WENDY LOCKER: NOTHING ABSTRACT ABOUT THE LESSONS OF PLAY
Read Wendy Locker’s insightful article, as posted in the Stamford Advocate, at http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Wendy-Lecker-Nothing-abstract-about-the-lessons-11208722.php
WHY PLAY IS VITAL IN PRESCHOOL: DEY’S RESPONSE TO THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORT SUPPORTING FLASH CARDS OVER FREE PLAY
DEY Senior Advisor and Wheelock College professor, Dr. Diane Levin, writes DEY’s response:
At Defending the Early Years (DEY; www.deyproject.org) we work to promote appropriate educational practice in early childhood. Dana Goldstein’s May 30th article, “Free Play or Flashcards? New Study Nods to More Rigorous Preschools” (NY Times, 5/30/17) now not only left us puzzled however raised numerous essential questions.
Should a learn about that discovered a 2½-month reap in tutorial abilities when taught in preschool affect early childhood coverage and practice? How can one argue for giving up massive chunks of playtime for educational instructing to make such minimal positive aspects in tutorial performance—with little consideration of what different areas would possibly have misplaced out due to the fact of the focal point on tutorial skills? Studies of Head Start packages that taught tutorial competencies to preschoolers in the 1960’s and 1970’s discovered that features made in tutorial overall performance over teens in greater play-based Head Start applications had been typically long past with the aid of 2nd grade (i.e., “fade-out effect,” as referred to in the article). Furthermore, lookup in many European countries, which do no longer begin formal studying coaching till age seven, suggests that beginning formal educating of analyzing before has little benefit.
Play-based early childhood programs are all-too-often misunderstood. Just having played in a preschool is not enough, as all play is not the same. When a infant dabbles from one endeavor to another, tries out one fabric and then the next, and/or does the equal endeavor day-after-day, this is now not first-class play or, necessarily, even play. And, even when a toddler does end up extra completely engaged in an pastime that develops over time and is significant play, teachers have a integral position in facilitating the play to assist the baby take it further. The instructor additionally makes selections about how to combine greater formal early literacy and math capabilities into the play—for instance, by using assisting a infant dictate memories about his portray and pointing out some of the key phrases and letters involved, etc. The trainer can then assist the toddler “read” the story at a type meeting. With block building, the instructor and toddler may talk about shapes, as she tries to locate the proper structure for her structure.
This kind of intentional teacher-facilitated learning through play contributes to the many foundational skills children need for later school success, including self-regulation, social skills, creativity, original thinking, oral language development, eye-hand coordination, pre-literacy and math skills, and positive attitudes toward problem-solving. And, in the long run, these foundational skills are much more important for how children will feel about and perform later in school than the 2½ months gain they might obtain from the early skill instruction received in preschool, as reported in the New York Times article.
Rather than debating over free play versus flashcards, possibly we need to be asking the greater questions:
- Why are years of lookup on the advantages of first-class play in preschool packages so regularly ignored?
- Why is it assumed that educational competencies are so necessary to emphasize in preschool as an alternative than a focal point on the improvement of the “whole child” and foundational abilities that put together youth for college success in the later years?
- Why are play and mastering so frequently dealt with as if they are dichotomous, as they seem to be in this report?
NETWORK FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION RELEASES ITS NPE TOOLKIT: SCHOOL PRIVATIZATION EXPLAINED
This comprehensive toolkit will answer questions about charter schools and school privatization.
HIGH SCHOOL SHOULD BE MORE LIKE PRESCHOOL
Secondary education is now borrowing ideas from early childhood. Published April 7, 2017, in The Hechinger Report, read the full article here.
KINDERGARTEN READINESS ASSESSMENTS
DON’T USE KINDERGARTEN READINESS ASSESSMENTS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
More than 40 states either have or are in the process of developing Kindergarten Readiness Assessments (KRA), a tool to measure children’s readiness for kindergarten. While KRAs have several benefits for teaching and learning, the results can also be used inappropriately, according to a recent Ounce of Prevention Fund report, “Uses and Misuses of Kindergarten Readiness Assessments. ”
Read the entire article here.
STOP HUMILIATING TEACHERS
“Stop Humiliating Teachers” with the aid of David Denby was once posted in the Feb. 11, 2017 problem of The New Yorker.
DEY ISSUES A STATEMENT OPPOSING BETSY DEVOS’ NOMINATION FOR SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
DEY is issuing a statement in opposition to the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education.
DeVos confirmed in her listening to testimony on January seventeenth that she is profoundly unqualified to serve as Secretary of Education. She was once unable to reply primary questions or tackle controversial issues. But, most importantly, she is towards public schooling and, instead, wishes to privatize public education. DeVos has a established records of helping efforts that discriminate towards low-income communities and communities of color. At DEY, we help the equal possibility of each younger toddler for an amazing education. We are specifically worried that DeVos will undermine the country wide and country efforts to promote accepted preschool public education.
For greater statistics about advocacy for fabulous public education, go to DEY’s internet site at www.deyproject.org.
ECE POLICY MATTERS’ SUSAN OCHSHORN DISCUSSES BETSY DE VOS NOMINATION AND DEY’S LATEST REPORT, “TEACHERS SPEAK OUT”
THE POWER OF THEIR VOICES: EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS TALK SCHOOL REFORM
(originally published on Jan. 19, 2017)
A former preschool instructor carried the torch for democracy at the affirmation listening to for Betsy DeVos, Donal Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. “The Senate must to be a rubber stamp, Patty Murray said. We owe it t the American human beings to put households and youth first, now not billionaires.”
Those have been battle phrases from the mild-mannered senator from Washington State, and senior Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee. Especially with Microsoft and Amazon amongst her pinnacle marketing campaign contributors from 2011 to 2016. But as the outcomes of our current election attest, women’s ascent to energy is convoluted. The pacts we make can be Faustian: these days, a former Microsoft government runs Washington’s branch of early learning.
In the week earlier than the hearing, as opponents of DeVos signed petitions, referred to as their senators, and advised contributors of the HELP committee to dump her, Defending the Early Years, a nonprofit business enterprise based totally in Boston, released “Teachers Speak Out.” The document highlights the issues of early childhood instructors about the influence of college reforms on low-income children. Authors Diane E. Levin and Judith L. Van Hoorn culled their statistics from interviews with 34 educators in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington, DC.
The link between socioeconomic status and academic achievement has been firmly established in research. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 47 percent of children under six years old lived in low-income families near or beneath the poverty line in 2014. The degree rises to almost 70 percentage for Black and Native-American adolescents and sixty four percentage for Hispanic youngsters. In a latest survey performed via the Council of Chief State School Officers—which helped design the Common Core standards—teachers throughout the United States listed household stress, poverty, and studying and psychological issues as the top boundaries to pupil success.
Yet the mandates of the Common Core are exacerbating the problem. As Levin and Van Hoorn point out in the report’s introduction, “recent reforms…have been developed and implemented by people with good intentions but often little formal knowledge of early child development.” Those with the understanding now face a “profound moral dilemma.” As top-down mandates dictate the instructing and evaluation of slim tutorial competencies at youthful and youthful ages, early childhood educators are pressured to do the “least harm,” instead than the “most good.”
In an exchange at the hearing, between DeVos and Todd Young, a Republican senator from Indiana, she crowed about our “great opportunity…to really empower [teachers] in a new way to do what they do best.” She horrifies educators. They’ve been leaving the field, exhausted and dispirited, in document numbers. Respect for the career and morale are at an all-time low, as instructors have picked up the slack for a society that starves its colleges and communities, and blames them for all its ills. But out of this malaise, a new activism has emerged, with awesome electricity devoted to defeating her.
Early childhood teachers—with some terrific exceptions—have been lacking from the action. The motives are complex. This is a team of workers that has lengthy been marginalized, their work devalued, and knowledge ignored. “It’s simply babysitting,” New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, stated some years ago, of his state’s prekindergarten program—a understanding shared by way of many, and internalized by using these in the field. Salaries for educators working in community-based packages are appreciably much less than these of their colleagues in the public schools. Many are dwelling in poverty, and stricken by way of the poisonous stress frequent among their students. The most recent practitioners are involved about inserting their careers at risk. Few have been inclined to go on the report with their critique.
As I examine via the report, I stored underlining the costs from the teachers, as if to make bigger them, to raise them off the page. They’re struggling to honor early childhood’s strong proof base, however they’re undermined with the aid of a lack of corporation and autonomy:
The have confidence in my information and judgment as a trainer is gone. So are the play and getting to know facilities in my classroom. Everything is supposed to be structured for a unique lesson and rigidly timed to healthy into a specific, tight, preapproved schedule.
The negative impact of reforms on children’s development and learning can’t be overstated. Practice has become more rote, and standardized, with less time for deep relationships—among children, and between them and caring adults. We’re stealing the heart of high-quality early education, as the individual strengths, interests, and needs of children get lost:
With this extreme emphasis on what’s called ‘rigorous academics,’ drills are emphasized. It’s much harder for my children to become self-regulated learners. Children have no time to learn to self-regulate by choosing their own activities, participating in ongoing projects with their classmates, or playing creatively. They have to sit longer, but their attention spans are shorter.
The authors deliver us into the school rooms studied via Daphna Bassok, Scott Lathem, and Anna Rorem, of the University of Virginia, who used two large, nationally consultant statistics units to examine public school kindergarten classrooms between 1998 and 2010. More formal, directed practise in reading, writing, and math, as soon as the province of first grade, has trickled down into kindergarten. Close studying is turning into section of the predicted talent set of 5-year-olds, and the strain has extended, in some cases, to prekindergarten, the place adolescents are being requested to grasp studying via the quit of the year. The repercussions are severe:
It’s crucial for each and every kindergarten toddler to experience welcomed and included, to be section of the class. Instead, we’re setting apart the cream from the milk. From the beginning, we’re telling youngsters who are poor, ‘You’re deficient,’ as an alternative of supporting them grow to be able and sense profitable and section of their class. Then it’s ‘remedial this, remedial that.’ It’s discrimination.
The document concludes with a collection of recommendations—from the actual specialists in the room. The first calls for the withdrawal of modern early childhood requirements and mandates. Another urges the use of genuine assessment, primarily based on observations of children, their development, and learning. Number ten addresses baby poverty, our countrywide stain:
Work at all ranges of society to reduce, and eventually stop toddler poverty. To do this, we need to first well known that a slender center of attention on enhancing colleges will now not resolve the complicated issues related with baby poverty.
Breaking the silence was never so sweet. Now it’s time, as John Lewis says, to get in good trouble.
DEFENDING THE EARLY YEARS RELEASES ITS LATEST REPORT: “TEACHERS SPEAK OUT: HOW SCHOOL REFORMS ARE FAILING LOW-INCOME YOUNG CHILDREN”
NETWORK FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION MOUNTING A CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT BETSY DEVOS AS SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
Senate hearings on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education begin on January 11, 2017. Many educators have grave concerns about Mrs. DeVos. See “A Sobering Look at What Betsy DeVos Did to Education in Michigan – and What She Might Do as Secretary of Education” from The Answer Sheet in The Washington Post and “Betsy DeVos and God’s Plan for Schools” in the Dec. 13, 2016 New York Times.
Network for Public Education is mounting a marketing campaign and encouraging educators and different worried residents to contact their Senator. Find a pattern letter and the addresses of all Senators at https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-your-senator-to-vote-no-for-betsy-devos?source=facebook& amp;. Or write your own letter, in your own words.
Another alternative is to name 202-225-3121 and be related with any congressional member, each Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. Tell the staffer who solutions that you are hostile to Mrs. DeVos’ affirmation as Secretary of Education. They will ask for your identify and zip code and tally your name as a “yay” or “nay.”
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