Faculty of Education - Theses

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    The care of the pre-school child in N.S.W
    McKenzie, Jean Banks ( 1944)
    THE CARE OF THE PRE-SCHOOL CHILD IN NEW SOUTH WALES. The thesis as presented falls into four definite parts. The first, Section I., is concerned with the history and philosophy of the care of the very young child overseas. As we owe so much, particularly in our educational attitudes, to the "Old Country", an of later years to America also, the relevant developments in these two places have been given. Health, custodial and educational aspects have all been included. The latter part of Section 1 is concerned with philosophical considerations, the modern theories of child care, and their practical applications in that most satisfying and satisfactory environment for the pre-school child, the Nursery School, a development of the twentieth century. Section II, concerned particularly with matters in New South Wales, deals with the two aspects of child-care, Section lIa. with the physical side, Section II b. with the educational provision. Of these, the first emphasises preventive measures, and is concerned with the development of such movements as Maternal and Baby Welfare, the work of the Bush Nursing Association, the Flying Doctor, the Far West Children's Health Scheme and the less romantic but equally essential services of hospitals, clinics, etc.. But in these days other organisations than purely medical ones are being interested in health movements, and so Play Centres too demand a passing word. Section II b. deals with the educational aspect, where more emphasis is placed on the psychological side, though health matters are by no means regarded as unimportant. Here both residential and non-residential facilities available for the pre-school child are reviewed, and the Nursery School is declared to provide the best opportunity for a co-ordinating centre of the interests of the child. The provision made by the State, the Kindergarten Union, the Day Nursery and Nursery Schools Association and the Local Governments surveyed from the point of view of the service each provides for the "whole child"; and conclusions are drawn as to. the value of the provision made for the pre-school child, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Section III. is photographic. Unfortunately, the studies were not taken on my visits, but are due to the generosity of two Nursery School Directors (of the Erskineville Day Nursery and the Free Kindergarten, Maybanke) and my brother, without whose assistance this section would have been very uninspired. Last of all come the appendices containing matters of interest in pre-school work, which from the point of view of perspective could not be included in the main body of the work, yet are of value for reference. Appendix I. shows the educational provision made by the State for. children under the compulsory school age in the more closely settled metropolitan areas. Appendix II. details the provision made by the Kindergarten Union and the Day Nursery and Nursery Schools Association. The long waiting lists emphasise. the inability of voluntary organisations to cope with the problem, even in pre-war days. Appendix III. offers a graded list of toys suitable for pre-school children. Appendix IV. outlines "Emergency" Nursery Courses suggested for the training of staff urgently, needed to supplement the fully trained Kindergarten 'and Nursery School staffs for any further expansion in pre-school care. American and English war-time nursery care is not given in the main part of the thesis as the information was gleaned almost entirely from periodicals and newspaper articles, and one always treats this type of information with reserve, wondering how much of the subject matter is propaganda of some sort, and how much can be accepted as scientific fact. Appendix V. simply contains types of record forms actually in use in the various pre-school institutions.
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