Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a lot of conversation about early childhood education these days.
Slate had a piece, Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School. I highly recommend reading the article, but just in case you don’t, the basic gist is that while direct teaching will help kids get correct answers it likely hinders creativity and problem solving.
NPR has also been in the game. I was struck by Why Emotional Learning May Be As Important As The ABCs. Many of my issues with the intense academic expectations in kindergarten is that they come at the cost of the other learning children need at that age (and at many other ages but that’s a whole other story). This piece reinforced that feeling for me.
By age 25, those who were enrolled in the special program not only had done better in school, but they also had lower rates of arrests and fewer mental health and substance abuse issues.
More testing is being proposed for kindergartners in my state. Hard for me to imagine as I feel I spend a quarter of my time assessing kiddos. That’s not an exaggeration. The argument is that these assessments will ensure teachers know what students know and need to know. Of course, I’ve already made it clear I don’t buy into that.
A recent report has suggested that teaching kindergartners to read is not the best route. Basically it says kindergartners are not developmentally ready to read, research supports play-based programs at this age and shows no long-term gains from learning to read this young. The report is only twelve pages long but if that feels too much (which is often true for me), the article covers it fairly well.
Finally, even an analysis of the common core state standards for kindergarten is out there recently.
Clearly, early childhood education is a hot topic right now.