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The Primrose Difference Preparaon for School, Foundaon for Life By Evelyn A. Cobos, Esq.

L Primrose Schools broke the mold in educaonal programming by creang a new model of learning.

iterature for the last ifty years and two landmark studies point to high-quality preschool programming to ensure the best educational outcome for a child in the future and greater quality of life as an adult. The best way that parents can prepare a child for this success in life starts with believing and supporting the education that the child receives at home and at school. The importance of this connection has sparked the development of different early-education programs ranging from home-based daycare to highly structured corporate programs. Each model has the potential to support a child’s learning, yet there are great differences between the programs and environments. The best program, however, uses the most current research on childhood development, accepted national and state standards and “best practice” recommendations in its programming. Primrose Schools represents a “gold standard” of this approach, distinguishing it from other programs and making it a recognized leader in childcare and education. Early-education programs are often modeled after theories of learning

under the notion that the correct theory will translate to the best program. Consequently, programming that follows one school of thought is structured to only concentrate on a particular aspect of development and a certain method of teaching. Some theories, such as the Behaviorist Theory, look to the outside world as the main in luence on a child’s learning abilities. Programs that follow this model are mostly teacher-directed, whereby children are taught what they know by repetition and memorization. Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Structuralist

Theory and Maria Montessori schools emphasize the idea that children construct meaning from experiences within their environment, EarlyEducationForum.org


ensure a child’s success in school.

Studies con irm that a focus on academic skills alone is not suf icient to ensure a child’s success in school. Nurturing guidance and attention to every aspect of development in the early years is crucial to build con idence, compassion, a love of learning and competence in math and reading. For this reason, the Primrose research-based curriculum incorporates hands-on learning, en-

Primrose Schools broke the mold in educational programming by creating a new model of learning that combines the best of all the leading theories of development instead of focusing on one aspect. The Balanced Learning® curriculum does

Cognitive Structuralist Theory: Child creates rules for how the world works as they play and interact with the environment

Stages of Social Emotional Development: Child must resolve psychosocial crises at different stages to learn and mature

TEACHER-DIRECTED

Maturationist Theory: Child cannot be taught until he or she is ready

Behaviorist Theory: Child must be taught knowledge CHILD-INITIATED

Studies confirm that a focus on academic skills alone is not sufficient to

not focus on either childinitiated or teacherdirected programs like other education programs do, but offers a balance of both because they are equally important in a child’s development. Balanced Learning® emphasizes balance between learning, play, selfesteem, character development, curriculum, and teaching.

while those who follow Lev Vygotsky’s Social Cognitive Theory take it a step further to include other people as part of that learning environment. Programs that follow the Maturationist Theory look to the child’s inner self as the key for learning and are more childinitiated. Still, other educational models stress the importance of social factors and development stages that are at the core of Erik Erickson’s Eight Stages of Social Emotional Development.

Social Cognitive Theory: Child constructs meaning from experiences within their environment, which includes other people

Understanding the different theories of how a child learns is key to developing an opmized educaonal program. Most theories favor a one-direconal approach. EarlyEducationForum.org


richment programs like art, music and language, and technology integration into their model. Because Primrose recognizes the importance of developmentally appropriate experiences, the curriculum’s engaging learning activities are appropriate for children at different stages of development. Another component of Balanced Learning® addresses character development. Understanding concepts such as friendship, generosity and honesty is at the heart of the Primrose culture. In promoting the cognitive, social, emotional, physical and creative aspects of development, and supporting a child’s learning in multiple ways—through listening, seeing, touching and play—an environment that fosters well-rounded children is achieved. The reason the comprehensive Primrose model works is because training experts create and select curriculum for teachers, who are recruited and specially trained in the Balanced Learning® curriculum, to use in addressing speci ic learning outcomes. The curriculum was developed with a commitment to always utilizing “best practices” recommendations from the leading organizations in

Understanding concepts such as friendship, generosity and honesty is at the heart of the Primrose culture. child education and development and empirically supported approaches to learning. Primrose Schools has integrated the guidelines and recommendations from key organizations in the early childhood education ield including the National Education Goals Panel, National Scienti ic Council on the Developing Child, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Foundation for Child Development, and National Center for Curriculum and Assessment. The Balanced Learning® curriculum EarlyEducationForum.org


continuously improves because it has an Education Advisory Board, which is made up of leading early childhood experts, who make recommendations for the education and training programs as research and technology changes. Primrose Schools’ focus on highquality programming has resulted in the successful accreditation of their programs by the Commission on International and TransRegional Accreditation and The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for meeting comprehensive and rigorous standards on curriculum, safety, teacher education and professional development. The best indicator

of success, however, is the achievement of Primrose children. The Bracken Assessment, a national assessment instrument, is used at the Pre-K and kindergarten levels to measure the effectiveness of the Balanced Learning® curriculum. Primrose students have consist-

The most acve me of brain development occurs before age five.

ently scored in the 90th percentile for the last four years, proving the curriculum’s strength above the rest. It is clear that Primrose Schools’ awards translate to the children’s rewards, and the curriculum’s success means the children’s success. Consider this: the most active time of brain development occurs before age ive. Strong neural connections formed during this essential time are established by every experience children have with their environment. The quality of those early interactions determines how children will continue to learn and form relationships, strongly in luencing their future success and happiness. There are many early education and childcare options but no proven competitors. Choose the right option—the only research-based and statistically proven successful curriculum—and invest in your child’s future by providing preparation for school and a foundation for life. With an active mind, healthy body and happy heart…anything is possible!

Evelyn A. Cobos is a researcher and believer in the importance of early educaon and its impact on society. She writes on the subject from her nave South Florida, where she is a praccing a orney. Ms. Cobos holds a B.A. from the University of Miami and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago.

EarlyEducationForum.org


The Primrose Difference