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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 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) not only left us puzzled but raised several important questions.
Should a find out about that located a 2½-month reap in educational competencies when taught in preschool have an effect on early childhood coverage and practice? How can one argue for giving up large chunks of playtime for educational educating to make such minimal features in tutorial performance—with little consideration of what different areas may have lost out due to the fact of the center of attention on tutorial skills? Studies of Head Start applications that taught tutorial abilities to preschoolers in the 1960’s and 1970’s discovered that features made in tutorial overall performance over teens in extra play-based Head Start packages have been usually long past via 2d grade (i.e., “fade-out effect,” as cited in the article). Furthermore, lookup in many European countries, which do no longer start formal studying training till age seven, indicates that beginning formal instructing of analyzing until now 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 infant dabbles from one recreation to another, tries out one fabric and then the next, and/or does the equal pastime day-after-day, this is now not high-quality play or, necessarily, even play. And, even when a toddler does grow to be extra totally engaged in an pastime that develops over time and is significant play, instructors have a critical position in facilitating the play to assist the baby take it further. The instructor additionally makes choices about how to combine greater formal early literacy and math competencies into the play—for instance, by using supporting a toddler 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 type meeting. With block building, the trainer and infant would possibly talk about shapes, as she tries to locate the proper form for her structure.
This sort of intentional teacher-facilitated gaining knowledge of via play contributes to the many foundational competencies teenagers want for later faculty success, together with self-regulation, social skills, creativity, authentic thinking, oral language development, eye-hand coordination, pre-literacy and math skills, and high-quality attitudes towards problem-solving. And, in the lengthy run, these foundational abilities are a good deal extra essential for how kids will sense about and operate later in college than the 2½ months achieve they may 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, possibly we must be asking the better questions:
- Why are years of lookup on the advantages of first-class play in preschool packages so often ignored?
- Why is it assumed that educational capabilities are so essential to emphasize in preschool alternatively than a center of attention on the improvement of the “whole child” and foundational capabilities that prepare teenagers for faculty success in the later years?
- Why are play and studying so frequently 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 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 growing Kindergarten Readiness Assessments (KRA), a device to measure children’s readiness for kindergarten. While KRAs have quite a few 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 way of David Denby was once posted in the Feb. 11, 2017 problem 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 was once unable to reply simple questions or tackle controversial issues. But, most importantly, she is towards public schooling and, instead, needs to privatize public education. DeVos has a tested records of assisting efforts that discriminate in opposition to low-income communities and communities of color. At DEY, we guide the equal probability of each younger baby for an exquisite education. We are particularly worried that DeVos will undermine the countrywide and country efforts to promote regular preschool public education.
For extra data about advocacy for gorgeous 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 have been war 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 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 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 installed in research. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, forty seven percentage of teenagers beneath six years ancient lived in low-income families near or below the poverty line in 2014. The level rises to nearly 70 percent for Black and Native-American children and 64 percent for Hispanic youngsters. In a recent survey conducted by the Council of Chief State School Officers—which helped design the Common Core standards—teachers across the United States listed family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological problems as the top barriers to student 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 carried out with the aid of human beings with excellent 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 competencies at youthful and youthful ages, early childhood educators are compelled to do the “least harm,” as an alternative 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 report numbers. Respect for the career and morale are at an all-time low, as instructors have picked up the slack for a society that starves its faculties and communities, and blames them for all its ills. But out of this malaise, a new activism has emerged, with notable power committed to defeating her.
Early childhood teachers—with some awesome 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 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 by way of many, and internalized by using 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 most up-to-date practitioners are concerned about inserting their careers at risk. Few have been inclined to go on the report with their critique.
As I study thru the report, I saved underlining the costs 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 way of a lack of organisation and autonomy:
The have faith in my understanding 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 match 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 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 wonderful early education, as the man or woman strengths, interests, and wants of teens get lost:
With this excessive emphasis on what’s referred to as ‘rigorous academics,’ drills are emphasized. It’s a lot more difficult for my youth to grow to be self-regulated learners. Children have no time to study to self-regulate with the aid of selecting their very own 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 deliver us into the lecture 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 examine 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 predicted talent set of 5-year-olds, and the stress has extended, in some cases, to prekindergarten, the place teens are being requested to grasp analyzing via the stop of the year. The repercussions are severe:
It’s fundamental for each kindergarten toddler to experience 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,’ as a substitute of supporting them grow to be ready and sense profitable and phase 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 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 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&. 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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