Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in by Edward Miller, Joan Almon

By Edward Miller, Joan Almon

Difficulty within the Kindergarten contains new examine exhibiting that many kindergartens spend 2 to three hours according to day teaching and trying out childrens in literacy and math with merely half-hour according to day or much less for play. In a few kindergartens there's no playtime in any respect. a similar didactic, test-driven technique is coming into preschools. yet those equipment, which aren't good grounded in examine, are usually not yielding long term earnings. in the meantime, behavioral difficulties and preschool expulsion, specifically for boys, are hovering. The damaging implications of the present techniques to early schooling are large and the wanted adjustments can merely be complete while mom and dad, educators, university directors and coverage makers are informed and take motion jointly.

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But do they work in public schools? Do they actually help children, particularly those from low-income families, as their proponents claim? S. House Committee on Education and Labor in July 2008 and presented their evidence that New York’s testing and accountability policies had substantially closed the achievement gaps between white and minority children in math and reading at the fourth-grade and eighthgrade levels. The Mayor claimed that in some cases the gap was cut in half. 46 rate way to measure achievement gaps, though political actors often prefer to employ this metric because it paints a more positive picture of progress than truly exists.

CRISIS IN THE KINDERGARTEN 35 C H A P T E R 3 : Reassessing Standards effective than the play-based ones. Given the critical importance of play in children’s development and its documented decline in children’s lives, this conclusion should be taken as a strong endorsement of play-based activities in kindergarten. Unfortunately, the NELP report is likely to promote even more of what young children are already getting: long hours in kindergarten and preschool of teacher-led instruction in literacy skills and testing—and a dearth of child-initiated learning.

Labeling children as learning disabled or hyperactive, for instance, requires complex methods of assessment. Symptoms of these conditions can in many cases be caused by inappropriate expectations of children who are being pushed to succeed at tasks they are developmentally unprepared for (see Chapter 3). We must always ask this question: To what extent is this child responding to an inappropriate form of education? A new report from the NRC, issued in August 2008, specifically addresses the use of assessments with young children from birth to age five.

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