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Guidelines for educating preschoolers stress age-appropriate lessons

By  Du Liya (Global Times)

14:36, October 17, 2012

Guidelines aimed at advising parents and kindergartens on how to best educate preschool children between 3 and 6 years old was released by the Ministry of Education Monday, providing information on children's physical and psychological health, language learning, communication ability and motivational interests in science and art.

The guidelines set specific goals for toddlers between 3 and 4 years old suggesting that by that age they should be required to listen to their parents. Children between 4 and 5 should politely express their requests, while 5 and 6-year-olds should be aware of helping others.

"The guidelines point to problems in preschool education, including a lack of moral education and making preschool kids learn lessons aimed at elementary school students," Lao Kaisheng, professor with the College of Education at the Capital Normal University, told the Global Times.

Lao said the guidelines help provide suggestions recommended by experts.

The ministry said the guidelines only offer suggestions, and are not a standard for evaluating children's performance. Preschool education philosophy must respect the uniqueness of every child and emphasize the combination of school learning and parental education.

"It is hard to educate all children to be well-mannered and independent because parenting at home varies and parents usually take charge of everything," a kindergarten teacher surnamed Huang from the Hoing Kindergarten in Beijing told the Global Times.

An Lijuan, a deputy to the Beijing People's Congress, said improvements can be made by increasing cooperation between parents and kindergartens.

"Current policies related to preschool education are far from enough as teaching preschool children elementary school lessons is still a serious problem," An told the Global Times, adding that the government should standardize preschool education institutions and provide more suggestions to parents on the proper expectations and appropriate attitudes toward their children.

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