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Preschool Children's Learning Strategies

Joy Cullen

When children start primary school they acquire a range of learning strategies which help them to tackle school tasks. Strategies such .as checking instructions, and referring to books, charts or other classroom aids, help children to work systematically in school. Children who are good readers and achieve well on other school subjects are usually particularly competent in using these independent learning strategies.
In the informal learning environment of the preschool, children also practise many learning strategies. Preschoolers daily make decisions and choices about their activities and learn to make purposeful use of the many resources available to them. As they play in the sandpit or block area and join in dramatic play, preschoolers use language to direct themselves and others, and to respond to questions and instructions from other children. The preschooler who learns to make use of these strategies in the context of the concrete, play-oriented activities of the preschool acquires a repertoire of independent strategies to use later with the more abstract tasks of the school curriculum. Consequently, preschools have a valuable function of assisting children to acquire a range of independent strategies which will help them to become competent learners.

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