Alternative Education: The Art of Child Nurturing

Early childhood education or nursery education refers to the formal education that a child receives. In most countries, children enrol in nursery education centres from the age of 3, and at the age of 9, the child graduates to middle school. In a conventional setup, children receive formal education with little to no creative stimulation. While this has been the traditional format for decades, pedagogical research has discovered that substandard early educational methods are detrimental to development. Consequently, it has led to a boom in the alternative educational system. An alternative early childhood learning center offers innovative and fresh solutions to early learning challenges.

The Shichida Method

While there are several types of alternative education, the most successful methods have one thing in common- they emphasise on holistic development of the child rather than rote learning. For example, Shichida is a pioneering early education model. Also known as Whole Brain Education, centres that adopt this method enrol children from the age of 6 months. They incorporate tools like music, dance, memory techniques, and flashcards to teach children. This way, children use their kinetic, spatial, and creative senses to learn.

Origins of the Shichida Method

The Shichida method was the brainchild of a Japanese teacher named Makoto Shichida, who taught English in Gotsu, a small city in Japan. While interacting with learners of various ages, he observed a stark difference between the learning capabilities of young children and adolescents. Irked by this difference, Shichida devoted the next two and a half decades of his life to researching brain development in children and its effects on learning. As a result, he discovered that children were more suited to absorbing knowledge than adults and were capable of learning faster than their grown peers.

Philosophy of Learning

The method is popular in the alternative education system because it focuses on the holistic development of students. “Soul Education” is a motto of the mode, and true to its belief, it concentrates on developing the creative abilities of children. Right-hemisphere brain training is also a significant part of the curriculum, where the child learns through creative means. The philosophy of the method is that all children are born with individualistic capabilities, and the teacher has to hone these abilities. When one is encouraged to pursue their interests and sharpen their distinct talents, they become interested in learning. Unlike the traditional education system, the Shichida system does not evaluate everybody based on standardised tests. Children are free to develop their skills in their way.

Teaching techniques

Some of the teaching techniques used by Shichida teachers are the usage of flashcards for retaining memory, dot cards, storytelling, music, games, and dancing. Through repeated training in these methods, researchers have proven that children have a better memory than before, have a positive outlook towards learning and exhibit heightened mindfulness.

Modern Shichida Education

Education centres that employ this outlook towards education involve various modern tools in implementing the method. Schools schedule 50-minute sessions for children between six months and nine years of age. They are divided into small groups of six or five per session so that the instructor can provide undivided, quality attention to each child. The teacher also has a deep understanding of every student’s interest, talents and capabilities. They also arrange the class such that all students get engaged amply. In some Shichida schools, such as an early childhood learning center, parents also involve themselves in the learning sessions and assist their children. 

Conclusion Since education becomes a playful chore, Shichida education is light-hearted yet an effective mode of education. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to instil practical education in children. This way, they are prepared to tackle world problems with enduring strength.