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 excellent 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 various vital questions.
Should a find out about that located a 2½-month obtain in tutorial abilities when taught in preschool have an effect on early childhood coverage and practice? How can one argue for giving up massive chunks of playtime for tutorial instructing to make such minimal good points in educational 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 packages that taught educational competencies to preschoolers in the 1960’s and 1970’s discovered that positive aspects made in tutorial overall performance over adolescents in greater play-based Head Start packages had been commonly long past through 2nd grade (i.e., “fade-out effect,” as noted in the article). Furthermore, lookup in many European countries, which do no longer begin formal studying preparation till age seven, indicates that beginning formal educating of studying in the past 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 baby dabbles from one pastime to another, tries out one cloth and then the next, and/or does the equal endeavor day-after-day, this is no longer great play or, necessarily, even play. And, even when a infant does come to be extra totally engaged in an exercise that develops over time and is significant play, instructors have a essential 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, by way of assisting a baby 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 category meeting. With block building, the trainer and toddler would possibly talk about shapes, as she tries to discover the proper structure for her structure.
This type of intentional teacher-facilitated mastering via play contributes to the many foundational abilities adolescents want for later faculty success, along with self-regulation, social skills, creativity, authentic thinking, oral language development, eye-hand coordination, pre-literacy and math skills, and effective attitudes towards problem-solving. And, in the lengthy run, these foundational competencies are a great deal greater essential for how kids will experience about and function later in college than the 2½ months obtain they would possibly achieve from the early ability practise acquired in preschool, as pronounced in the New York Times article.
Rather than debating over free play versus flashcards, perhaps we should be asking the bigger questions:
- Why are years of lookup on the advantages of great play in preschool applications so regularly ignored?
- Why is it assumed that educational capabilities are so necessary to emphasize in preschool instead than a focal point on the improvement of the “whole child” and foundational competencies that put together teens for college success in the later years?
- Why are play and gaining knowledge of 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 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” 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 assertion 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 answer primary questions or tackle controversial issues. But, most importantly, she is towards public training and, instead, needs to privatize public education. DeVos has a verified records of assisting efforts that discriminate in opposition to low-income communities and communities of color. At DEY, we help the equal possibility of each and every younger baby for an amazing education. We are specially worried that DeVos will undermine the countrywide and kingdom efforts to promote usual 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 trainer carried the torch for democracy at the affirmation listening to for Betsy DeVos, Donal Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. “The Senate have to to be a rubber stamp, Patty Murray said. We owe it t the American humans to put households and teens first, no longer 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 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 report highlights the concerns of early childhood teachers about the impact of school reforms on low-income children. Authors Diane E. Levin and Judith L. Van Hoorn culled their data 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 kids and sixty four percentage for Hispanic youngsters. In a current survey performed through the Council of Chief State School Officers—which helped design the Common Core standards—teachers throughout the United States listed household stress, poverty, and getting to know and psychological troubles as the pinnacle obstacles 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 information now face a “profound moral dilemma.” As top-down mandates dictate the educating and evaluation of slender educational abilities at youthful and youthful ages, early childhood educators are pressured to do the “least harm,” as an alternative 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 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 extraordinary exceptions—have been lacking from the action. The motives are complex. This is a group of workers that has lengthy been marginalized, their work devalued, and understanding 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 using many, and internalized via these in the field. Salaries for educators working in community-based applications are substantially much less than these of their colleagues in the public schools. Many are dwelling in poverty, and stricken through the poisonous stress frequent amongst their students. The latest practitioners are concerned about placing their careers at risk. Few have been inclined to go on the document with their critique.
As I study thru the report, I saved underlining the charges from the teachers, as if to expand them, to carry them off the page. They’re struggling to honor early childhood’s sturdy proof base, however they’re undermined by means of a lack of organization and autonomy:
The believe in my information and judgment as a instructor is gone. So are the play and gaining knowledge of facilities in my classroom. Everything is supposed to be structured for a particular lesson and rigidly timed to healthy into a specific, tight, preapproved schedule.
The bad influence of reforms on children’s improvement and gaining knowledge of can’t be overstated. Practice has emerge as extra 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 magnificent early education, as the character strengths, interests, and wishes of youngsters get lost:
With this excessive emphasis on what’s known as ‘rigorous academics,’ drills are emphasized. It’s an awful lot more difficult for my adolescents to emerge as self-regulated learners. Children have no time to study to self-regulate by means of deciding on their personal activities, taking part in ongoing tasks with their classmates, or taking part in creatively. They have to take a seat longer, however their interest spans are shorter.
The authors carry us into the lecture rooms studied through Daphna Bassok, Scott Lathem, and Anna Rorem, of the University of Virginia, who used two large, nationally consultant information units to examine public school kindergarten classrooms between 1998 and 2010. More formal, directed instruction in reading, writing, and math, once the province of first grade, has trickled down into kindergarten. Close reading is becoming part of the expected skill set of 5-year-olds, and the pressure has extended, in some cases, to prekindergarten, where children are being asked to master reading by the end of the year. The repercussions are severe:
It’s integral for each kindergarten infant to experience welcomed and included, to be phase 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 come to be ready 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 professionals in the room. The first calls for the withdrawal of modern-day early childhood requirements and mandates. Another urges the use of true assessment, based totally on observations of children, their development, and learning. Number ten addresses toddler poverty, our countrywide stain:
Work at all degrees of society to reduce, and finally quit toddler poverty. To do this, we need to first renowned that a slender center of attention on enhancing faculties will no longer resolve the complicated troubles 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 affirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education commence on January 11, 2017. Many educators have grave issues 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 linked with any congressional member, each Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. Tell the staffer who solutions that you are antagonistic 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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