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 terrific academic exercise in early childhood. Dana Goldstein’s May thirtieth article, “ Free Play or Flashcards? New Study Nods to More Rigorous Preschools” (NY Times, 5/30/17) no longer solely left us puzzled however raised numerous necessary questions.
Should a find out about that determined a 2½-month reap in educational capabilities when taught in preschool affect early childhood coverage and practice? How can one argue for giving up huge chunks of playtime for educational educating to make such minimal positive factors in tutorial performance—with little consideration of what different areas would possibly have misplaced out due to the fact of the center of attention on educational skills? Studies of Head Start applications that taught tutorial capabilities to preschoolers in the 1960’s and 1970’s observed that positive factors made in educational overall performance over teens in extra play-based Head Start applications have been commonly long past with the aid of 2nd grade (i.e., “fade-out effect,” as cited in the article). Furthermore, lookup in many European countries, which do no longer begin formal studying practise till age seven, suggests that beginning formal instructing of analyzing formerly 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 undertaking to another, tries out one cloth and then the next, and/or does the identical endeavor day-after-day, this is now not exceptional play or, necessarily, even play. And, even when a toddler does emerge as extra wholly engaged in an exercise that develops over time and is significant play, instructors have a critical position in facilitating the play to assist the baby take it further. The trainer additionally makes selections about how to combine extra formal early literacy and math competencies into the play—for instance, through assisting a baby dictate tales about his portray and pointing out some of the key phrases and letters involved, etc. The trainer can then assist the baby “read” the story at a type meeting. With block building, the trainer and baby may talk about shapes, as she tries to discover the proper form for her structure.
This form of intentional teacher-facilitated mastering thru play contributes to the many foundational competencies adolescents want for later faculty success, such as self-regulation, social skills, creativity, authentic thinking, oral language development, eye-hand coordination, pre-literacy and math skills, and fantastic attitudes towards problem-solving. And, in the long run, these foundational abilities are a lot greater vital for how kids will sense about and operate later in faculty than the 2½ months achieve they would possibly gain from the early ability training acquired in preschool, as pronounced in the New York Times article.
Rather than debating over free play versus flashcards, possibly we ought to be asking the larger questions:
- Why are years of research on the benefits of quality play in preschool programs so often ignored?
- Why is it assumed that academic skills are so important to emphasize in preschool rather than a focus on the development of the “whole child” and foundational skills that prepare children for school success in the later years?
- Why are play and learning so often treated 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 complete toolkit will reply questions about constitution colleges and college privatization.
HIGH SCHOOL SHOULD BE MORE LIKE PRESCHOOL
Secondary schooling is now borrowing thoughts 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 forty states both have or are in the method of creating Kindergarten Readiness Assessments (KRA), a device to measure children’s readiness for kindergarten. While KRAs have various advantages for instructing and learning, the consequences can additionally be used inappropriately, in accordance to a current Ounce of Prevention Fund report, “ Uses and Misuses of Kindergarten Readiness Assessments. ”
Read the entire article here.
STOP HUMILIATING TEACHERS
“Stop Humiliating Teachers” via David Denby used to be 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 used to be unable to reply primary questions or tackle controversial issues. But, most importantly, she is in opposition to public schooling and, instead, desires to privatize public education. DeVos has a confirmed records of helping efforts that discriminate towards low-income communities and communities of color. At DEY, we aid the equal probability of each younger baby for an magnificent education. We are specially worried that DeVos will undermine the country wide and country efforts to promote customary preschool public education.
For more information about advocacy for appropriate public education, visit DEY’s website 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 teacher carried the torch for democracy at the confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, Donal Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. “The Senate should to be a rubber stamp, Patty Murray said. We owe it t the American people to put families and children first, not billionaires.”
Those were fighting words from the mild-mannered senator from Washington State, and senior Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee. Especially with Microsoft and Amazon among her top campaign contributors from 2011 to 2016. But as the results of our recent election attest, women’s ascent to power is convoluted. The pacts we make can be Faustian: these days, a former Microsoft executive runs Washington’s department of early learning.
In the week earlier than the hearing, as opponents of DeVos signed petitions, referred to as their senators, and urged individuals of the HELP committee to dump her, Defending the Early Years, a nonprofit corporation primarily based in Boston, released “Teachers Speak Out.” The document highlights the worries of early childhood instructors about the have an effect on of faculty reforms on low-income children. Authors Diane E. Levin and Judith L. Van Hoorn culled their records 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 installed in research. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, forty seven percentage of teenagers below six years historical lived in low-income families near or beneath the poverty line in 2014. The stage rises to almost 70 percentage for Black and Native-American teenagers and sixty four percentage for Hispanic youngsters. In a latest survey carried out by means of the Council of Chief State School Officers—which helped design the Common Core standards—teachers throughout the United States listed household stress, poverty, and gaining knowledge of and psychological troubles as the pinnacle boundaries to scholar 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 carried out by using humans with suitable intentions however frequently little formal knowledge of early child development.” Those with the information now face a “profound moral dilemma.” As top-down mandates dictate the instructing and evaluation of slender educational abilities at youthful and youthful ages, early childhood educators are pressured to do the “least harm,” instead than the “most good.”
In an change 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 record numbers. Respect for the profession and morale are at an all-time low, as teachers have picked up the slack for a society that starves its schools and communities, and blames them for all its ills. But out of this malaise, a new activism has emerged, with great energy dedicated to defeating her.
Early childhood teachers—with some notable exceptions—have been missing from the action. The reasons are complex. This is a workforce that has long been marginalized, their work devalued, and expertise ignored. “It’s just babysitting,” New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, said some years ago, of his state’s prekindergarten program—a perception shared by many, and internalized by those in the field. Salaries for educators working in community-based programs are significantly less than those of their colleagues in the public schools. Many are living in poverty, and afflicted by the toxic stress common among their students. The newest practitioners are worried about putting their careers at risk. Few have been willing to go on the record with their critique.
As I read through the report, I kept underlining the quotes from the teachers, as if to amplify them, to lift them off the page. They’re struggling to honor early childhood’s robust evidence base, but they’re undermined by a lack of agency and autonomy:
The trust in my expertise and judgment as a teacher is gone. So are the play and learning centers in my classroom. Everything is supposed to be structured for a specific lesson and rigidly timed to fit into a specific, tight, preapproved schedule.
The terrible have an impact on of reforms on children’s improvement and getting to know can’t be overstated. Practice has grow to be greater rote, and standardized, with much less time for deep relationships—among children, and between them and caring adults. We’re stealing the coronary heart of notable early education, as the character strengths, interests, and wishes of kids 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 carry us into the school rooms studied by using Daphna Bassok, Scott Lathem, and Anna Rorem, of the University of Virginia, who used two large, nationally consultant statistics units to evaluate 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 analyzing is turning into section of the predicted talent set of 5-year-olds, and the stress has extended, in some cases, to prekindergarten, the place youth are being requested to grasp analyzing through the cease of the year. The repercussions are severe:
It’s crucial for each kindergarten toddler to sense welcomed and included, to be phase of the class. Instead, we’re keeping apart the cream from the milk. From the beginning, we’re telling youngsters who are poor, ‘You’re deficient,’ as a substitute of assisting them turn out to be able and sense profitable and section of their class. Then it’s ‘remedial this, remedial that.’ It’s discrimination.
The record concludes with a sequence of recommendations—from the actual professionals in the room. The first calls for the withdrawal of present day early childhood requirements and mandates. Another urges the use of proper assessment, based totally on observations of children, their development, and learning. Number ten addresses toddler poverty, our country wide stain:
Work at all tiers of society to reduce, and sooner or later cease baby poverty. To do this, we ought to first renowned that a slim focal point on enhancing colleges will now not resolve the complicated issues related with infant 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 option is to call 202-225-3121 and be connected with any congressional member, both Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. Tell the staffer who answers that you are opposed to Mrs. DeVos’ confirmation as Secretary of Education. They will ask for your name and zip code and tally your call as a “yay” or “nay.”
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