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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 splendid 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) no longer solely left us puzzled however raised various essential questions.
Should a learn about that discovered a 2½-month acquire in educational abilities when taught in preschool impact early childhood coverage and practice? How can one argue for giving up huge chunks of playtime for educational 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 tutorial skills? Studies of Head Start applications that taught educational capabilities to preschoolers in the 1960’s and 1970’s observed that good points made in educational overall performance over young people in greater play-based Head Start applications have been normally long gone via 2nd grade (i.e., “fade-out effect,” as stated in the article). Furthermore, lookup in many European countries, which do no longer begin formal analyzing education till age seven, suggests that beginning formal educating of analyzing beforehand 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 child dabbles from one activity to another, tries out one material and then the next, and/or does the same activity day-after-day, this is not quality play or, necessarily, even play. And, even when a child does become more fully engaged in an activity that develops over time and is meaningful play, teachers have a vital role in facilitating the play to help the child take it further. The teacher also makes decisions about how to integrate more formal early literacy and math skills into the play—for instance, by helping a child dictate stories about his painting and pointing out some of the keywords and letters involved, etc. The teacher can then help the child “read” the story at a class meeting. With block building, the teacher and child might discuss shapes, as she tries to find the right shape for her structure.
This type of intentional teacher-facilitated gaining knowledge of thru play contributes to the many foundational abilities young people want for later faculty success, consisting of self-regulation, social skills, creativity, unique thinking, oral language development, eye-hand coordination, pre-literacy and math skills, and fantastic attitudes towards problem-solving. And, in the lengthy run, these foundational abilities are lots greater necessary for how teens will sense about and function later in faculty than the 2½ months achieve they would possibly achieve from the early talent training obtained in preschool, as said in the New York Times article.
Rather than debating over free play versus flashcards, possibly we ought to be asking the greater questions:
- Why are years of research on the benefits of quality play in preschool programs so often ignored?
- Why is it assumed that tutorial competencies are so necessary to emphasize in preschool alternatively than a focal point on the improvement of the “whole child” and foundational capabilities that put together young people for college 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 faculty 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 numerous 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” by using David Denby used to be posted in the Feb. 11, 2017 difficulty of The New Yorker.
DEY ISSUES A STATEMENT OPPOSING BETSY DEVOS’ NOMINATION FOR SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
DEY is issuing a announcement 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 fundamental questions or tackle controversial issues. But, most importantly, she is towards public schooling and, instead, needs to privatize public education. DeVos has a verified records of aiding efforts that discriminate towards low-income communities and communities of color. At DEY, we help the equal chance of each younger infant for an first-rate education. We are in particular involved that DeVos will undermine the countrywide and kingdom efforts to promote general preschool public education.
For greater statistics 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 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 record highlights the issues of early childhood instructors about the have an effect on of college 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 beneath the poverty line in 2014. The degree rises to almost 70 percentage for Black and Native-American teenagers and sixty four percentage for Hispanic youngsters. In a latest survey carried out 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 mastering and psychological issues as the pinnacle limitations 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 expertise now face a “profound ethical dilemma.” As top-down mandates dictate the teaching and assessment of narrow academic skills at younger and younger ages, early childhood educators are forced to do the “least harm,” rather 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 excellent exceptions—have been lacking from the action. The motives are complex. This is a body 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 appreciation shared via many, and internalized by using these in the field. Salaries for educators working in community-based packages are substantially much less than these of their colleagues in the public schools. Many are dwelling in poverty, and troubled via 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 file with their critique.
As I study via the report, I saved underlining the charges from the teachers, as if to make bigger 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 have faith in my knowledge 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 unique lesson and rigidly timed to in shape into a specific, tight, preapproved schedule.
The terrible have an effect on of reforms on children’s improvement and getting to know can’t be overstated. Practice has come to be 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 extremely good early education, as the man or woman strengths, interests, and desires of teens get lost:
With this intense emphasis on what’s referred to as ‘rigorous academics,’ drills are emphasized. It’s a lot tougher for my youth to end up self-regulated learners. Children have no time to study 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 take a seat longer, however their interest spans are shorter.
The authors bring us into the classrooms studied by Daphna Bassok, Scott Lathem, and Anna Rorem, of the University of Virginia, who used two large, nationally representative data sets to compare 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 anticipated ability set of 5-year-olds, and the stress has extended, in some cases, to prekindergarten, the place youth are being requested to master studying by way of the quit of the year. The repercussions are severe:
It’s imperative for each kindergarten toddler 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,’ alternatively of supporting them turn out to be in a position and experience profitable and phase of their class. Then it’s ‘remedial this, remedial that.’ It’s discrimination.
The document concludes with a sequence of recommendations—from the actual specialists in the room. The first calls for the withdrawal of contemporary early childhood requirements and mandates. Another urges the use of actual assessment, primarily based on observations of children, their development, and learning. Number ten addresses infant poverty, our countrywide stain:
Work at all tiers of society to reduce, and eventually quit toddler poverty. To do this, we have to first well known that a slender focal point on enhancing colleges will now not remedy the complex troubles related with toddler poverty.
Breaking the silence was once by no means so sweet. Now it’s time, as John Lewis says, to get in exact 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 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 campaign and encouraging educators and other concerned citizens to contact their Senator. Find a sample 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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