The leading theoretical-scientific paradigms, pedagogical-psychological theories of learning, and the dominant models of the child/childhood constitute the foundation of which all concepts for pre-school programmes are based on. The adopted concepts for the programme are designed through various filters, such as: traditional models of work in educational practice; the affirmed best interests of the child; and the teachers’ experiences.
After decades of behaviourally-oriented and didactically-specific structured practice, an open and humanistic-oriented programme has been implemented in the Montenegrin pre-school context since 2000. The transition to a new paradigm meant the transformation of the entire pre-school environment, as well as that of internal and external factors of influence, including the children, teachers, families, the wider community, and other stakeholders.
After two decades of experience implementing the current curricula, we have examined the opinions of pre-school teachers from Montenegrin pre-school institutions on the quality of and challenges in the implementation of the new programme. We have applied a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, i.e. a questionnaire (of 260 respondents) and interviews (focus groups) with pre-school teachers from the three Montenegrin regions. The results indicate a high level of understanding of the concept and the efficient implementation of the programme in practice, as well as some contradictory attitudes about the quality of the current pre-school environment.