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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 excellent 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 quite a few essential questions.
Should a find out about that located a 2½-month obtain in tutorial abilities 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 tutorial educating to make such minimal beneficial properties 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 packages that taught educational capabilities to preschoolers in the 1960’s and 1970’s located that positive factors made in tutorial overall performance over adolescents in extra play-based Head Start applications have been usually long past through 2d grade (i.e., “fade-out effect,” as cited in the article). Furthermore, lookup in many European countries, which do no longer begin formal analyzing coaching till age seven, suggests that beginning formal instructing of studying beforehand has little benefit.
Play-based early childhood applications 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 endeavor to another, tries out one cloth and then the next, and/or does the equal pastime day-after-day, this is now not first-rate play or, necessarily, even play. And, even when a infant does come to be extra wholly engaged in an recreation 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 selections about how to combine greater formal early literacy and math competencies into the play—for instance, by using assisting a toddler 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 classification meeting. With block building, the instructor and infant may talk about shapes, as she tries to discover the proper structure for her structure.
This sort of intentional teacher-facilitated gaining knowledge of via play contributes to the many foundational capabilities adolescents want for later college 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 good deal extra vital for how young people will sense about and function later in college than the 2½ months reap they would possibly gain from the early ability practise acquired in preschool, as mentioned 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 research on the benefits of quality play in preschool programs so often ignored?
- Why is it assumed that educational abilities are so necessary to emphasize in preschool as a substitute than a focal point on the improvement of the “whole child” and foundational competencies 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 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 procedure 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 latest 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 trouble of The New Yorker.
DEY ISSUES A STATEMENT OPPOSING BETSY DEVOS’ NOMINATION FOR SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
DEY is issuing a declaration 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 simple questions or tackle controversial issues. But, most importantly, she is towards public training and, instead, needs to privatize public education. DeVos has a tested records of assisting efforts that discriminate towards low-income communities and communities of color. At DEY, we assist the equal chance of each younger toddler for an super education. We are in particular worried that DeVos will undermine the country wide and nation efforts to promote frequent preschool public education.
For extra statistics about advocacy for splendid 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 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 human beings to put households and teenagers first, now not billionaires.”
Those have been battle 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 earlier than the hearing, as opponents of DeVos signed petitions, referred to as their senators, and advised individuals of the HELP committee to dump her, Defending the Early Years, a nonprofit employer based totally in Boston, released “Teachers Speak Out.” The record highlights the issues 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 information 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 hooked up in research. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, forty seven percentage of youngsters below six years ancient 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 youngsters and sixty four percentage for Hispanic youngsters. In a latest survey carried out 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 studying 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 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 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 file 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 brilliant electricity committed to defeating her.
Early childhood teachers—with some amazing exceptions—have been lacking from the action. The motives are complex. This is a team of workers that has lengthy been marginalized, their work devalued, and know-how ignored. “It’s simply babysitting,” New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, stated some years ago, of his state’s prekindergarten program—a appreciation shared by means of many, and internalized by means of these in the field. Salaries for educators working in community-based applications are extensively much less than these of their colleagues in the public schools. Many are dwelling in poverty, and bothered by means of the poisonous stress frequent amongst their students. The most modern practitioners are involved about placing their careers at risk. Few have been inclined to go on the file 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 bad have an impact on of reforms on children’s improvement and mastering can’t be overstated. Practice has emerge as 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 terrific early education, as the man or woman strengths, interests, and wants of teens 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 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 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 quintessential for each and every kindergarten infant to sense 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,’ alternatively of assisting them end up ready and experience profitable and phase of their class. Then it’s ‘remedial this, remedial that.’ It’s discrimination.
The document concludes with a series of recommendations—from the actual professionals 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 subsequently quit infant poverty. To do this, we have to first renowned that a slim focal point on enhancing faculties will no longer resolve 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 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 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 title and zip code and tally your name as a “yay” or “nay.”
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