Adapting the nursery school as it has developed in the United States of America to a community in Calcutta, India
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This study is primarily concerned with the setting up of a plan for establishing a nursery school in Calcutta which will be a model and an inspiration for others to establish many mor·e of its kind in different. parts of the city as well as in the country. As subsidiary to the main purpose the study aims to show that early childhood education is important, tha~ anthropological differences exist between the United States of America and India and to suggest. ways of modifying and adapting the Unit.ed States of America nursery school and parent. education programs to meet the needs of children and parents in the community of Calcutta. It is a frequent criticism that the techniques, methods and objectives of education in India are borrowed from the English and that. they continue in use long after they have been discarded in England and replaced by new ones as a result. of careful research. The explanation for this is to be found in the absence of proper educational research in Indian. educational institutions. India has no practical and effective educational policy yet. Subjects for study have been added to or eliminated from the curriculum because of financial need or other administrative conditions, or because personal whim or genuine idea, rather than as the result of any carefully prepared educational program based on the real needs of the children of the native soil. Since India is independent now, it should be possible for the Government to formulate a sound educational policy. In doing this India need not pass through all the intermediate educational experiences and mistakes experienced by the West. She can adapt and utilize the highest and best educational principles and practices of the pr eaent. day. It is no longer enough that schools give merely training in academic work, they should also train the child for all important. aspects of living. Emphasis an the ttwhale child« is as. essential. as academic preparation. Education must be the guided development of the individual pesronality. The great importance of early childhood in the development. and education of children bas been universally recognized. Much bas been written and done :in the way of' research to gain a better understand~ a:f children o:f pre-school age in the United Stat.es. This knowledge should be applicable to the education and care of children in any community in India if certain modifications due to. cultural differences are made. It is often said that awing to vast differences of culture, race, religion, etc., the educational systems of America or ather western: co_untries are not suited to India. But a science is a science applicable anywhere irrespective of race, religion or country, The basic laws of' development are universal and uniform. The developmental. interpretations which have proved t.a be so necessary and satisfactory in the psychological care of the first five years of life in the United States of America should be applicable t.o India too. The nursery school as a medium :for acculturation and for strengthening the normal home bas proved invaluable in the United States. In the present. d~pidated social structure of Calcutta nursery schools should prove to be an integrating force.
Thesis (Ed.M.)--Boston University
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