What is a Traditional Nursery School?

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Traditional preschools are also known as structured or cognitive schools. Here are 10 features of a traditional preschool:

1) There is a set curriculum with specific goals for the children.

2) There might be a free-choice period, but there is a strong emphasis on formal instruction.

3) Goals are built around teaching children math, letters, numbers, sounds, shapes, problem solving, classifying, listening and more.

4) Here, teachers instruct, direct, explain, and organize each lesson. Children learn from their teachers instead of their own exploration.

5) All the kids are likely to be working on the same activity at the same time. For example, at Thanksgiving, they may all work on putting pre-cut construction paper together to make turkeys. The emphasis will be more on the finished product than the process. If you go into a classroom and see a bulletin board displaying 20 matching turkeys, you are probably in a traditional school.

6) There is an emphasis on school readiness so children spend time working with worksheets to learn math and writing.

7) The environment is formal. Children call teachers Mrs. X or Miss Y. You might find uniform or a dress code at this kind of school.

8) They will be strict about making sure your child is toilet trained before the age of three.

9) Studies have shown that kids who attend traditional schools are less aggressive toward peers, more task oriented and do better on IQ and achievement tests.

10) On the downside, they show less independence and initiative, their play is not as imaginative, and they score lower on tests of creativity.

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