Learning by Example

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Each day, this Georgia pre-k program begins with an essential question of the day. From the questions, kids learn language, reading, math and other skills.

Joanna Green, a teacher, says, "It’s what we are trying to implement at the pre-k to start that problem solving, that planning early, and to teach them to plan what they are going to do, to carry out those plans and reflect on what they’ve accomplished."

The kids here at the Hand in Hand pre-k program are taught problem solving and how to deal with kids who are different then they are. In this class there is a child with Down Syndrome and a profoundly deaf child. They all get along just fine.

The school follows a recognized curriculum known as high scope. Studies of graduates, says Principal Sheila Bullington, show it has been highly successful

Sheila Bullington says, "The children that they have followed for 30 plus years at age 40 are more likely to own their own homes, be in jobs that they enjoy and be married to the first person they chose."

The plan for Florida is a three-hour day. In Georgia, it is six and a half hours. Teachers here are skeptical that much learning can take place in so little time.

In Georgia, every teacher must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development. Beyond that, there is continuing education all year long and in this particular program, teachers will read three books like this one this year.

Initially, teachers in Florida must only be working towards an AA degree. The advice from Georgia is to never be satisfied.