Tonight, I started going through what articles "bloglines" had for me. I, of course, am interested in things about preschool. I saw several people wondering about preschool, it's purpose, and any damage it can do. I am going to give my opinion.
First of all, preschool's purpose is to prepare young children for life, not school. It is supposed to help them build character, a sense of self, a inner barometer of right and wrong. Essentially, if a child were a house, preschool is the foundation. It is below the surface, but still holding up the house.
Developmentally appropriate preschool doesn't mean every child is reading before kindergarten. It means that if a child is interested in reading, and in the right developmental stage, teaching reading is great. But pushing them into it to be "prepared for kindergarten", before they are ready isn't right.
Preschool teachers (and parents, for that matter) are just feeling the pressure to prepare their kids for the dog-eat-dog world out there. But I feel the preparation we need for life is play, fun, getting messy, splashing in puddles.... Good preschool celebrates childhood, doesn't kill it.
Okay, I am stepping off the soap box now.......