Education is an indispensable tool in nations building is a process of systematic training and instruction designed to transmit knowledge and acquisition of skill, potentials and abilities which will enable an individual to contribute efficiently to the growth and development of his society and nation. Osakwe (2006) define the meaning of education as the round development that involves individual physically, socially, morally, intellectually, and mentally. Pre-primary education can be defined as the education for children meant between the ages of 3 to 6 years (Omozeghian 1995).
The National Policy on Education (2004) sees preprimary education as the education given in an educational institution to children aged 3-5 years plus prior to their entering the primary school. That is to say that early education is a special kind of education provided in an institution for children, prior to their entering the primary school. Early childhood education, in the context of formal education can be said to be “a formalized educational process to which children between the ages of 2 and a half through five years above are subjected to be in designated pre-school institutions” (Mezieobi 2006).
In Malaysia, Preschool educations are still in the early stage. Meaning that, in Malaysia preschool education are more focusing at the children age 5 and 6 years old. This happen due to the thinking of at the age of 2 until 4 years it is too early for the children being expose for education. Malaysia preschool education are more toward children at the age of 5 and 6 years. Also, the majority of parent in Malaysia are more preferring send their children to preschool at the age of 5 and 6 years old. 1. 2Problem Statement.
Early childhood education (ECE) programs include any type of educational program that serves children in the preschool years and is designed to improve later school performance. These performances refer to the performance of the children whereby, it develops the children learning ability at the early stage. Although it seem like Preschool education is beneficial to the children, there are several negative effect of preschool education toward children. The negative effects can be seen mentioned by some scholar when the children involve in preschool education.
Firstly, referring to the article current problems of Preschool education, the author Rubtsov V. V cited that Preschool reduce the children play time. This is because by reducing the play time of the children, it reduces the overall development of the child. There are two type of play time in preschool: Play for learning and free play. The important of play for the development of children at the early age has been proved long time ago. Free play helps in child character whereby it is conducive for the child at the preschool age to develop imagination, creativity and recognition to the rules that helps the child to control him or herself.
The free play also develops communication skills, discussion resolution and prevention of conflicts. But the most important things that should be considered in the preschool education are children love to play. Current preschool education nowadays does not emphasize on the child play time. The education in preschool does not take play time as serious enough. With this approach, there is usually no time left for play Beside that the syllabus in preschool education system in the present time is still focusing towards the subject’s knowledge and skills but not toward the individual character of the children itself.
This can further be explaining by the preschool education subjects does not suitable for children at the early age. This happen because of the preschool education is created to give children knowledge of the future requirement rather than what they want to be. Preschool education does not include a subject that give opportunities for the children to express their hidden talent for example art and design. The preschool education should be design to develop the children ability and real talent so that they can develop it at the early stage by focusing to their talent.
Thus it could be tentatively designated as narrow-pragmatic, oriented towards the needs of the system rather than the needs of the child. Beside that less of interesting syllabus also will cause the children can develop their mental and knowledge in proper way (Rubtsov V. V, Yudina E. G, 2007). Lastly, the imposed skills and competencies in the preschool education system eliminate learning motivation and, as a result, lead to school disadaptation and school neuroses.
A school neurosis is the type of mental illness in this case afraid towards the environment of the school. This happen because of the program is too early imposed to the children. The children cannot accept the social and condition of the school environment and it usually be said as culture shock. In the psychiatrist form of view, this mental illness cannot be reverse once it has affected the young mind of the children. All of the mentioned problem has lead to the effort of the researcher to conduct a study of the effect of the preschool education toward character building of children (Rubtsov V. V, Yudina E.G, 2007)
Beside that, there are positive effects of the preschool education whereby it can be seen when the government of Malaysia introduce the 1 Malaysia preschool education (Tabika 21 pilot project). According to the Chairman of the Development Council of Early Chilhood Education (MPPAK) under the program of 1 Malaysia Preschool Education is stressing on giving the early education to the children at the age of 2 years old. The objective of the program is to ensure all the children able to get good education. The important of early education in this project is to ensure the return of human capital investment for the country.
Also stated by the chairman of the early childhood education council are the preschool educations can reduce the gap between poor the rich. 1. 4Research Questions The followings research question are being develop to achieve the research objective of this research which is the effects of preschool education toward character building of children. 1. What is the fitness level of preschool education children in Smartreader? 2. What is the syllabus for preschool education that improves the performance of the children? 3.
Is preschool education system preparing the children for the primary school? (School readiness) 1. 5 Research Objectives The research objectives in the research purposely designed to identify what are the effects of preschool education toward character building of children. In this case the children of Smartreader kindergarten. 1. To identify what are the appropriate fitness level of the children of preschool education system. 2. To identify what are the best syllabus for improving the performance of children in term of curricular activities and knowledge behavior. 3.
To identify whether the preschool education effecting the preparing the children for the primary school. 1. 6 Scope of study This research will be conducted in the Smartreader kindergarten in Shah Alam. The questionnaires will be distributed to 200 respondents. The respondents of the research will be the parents of the children in the Smartreader kindergarten. 1. 7Significant of Study 1. 7. 1Researcher There are several significant of this studies and the first are as the guidelines in order to establish the system of preschool education that can give impact to the children.
This research can be as the references to other researcher to conduct other research toward preschool education. In Malaysia, early childhood education is still young and developing. A suitable and systematic preschool education must be according to a balance of needs of the children and the system. Scientific studies and research must be conducted in order to establish a proper system of preschool education that gives important not only to the children but also to the need of the education system in the country. 1. 7. 2Agencies.
Secondly, this research can be the basic idea for the responsible agencies to develop a system that contains a syllabus that not only gives knowledge and skill but also syllabus that exposed the hidden talent and creativity of the children so that it will be useful in the future development of the children. This is because the children of today will be the next prospect of a great leader or innovator that can shape the country therefore, it is important for the policy maker to invest in the pre-school education for the future benefit of the country. 1. 7. 3Education system.
The result of this research can also help to upgrade the preschool education system in term of preparing children toward facing the environment of primary school. Preschool education should be designed to help children in preparing them for the primary school. The result of this research may be use to help others in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the preschool education system in preparing children toward facing new environment and challenges in life. 1. 7. 4Parents Next, for the parents the research can be as the tool for them to identify what are the real benefits gains by their children using preschool education.
Nowadays in Malaysia, preschool education is not popular among residents in the rural area such as in states of Kedah, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak. Parents are not sending their children to preschool education because the lacks of understanding the benefits of sending their children to preschool. Thus we hope that this research can open the eyes of parents in Malaysia especially in the rural area towards the important of preschool education for their children. Also this research can help them to be aware about the latest education that can shape the future of their children. 1. 7. 5Qualification of Teachers.
Lastly, we hope can gives the benefits of identifying a better method of teaching in preschool education. This is because there are many impacts of early childhood education towards children and at the early stages, what children learn at the time will determine what types of people they will be in the future. Thus, the teacher must have the right qualification and cannot be easily pick to teach the fragile mind of the children. This research hopes to be as the references in choosing the best quality teachers suitable for the needs of the children nowadays. 1. 8Definition of Key term 1. 8. 1Definition of preschool.
Preschool education can be defined as an early chilhood education is the education given to the children below the compulsory school age consists of physical care and edducation (Sheila, 2006). Mean that preschool education only involve children at the age of 2 untill 6 years old. 1. 8. 2Definition of Knowledge The definition of knowledge has transformed over such history, from a general phenomenon, to one that is specialized and actionable as the behaviorists pointed out, in evidence “outside the person, in society and economy, or in the advancement of knowledge itself” (Drucker, 1993, p. 45-6). 1. 8. 3Definition of Preparation to School.
Preparation or rediness to school can be define by the National Center for Educational Statistics showed that teachers identified “ready” children as those who are physically healthy, well-rested and well-fed; able to communicate needs, wants and thoughts verbally; and curious and enthusiastic in approaching new activities. 1. 8. 4Definition of physical Physical education can be define by Merriam Webster as the instruction in the development and care of the body ranging from simple calisthenics exercises to a course of study providing training in hygiene, gymnastics, and the performance and management of athletic games.
A good condition of physical is very important to make sure children will be able to build a good character for them self. CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2. 0Introduction In this chapter, the researcher will discuss about the past research that have been done about the three variables which is Knowledge, Physical and School readiness towards the dependent variables which is the character building of children. In this section also, we will be discussing about the historical background of the Preschool education and lastly the conceptual framework of the studies. 2. 1History of Pre-school Education in Malaysia.
The Preschool education also known as Early chilhood education is the education given to the children below the compulsory school age consists of physical care and edducation (Sheila, 2006). Early childhood care and education in Malaysia existed before the 1960’s. The education is provided back then by mostly from the religious bodies or non governmental organizations. Before this, the private kindergarten was not being established yet. In the year 1972, Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) drafted the Kaedah – Kaedah Guru/ Kaedah- Kaedah Kindergarten dan Sekolah Asuhan (Pendaftaran) 1972 Warta Kerajaan P.
U. (A) 414 which provided the procedures to be followed regarding the registration of kindergarten, teachers and its board of governors. This was the first legal document concerning the registration of early childhood education (Curriculum Development Centre, Malaysia, 2007). In the year 1971, the first preschool known commonly in Malaysia as the Tabika KEMAS started by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development in accordance to the education act formulated by them and expanded to be the biggest provider of preschool education in the country today.
This is followed by the Department of National Integration and Unity that started its first preschool that being known as the PERPADUAN preschools (Curriculum Development Centre, Malaysia, 2007). Later in the 1980’s preschools in Malaysia were established and managed by various government agencies such as KEMAS, FELDA, RISDA, Department of National Unity, Religious bodies, Police and armies (Cawangan pendidikan/ Angkatan Bersenjata dan Polis), and private sectors.
There was various program were offered, different materials used, teachers qualification differs too (PPK & BPPDP, 1986). The sense of incomplete felt by the various agencies and the urges the help from the MOE for assistance and guidance. The MOE foresaw the need to standardized and regulate preschool education in Malaysia. Also at the time, the MOE was pioneering two major preschool projects which is the Projek Pendidikan Imbuhan managed by Curriculum Development Centre with the help of Yayasan Bernard Van Leer, a Dutch body.
The other project is the Projek Kajian Pendidikan Prasekolah managed by Education Planning and Research Division with assistance from UNICEF. The experiences gained by the both project lead to the existence of formulation of the 1986 Preschool Guidebook (Buku Panduan Prasekolah Malaysia 1986), this is the first formalized curriculum document of early childhood education in Malaysia that aim to provide guidance and assist coordination between kindergarten and enhance the standard of Malaysia Preschool education development at that time (PPK & BPPPP, 1986).
Preschool was not regarded officially as part of the bigger system of national education system until 1996. Through the “National Education Act 1996” (Akta Pendidikan Kebangsaan 1996- Akta 550, 2005), Preschool education is finally officially declared as part of the school system. All preschools/kindergarten regardless of public or private are required to implement the National Preschool Curriculum formulated through the Curriculum Development Centre, Ministry of Education beginning January, 2003.
In addition to the National Preschool Curriculum, any private that wanted to implement other curriculum must seek the permission of the MOE and the medium of instruction used in any registered preschool can be the National language or any other language but the National language must be taught as a subject. A minimum requirement of 10 children age 4-6 years old has been set by Ministry of education for starting the class in public school.
The preschool classes in MOE are still expanding and it is targeted that in the near future, all the National Primary School will have their own preschool classes (Curriculum Development Centre, Malaysia, 2007). 2. 2Knowledge Knowledge is to cope with someone or something unknown, which can be information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education.
The definition of knowledge has transformed over such history, from a general phenomenon, to one that is specialized and actionable as the behaviorists pointed out, in evidence “outside the person, in society and economy, or in the advancement of knowledge itself” (Drucker, 1993, p. 45-6). According to a recent study conducted by (Loeb, Bridges, Bossok, Fuller, & Rumberger, 2005) comparing the children who received only parental care, low-income children who participated in a non-Head Start, and center-based Early Childhood Education program experienced the greatest gains in their early reading and math skills.
Thus, it can be explain that children which attended preschool performed significantly better in both reading and math skill during their kindergarden year compared to children cared by only their parents before kindergarden. It can be assume that preschool education thus proven to significantly increase the knowledge of the children in term of math and reading skill of the children. In term of the character building of the children, the preschool education improved the
knowledge of the children by significantly improved the children reading skill and children ability to understand the subject taught in the preschool esspecially math. Studies shown that young children has the capacity of being the change agent in now and the future. This is because early learning is important to shape the attitudes, knowledge and actions. It stated that the early learning is the foundation for the child thinking, being, knowing and and acting are becoming hard wired and relates to the children.
The early learning also shown the effect of creating relationship with the environment and others issues that can promotes the introduction of environmental issues to the children in the early age for better practises in the future (Chawla, 1998; Davis and Gibson, 2006; Wells and Lekies, 2006). Another scholar suggested that the preschool education is the medium to discover the ability of the children at the early age, this is because the preschool education was purposely designed to improve the knowledge of the children at the early age (Roth and McGinn, 1998).
The researcher stated that the preschool education improve the character building of the children by improving the knowledge and the design of the preschool education is at the first time is purpose for the improvement of the child development and character building. Marcon (2002) argues that there is a relationship between preschool education and success later in school system. The results of the research studies shows preschool education system have positive long term effects that is based on a statistical unit of analysis and include knowledge such as arimathic, reading, spelling, health citizenship and science.
Thus it can be said that the preschool education have realtionship with the development of the children itself. This shown in the study conducted by Marcon that significantly shows the increase in child ability for subject taught in the school. One of the most important roles of early childhood education for a sustainable society appears to be the necessity to take the child’s perspective. This seems to be fundamental in order to develop citizens who have essential knowledge and are capable of making decisions and choices that will have an effect on the environment (Roth and McGinn, 1998).
Acoording to (Barnett, 1998) Preschool education system can effects in knowledge be more easily taught and mastered in a brief time. This shows that preschool education system lead to a more knowledgeable in a short time period. Myers (2000) offer a simple typology for examining early childhood programs which is early education promotes the learning process of acquiring knowledge, skills, habits and values and is often narrowly interpreted as uniquely preparing children for primary school. 2. 2Preparation for School.
What is Readiness: Teachers’ and Parents’ Definitions, Studies have examined the definition of readiness among different stakeholders in the kindergarten transition process. A national survey of kindergarten teachers conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics showed that teachers identified “ready” children as those who are physically healthy, well-rested and well-fed; able to communicate needs, wants and thoughts verbally; and curious and enthusiastic in approaching new activities.
Parents, in contrast, typically define readiness in terms of academic abilities, such as the ability to count or know the alphabet. A study conducted by the National Center for Early Development and Learning appraises readiness by examining teachers’ judgments on children’s school transition, showing that almost half of children entering school experienced some difficulty with the transition to kindergarten. Problems following directions were the most commonly cited problem among kindergarten teachers. Participation in Early Childhood Education programs does increase children’s participation in primary school.
One report suggests that participation in ECCE ( Early Child Care Education ) programs can reduce dropping out of primary schools by 15 to 20 per cent (South Asia Education Sector, The World Bank, 2003). It shows that the preschool education can increase the school readiness to the children by increasing the children participation in the school program. The school readiness can be proven to have a significant relationship with preschool education based on the report by South Asia Education Sector, The World Bank, 2003, that reduces the school drop out to a very positive rate.
Another studies conducted by Lee, Brooks-Gunn and Schnur (1988) had found a significant different between the children which receive the preschool education and children which not receive the preschool education in term of school readiness. The studies compared 969 children who had experienced three different preschool environment. Those children which not received preschool education are showing the disabbilities in learning at the first grades in school. Comparing to those children which received preschool education, they gains large measures of social and cognitive functioning compared to those whose not.
This show that preschool education clearly increase the school readiness in the child character building. Beside that readiness to school will look into the acceptence of the children toward the enviroment of the primary school. Means that the children who enter the preschool will more easily accept the environment of school when enter primary school. Iit is because during preschool they wil learn how to live in the school enviroment, how to be friendly, how to live as a student at school. So it show that preschool can help develop the ability of blending in the environment of the school.
2. 3Physical Physical education can be define by Merriam Webster as the instruction in the development and care of the body ranging from simple calisthenics exercises to a course of study providing training in hygiene, gymnastics, and the performance and management of athletic games. In the aspect of physical, preschool will help the children in learn how to build the good physical. Means that when the child has entered preschool they will learn the way how they can get a good physical condition. Example like preschool will teach them how to eat and choose healthy food, how live in good health, how to care their self, exercise and other.
So from that it will make child who entered preschool will different from the children are not enter to preschool. It is because when the children are not enter preschool and only live at home they will not learn any aspect of physical. Mean that at home they only do the activities or eat base on their thinking only. Beside that, the good condition of child physical is so important because if they have a good physical it will lead to the good character building.
So it shows that preschool will give a positive impact to the children in order to they get a good physical condition. Preschool education aim at strengthening the basic skills such as socialization process and personality development. One of the general objectives of pre-school education is to enable the children to develop physically and practice good health and safety measures (Education Aspiration and Preschool Education Goal). Increase improvements in student’s academic performance and cognitive ability have significant relationship with the amount of time spent in physical education.
Children who spent time in physical education additionally in place of a classroom activity performed no worse academically than students not enrolled in physical education (Opinion Research Corporation International of Princeton, 2003). It mean that, when the children are enter in preschool they will have a specific play time every day that has purpose for the development of physical. In time of play time, it will help children to get a good condition a better physical in term of health, body, thinking and other. So it shows that preschool is one of the mechanisms for child to build the good of character building in aspect of physical.
Play time that provide and prepare by preschool will avoid from child have problem in build the physical for a future. What should be the right amount of physical activities need in preschool education? According to the National organizations including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, NASPE, the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Institute of 3 Medicine recommend 150 minutes of physical education each week for children in elementary school and 225 minutes per week for middle school and high school.
Vigorous physical activity should be spent at least 50 percent of physical education class, this is supported by the American cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association that will continue to recommend as they revised and update with the evolving sciences. So in the daily of the child they need spend a certain hour or minute in doing a physical activities. 2. 4 Character Building of Children.
The early period of childhood has been proven the most crucial stage for the child developments. It will be long lasting and permanent throughout the entire life of the children. From birth to age 8 year old, a child gradually mastered the complex level of thinking, feeling, and interacting with people and the world around him (Evans et al. 2000). A child’s interaction with the environment will develop the critical brain connections that will be the pathways for intellectual, emotional, physical, immunological, and social functions.
The preschool can be the basics to the children to develop their ability toward improving knowledge, physical and the school readiness as all of the said characteristics being affect by the interactions of the child towards his or her environment. The first two years of the child will develop the ability to walk, manual dexterity and other motor ability. From the age of two to five, a child develops language skills, fundamental social skills, and the base for “learning to learn” that translates into school readiness. Character and personality are largely formed, and major social and moral values are transmitted.
Lastly from ages six through eight, a child consolidates earlier learning also begins to learn conceptually and manipulate ideas, and enters the “age of reason” (Eming Young 1996; Evans et al. 2000). 2. 5Conceptual Framework The conceptual framework in this reasearch will identifies the two type of variables which is the independent variables and the dependent variables. These variables is the important factor that will be examined and identified by the reasearcher in term of its relations in this reasearch. The independent variables consist of three which is the first is knowlegde.
Knowledge is the skills aquired through experience or education in life. The knowledge variables has an important relations with the character building of the children. Through preschool education, the knowledge of the children increase and it has been proven important in the first year of the child development. Past reasearch has proven that a child knowledge improve during early chilhood education or preschool education. Thus there is a significant relations between the knowledge and the character building of the children. The second variables in this reasearch is the preparation for standard one or school readiness.
The school readiness in this reasearch identifies as the enthusiasm and curious in approching new activities. As referring to the lierature review, the school readiness variables have the realtions with the character building of the children. This is because the preschool education promotes the child to be social active in the society. This also develop the ability to cope and learn with new environmment for the children. Thus, it will be permanently implant in the mind of the children the ability to adapt with new environment esspecially the primary school.
The last independent variables is the physical of the children. Physical can be define as the development and care of the body. In this reasearch, the reasearcher has found that there is a realtionship of physical towards the character building of the children. This can be further explain due to the preschool education that have the session of playing. This increase the mental and fitness of the children as the children in the early ages have the orientation to play. Thus, indirectly increase the experience of the children also the physical ability of the children itself.
The three variables can further be demonstrate by the diagram below. Diagram 1 Independent Variables Dependent Variables 2. 6Hyphoteses H1 = There is a significant realtionship between knowledge and the character building of the children in Preschool education. H2 = There is a significant relationship between school readiness and the character building of the children in Preschool education. H3 = There is a significant relationship between physical and the character building of the children in Preschool education. CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 3. 1Introduction.
Research methodology is section of a report explains the procedures followed in gathering the data necessary for the analysis to meet the research objectives. Research method is the blue print of the study (Abdulllah, 2009). To be noticeable, the theme of this study is about social research. This research is to study on the relationship between the effectiveness of preschool and character building of children. Its will look how preschool will effect character building of children in term of knowledge, physical and readiness to school. 3. 2Research design.
Research design will discuss the research methodology used in the study. It will briefly explain the framework of the research followed by the research design, unit of analysis, sampling size, sampling technique, measurement, data collection and data analysis. The nature research that we use is quantitative research. It set out to seek accurate and adequate description or characteristic of the research. Different types of research design are likely to generate very different kinds of data. The nature of data can be classified into two types that are primary data and secondary data.
Primary data means the data that are originated by researcher for the specific purpose of addressing the problems at hand. In other word primary data is a raw data and information that researcher will get. It involves specific method such as survey, interview, observation and questionnaire. In our research we use questionnaire as our primary data collection. The result of the questionnaire is a raw information and first hand information to the researcher. Secondary data is data that already have been collected for others purposes than the problem at hand. This data can be located quickly at various sources such.
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