In my talks at early childhood centers and in numerous letters and e-mails from experienced early childhood professionals, I hear the same sad story. The pressures for testing, homework, and the elimination of play are unrelenting. Too many of our best early childhood educators are leaving the field because they cannot, in good conscience, engage in the age-inappropriate practices they are being forced to impose on young children.
If we concentrate on the here and now, without worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, our children will do likewise.
Play is not a luxury but rather a crucial dynamic of healthy physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all age levels.
Many children acquire learned helplessness at school when they are confronted with learning tasks that are too difficult for their level of ability. Some children, for example, fail to learn to read because the way in which it is taught confronts them with a task they cannot comprehend or control. Under these circumstances the learned helplessness response is produced and the child retreats from any experience having to do with reading…
Infants and young children are not just sitting twiddling their thumbs, waiting for their parents to teach them to read or do math. They are expending a vast amount of time and effort in exploring and understanding their immediate world. Healthy education supports and encourages this spontaneous learning.
Early childhood is a very important period of life. It is a period when children learn an enormous amount about the everyday world. It is also the time during which young children acquire lifelong attitudes toward themselves, toward others, and toward learning. But it is not the time for formal academic instruction.
While some testing is useful and important, overtesting is the death of effective education.
The pressure for early academic achievement is but one of many contemporary pressures on children to grow up fast.
Hurrying children into adulthood violates the sanctity of life by giving one period priority over another.
At all levels of development, whether at home or at school, children need the opportunity to play for play’s sake.
It is a sad fact that what we do in education at any point in history often seems to have little or nothing to do with what we know to be good pedagogy for children.
The factory model of education hurries children because it ignores individual differences in mental abilities and learning rates and learning styles.