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 fabulous instructional 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) not only left us puzzled but raised several important questions.
Should a find out about that determined a 2½-month acquire in educational capabilities when taught in preschool have an impact on 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 educational performance—with little consideration of what different areas may have lost out due to the fact of the focal point on educational skills? Studies of Head Start applications that taught tutorial capabilities to preschoolers in the 1960’s and 1970’s discovered that features made in educational overall performance over kids in extra play-based Head Start packages had been typically long past via 2nd grade (i.e., “fade-out effect,” as cited in the article). Furthermore, lookup in many European countries, which do now not begin formal studying preparation till age seven, suggests that beginning formal educating of analyzing beforehand has little benefit.
Play-based early childhood packages are all-too-often misunderstood. Just having performed in a preschool is now not enough, as all play is not the same. When a infant dabbles from one undertaking to another, tries out one fabric and then the next, and/or does the equal endeavor day-after-day, this is no longer pleasant play or, necessarily, even play. And, even when a toddler does grow to be greater completely engaged in an exercise that develops over time and is significant play, instructors have a imperative function in facilitating the play to assist the baby take it further. The trainer additionally makes selections about how to integrate greater formal early literacy and math abilities into the play—for instance, through assisting a infant dictate tales about his portray and pointing out some of the key phrases and letters involved, etc. The instructor can then assist the baby “read” the story at a classification meeting. With block building, the instructor and infant may talk about shapes, as she tries to locate the proper form for her structure.
This sort of intentional teacher-facilitated mastering via play contributes to the many foundational capabilities adolescents want for later college success, which include self-regulation, social skills, creativity, authentic thinking, oral language development, eye-hand coordination, pre-literacy and math skills, and nice attitudes toward problem-solving. And, in the lengthy run, these foundational abilities are plenty extra necessary for how teens will experience about and function later in faculty than the 2½ months obtain they would possibly attain from the early ability coaching obtained in preschool, as stated in the New York Times article.
Rather than debating over free play versus flashcards, possibly we ought to be asking the higher questions:
- Why are years of lookup on the advantages of first-rate play in preschool packages so regularly 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 mastering so regularly handled 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 forty states both have or are in the procedure of creating Kindergarten Readiness Assessments (KRA), a device to measure children’s readiness for kindergarten. While KRAs have countless advantages for educating and learning, the effects 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” by David Denby was published in the Feb. 11, 2017 issue 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 training and, instead, needs 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 guide the equal probability of each and every younger toddler for an awesome education. We are specifically involved that DeVos will undermine the country wide and nation efforts to promote usual preschool public education.
For extra facts about advocacy for excellent 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 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 had been conflict 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 consequences of our latest election attest, women’s ascent to energy is convoluted. The pacts we make can be Faustian: these days, a former Microsoft govt runs Washington’s branch of early learning.
In the week before the hearing, as opponents of DeVos signed petitions, called their senators, and entreated members of the HELP committee to dump her, Defending the Early Years, a nonprofit organization based in Boston, released “Teachers Speak Out.” The file 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 under the poverty line in 2014. The degree rises to almost 70 percentage for Black and Native-American young people and sixty four percentage for Hispanic youngsters. In a latest survey performed by means of the Council of Chief State School Officers—which helped design the Common Core standards—teachers throughout the United States listed family stress, poverty, and gaining knowledge of and psychological troubles as the pinnacle limitations to scholar success.
Yet the mandates of the Common Core are exacerbating the problem. As Levin and Van Hoorn factor out in the report’s introduction, “recent reforms…have been developed and applied by means of humans with top intentions however frequently little formal knowledge of early child development.” Those with the understanding now face a “profound moral dilemma.” As top-down mandates dictate the educating and evaluation of slim educational capabilities at youthful and youthful ages, early childhood educators are pressured to do the “least harm,” as a substitute than the “most good.”
In an trade 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 occupation 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 outstanding strength devoted 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 study via the report, I stored underlining the costs from the teachers, as if to increase them, to raise them off the page. They’re struggling to honor early childhood’s strong proof base, however they’re undermined by way of a lack of company and autonomy:
The have confidence in my know-how and judgment as a instructor is gone. So are the play and studying facilities in my classroom. Everything is supposed to be structured for a precise lesson and rigidly timed to in shape 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 carry us into the school rooms studied with the aid of Daphna Bassok, Scott Lathem, and Anna Rorem, of the University of Virginia, who used two large, nationally consultant facts units to evaluate public school kindergarten classrooms between 1998 and 2010. More formal, directed education in reading, writing, and math, as soon as the province of first grade, has trickled down into kindergarten. Close analyzing is turning into phase of the anticipated talent set of 5-year-olds, and the strain has extended, in some cases, to prekindergarten, the place teens are being requested to grasp analyzing by means of the give up of the year. The repercussions are severe:
It’s integral for each and every kindergarten baby to sense 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,’ rather of supporting them grow to be equipped and sense profitable and phase of their class. Then it’s ‘remedial this, remedial that.’ It’s discrimination.
The file concludes with a sequence 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 real assessment, primarily based on observations of children, their development, and learning. Number ten addresses infant poverty, our country wide stain:
Work at all degrees of society to reduce, and subsequently cease infant poverty. To do this, we have to first renowned that a slim center of attention on enhancing faculties will now not remedy 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 adversarial 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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