What researchers have documented is that, once children begin make-believe play, parents can enrich it. They do so by playing along with children, responding to the child’s initiatives in a lighthearted way. When adults are too intrusive or controlling, they dampen the child’s fantasy play.
…effective teachers manage students without coercion. While less effective teachers may be just as concerned about students personally, when they teach they slip into the coercive practices that destroy their effectiveness. Coercive teachers are the rule, not the exception, in our schools. But, if increasing the number of teachers who manage students without coercion, like the good teachers we remember, is the solution to this pressing problem, no one in power seems to want to address this issue.
Because they are well able to tell the difference between pain and pleasure, newborn babies quickly learn to express themselves so that those who take care of them can tell whether they are feeling good or bad. Parents may not know exactly how to help a baby feel better, but they almost always know how the baby feels. Very quickly, babies become better at expressing what is wrong and parents become more adept at guessing what it is.
Children do not usually admit this, but they do not wish to be all powerful, and the possibility that they might be is frightening indeed. Children raised without firm, consistent boundaries are insecure and world-weary. Burdened with too many decisions and too much power, they miss out on the joyful freedom every child deserves.
Research shows that when children are given the opportunity to take an active role in science they are much more likely to retain what is learned. Involvement and exploration help them assimilate the information and relate it to other areas.
Probably the greatest single goal of early childhood education should be to build in children a sense of their own worth as persons. The child must learn to feel that he is needed and valued by those about him. This is one of the richest gifts his parents can give.
Teachers must conform to arbitrary expectations in the same way their students do. The only difference is that teachers can quit.
While we seem to realize that some babies get their teeth earlier (and that this has nothing to do with later eating habits, appetite, or body mass index), we seem not to accept that babies develop cognitively at different rates. Nor do we seem to recognize that cognitive development cannot be teased out and isolated from other aspects of human development.
Today it is the rare educator who is brave enough to question whether first graders really need to fill out worksheets at home.
We must realize that the child who is required to learn things before he is ready may quickly tire of them. Or he may become anxiety-ridden and so frustrated that he will not try at all.
Every student is gifted and talented in their own way, but sometimes these gifts are hidden or take time to be discovered and flourish.
Even though most parents and educators recognize the benefits of unstructured outdoor play, research shows that this generation of children plays outside significantly less than their parents did. One cross-sectional study representing four million children in the US showed that roughly half of all preschoolers don’t have daily outdoor playtime, even though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends encouraging “children to play outside as much as possible.” Older children don’t fare much better, with digital entertainment on average now eating up nearly fifty-three hours of their time every week. By the time they reach their teens, only 10 percent of American children report spending time outside every day, according to the Nature Conservancy.