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ERIC Number: ED279407
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Early Education: What Should Young Children Be Doing?
Katz, Lilian G.
Contrasting academic and intellectual approaches to preschool programs, this review of current research and discussion of implications for improving educational practices, identifies conditions of children's environments that facilitate their development. The review centers on risks related to pressuring young children to acquire academic concepts and skills, including the possibility that early academic pressure may undermine the development of dispositions (i.e., characteristic ways of responding to experience across types of situations) to use acquired skills, may result in the use of a single teaching method and curriculum, and may increase children's feelings of incompetence. It is pointed out that the implementation of a "pushed down" elementary school curriculum reduces young children's opportunities to become engaged in interactive processes, processes known to be important for learning among young children. As an alternative to the academic approach, an interactive context for early learning is discussed in terms of the development of communicative competence, of the disposition to become deeply interested in an activity or concern, and of social competence guided, as needed, by teachers with specialized training in helping young children maximize the educative potential of interaction. The discussion of implications for preschool programs centers on the value of an intellectually oriented, project-based curriculum which strengthens children's dispositions to observe, experiment, inquire, and reconstruct aspects of their environment. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A