WENDY LOCKER: NOTHING ABSTRACT ABOUT THE LESSONS OF PLAY
Read Wendy Locker’s insightful article, as published 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 gorgeous 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) now not solely left us puzzled however raised a number of essential questions.
Should a find out about that determined a 2½-month reap in educational abilities when taught in preschool have an effect on early childhood coverage and practice? How can one argue for giving up huge chunks of playtime for educational educating to make such minimal features in educational 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 located that good points made in tutorial overall performance over teenagers in greater play-based Head Start packages had been normally long gone through 2nd grade (i.e., “fade-out effect,” as noted in the article). Furthermore, lookup in many European countries, which do now not begin formal analyzing guidance till age seven, suggests that beginning formal educating of analyzing previously has little benefit.
Play-based early childhood packages are all-too-often misunderstood. Just having performed in a preschool is no longer enough, as all play is not the same. When a toddler dabbles from one pastime to another, tries out one fabric and then the next, and/or does the equal undertaking day-after-day, this is no longer best play or, necessarily, even play. And, even when a toddler does emerge as greater totally engaged in an exercise that develops over time and is significant play, instructors have a critical position in facilitating the play to assist the infant take it further. The instructor additionally makes choices about how to combine greater formal early literacy and math abilities into the play—for instance, by using supporting a infant dictate testimonies 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 classification meeting. With block building, the instructor and toddler may talk about shapes, as she tries to locate the proper shape for her structure.
This type of intentional teacher-facilitated studying via play contributes to the many foundational abilities adolescents want for later faculty success, which includes self-regulation, social skills, creativity, unique thinking, oral language development, eye-hand coordination, pre-literacy and math skills, and tremendous attitudes towards problem-solving. And, in the lengthy run, these foundational capabilities are a whole lot greater vital for how teenagers will experience about and operate later in faculty than the 2½ months obtain they would possibly attain from the early ability preparation obtained in preschool, as stated in the New York Times article.
Rather than debating over free play versus flashcards, possibly we have to be asking the higher questions:
- Why are years of lookup on the advantages of first-rate play in preschool applications so frequently ignored?
- Why is it assumed that educational abilities are so vital to emphasize in preschool alternatively than a center of attention on the improvement of the “whole child” and foundational capabilities that put together teenagers for faculty 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 faculties and college privatization.
HIGH SCHOOL SHOULD BE MORE LIKE PRESCHOOL
Secondary training 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 manner of creating Kindergarten Readiness Assessments (KRA), a device to measure children’s readiness for kindergarten. While KRAs have a number of 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 assertion in opposition to the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education.
DeVos showed in her hearing testimony on January 17th that she is profoundly unqualified to serve as Secretary of Education. She was unable to answer basic questions or address controversial issues. But, most importantly, she is against public education and, instead, wants to privatize public education. DeVos has a proven history of supporting efforts that discriminate against low-income communities and communities of color. At DEY, we support the equal opportunity of every young child for an excellent education. We are especially concerned that DeVos will undermine the national and state efforts to promote universal 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 had been warfare 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 effects 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, known as their senators, and urged contributors of the HELP committee to dump her, Defending the Early Years, a nonprofit corporation primarily based in Boston, released “Teachers Speak Out.” The record highlights the worries of early childhood instructors about the have an impact on of faculty reforms on low-income children. Authors Diane E. Levin and Judith L. Van Hoorn culled their facts 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 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 getting to know 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 through humans with suitable intentions however regularly little formal knowledge of early child development.” Those with the know-how now face a “profound moral dilemma.” As top-down mandates dictate the educating and evaluation of slender tutorial abilities at youthful and youthful ages, early childhood educators are pressured to do the “least harm,” alternatively 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 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 saved underlining the rates from the teachers, as if to enlarge them, to raise them off the page. They’re struggling to honor early childhood’s strong proof base, however they’re undermined via a lack of company and autonomy:
The have confidence in my understanding and judgment as a instructor is gone. So are the play and mastering facilities in my classroom. Everything is supposed to be structured for a precise lesson and rigidly timed to suit 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 excessive emphasis on what’s known as ‘rigorous academics,’ drills are emphasized. It’s a lot more difficult for my teenagers to grow to be self-regulated learners. Children have no time to research to self-regulate by way of deciding on their very own activities, taking part in ongoing initiatives with their classmates, or enjoying creatively. They have to sit down longer, however their interest spans are shorter.
The authors deliver us into the lecture rooms studied by means of Daphna Bassok, Scott Lathem, and Anna Rorem, of the University of Virginia, who used two large, nationally consultant information units to evaluate public school kindergarten classrooms between 1998 and 2010. More formal, directed preparation 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 anticipated ability set of 5-year-olds, and the stress has extended, in some cases, to prekindergarten, the place young people are being requested to grasp analyzing by means of the stop of the year. The repercussions are severe:
It’s integral for each kindergarten toddler to experience welcomed and included, to be phase of the class. Instead, we’re isolating the cream from the milk. From the beginning, we’re telling children who are poor, ‘You’re deficient,’ as a substitute of supporting them end up capable and sense profitable and section of their class. Then it’s ‘remedial this, remedial that.’ It’s discrimination.
The report concludes with a series of recommendations—from the real experts in the room. The first calls for the withdrawal of current early childhood standards and mandates. Another urges the use of authentic assessment, based on observations of children, their development, and learning. Number ten addresses child poverty, our national stain:
Work at all levels of society to reduce, and ultimately end child poverty. To do this, we must first acknowledge that a narrow focus on improving schools will not solve the complex problems associated with child poverty.
Breaking the silence was once by no means so sweet. Now it’s time, as John Lewis says, to get in precise 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 start on January 11, 2017. Many educators have grave worries 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 involved 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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