listed the common behaviors of passive students. To do more extensive research about our topic, we think that we can benefit from these resources: Marion Passidomo’s “Moving From Traditional to Developmentally Appropriate Education: A Work in Progress, “Exploration and Discovery: Creating an Enthusiastic, Exciting Classroom” by Sue Miles, and Lou Swanson’s “Changes – How Our Nursery School Replaced Adult-Directed Art Projects with Child-Directed Experiences and Changed Into an Accredited, Child-Sensitive DAP School”.
According to our research findings, there are some common behaviors which can be seen on the passive kids. These common behaviors include lethargy, reluctance to co-playing and biting their own skin or fingers. As we discussed before, the educational system can be divided into two sub-categories: curriculum and lack of resources. The setbacks in the curriculum result from an education system that is regulated without considering children’s abilities; since the education system is traditional and teacher-focused, students cannot express themselves and cannot discover their interests. As for lack of resources, since the budget for early childhood education is not enough for most of the necessary materials, students’ imagination levels remain limited.
To take views of the people about our topic we conducted a questionnaire of twenty questions. We came to the conclusion that people think that the government does not provide enough financial support for early childhood education.
Our suggestions to make children participate in classroom activities in a more active way can be listed as follows:
ü The education system should focus on student-centered activities.
ü The budget for early childhood education should be raised.
ü The relationship between parents and school administration ought to be strengthened.
ü Teachers should be aware of children’s personal differences.
To conclude, children who are passive in the classroom activities lose their focus and interest for the course and this may affect their future education life negatively as well. To increase the participation of students in the activities and to improve their full potential, the necessary steps above should be taken.
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