Preschoolers need to learn how to make choices for themselves and how to feel good about the choices they make. It is their job to "learn to take initiative in socially acceptable ways" (Erikson, 1963).
Preschool-aged children's style of thinking and learning can best be described as "what you see is what you get," or reasoning based on the way things look.
Preschoolers rely heavily on the literal appearance of things as a means of understanding the world around them. For example, if a child breaks her graham cracker into four pieces while her mate breaks his in half, she thinks that she has more graham cracker than her mate because she has four pieces and he only has two pieces. Similarly, a child may begin a friendship with another child because of something appealing that the other child has, such as a pretty dress or a new toy.
Adults play an important role in helping children take initiative and explore their environments. Adults' behaviors, attitudes and styles of thinking contribute to preschoolers' development. Therefore teachers are talking with children and include them in conversations because it helps to develop their language skills. But don't cultivate the long sessions sitting in circle !
It is important to give children opportunities for make-believe play. This helps them to understand themselves and others, and encourages their imaginations.
I'm waiting for articles from preschool teachers about growing independency.