What is KinderJam?
KinderJam® is a fun, exciting, and high-energy Music and Movement program that emphasizes the kinesthetic and tactile learning of preschool skills and concepts. KinderJam® uses contemporary, upbeat children’s music to expose parents and little ones to fundamental skills that will assist in preparing our little ones for future success in school. We focus on introducing and reinforcing basic preschool skills and concepts in a spirited manner that captures and holds a little one’s attention from beginning to end.
The KinderJam curriculum and learning environment leans heavily on the theories of two developmental psychologists, Howard Gardner (theory of Multiple Intelligences) and Lev Vygotsky (the More Knowledgeable Other and the Zone of Proximal Development) and National Preschool Learning Foundations.
Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences is the basis on which KinderJam’s approach to learning was developed. Our Founder believed that although her son was demonstrating developmental delays, he was gifted. Her role as his mother and teacher was to discover the manner in which her son learned best, (his intelligence).
The Early Childhood Education community and KinderJam embraces the Theory of Multiple Intelligences: "we are not all the same, we do not all have the same kinds of minds, and education works for most individuals if...human differences are taken seriously" (Gardner, 1995, p.208). Gardner has actualized this thinking in his theory of Multiple Intelligences. He defines intelligence as "the ability to find and solve problems and create products of value in one's culture" (Campbell, 1992, p. 197). The seven intelligences include: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Every child owns all seven intelligences. However, some may be stronger than others. Early Childhood Education should be tailored to address the Multiple Intelligences of young children,
In KinderJam, we aim to teach to and respect each child’s individual learning style. We infuse all seven intelligences into each 45 minute class. We lean heavily on the spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, and musical intelligences because, as Early Childhood Professional, our instructors understand the need to activate the right hemisphere of a young child’s brain to create the optimum learning atmosphere to present the left brain intelligences such as linguistic and logical-mathematical.
All of KinderJam’s classes are multi-aged, which incorporates, Lev Vygotsky’s theories of the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) and the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). MKO is defined as someone or something who is perceived to have better skill or understanding of a task, process, or concept. This person could be a peer, a parent, a teacher/tutor, or another person (McLeod, 2007). KinderJam understands that children learn from the people around them. Therefore, we seek to create a learning environment that gives our KinderJammers the opportunity to learn from their instructors, parents, adults in their community, and their peers.
More Knowledgeable Other goes hand in hand with Vygotsky’s second theory, Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). ZPD is the distance between a child’s ability to perform a task under adult guidance and/or with peer collaboration and the child’s ability solving the problem independently (Learning Theories Knowledgebase, 2011). According to Vygotsky, learning occurred in this zone. In an effort to help our KinderJammers learn, develop decision making skills, and exercise higher order thinking, KinderJam encourages parents to use open ended questions and give the children opportunity to think for themselves in an effort to guide our KinderJammers through solving their developmentally appropriate problems and determining suitable social solutions.
Now that we have explained the theories behind the KinderJam learning environment, let’s breakdown the Preschool Skills and Concepts presented our KinderJam classes. Below is a list of the preschool skills and concepts introduced and reinforced in our KinderJam classes, a description of each skill/concept, and how that skill/concept appears in a KinderJam class.