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ERIC Number: EJ857709
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School
Miller, Edward; Almon, Joan
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v75 n1 p42-45 Sep 2009
Kindergarten has changed radically in the last two decades in ways that few Americans are aware of. Children now spend far more time being taught and tested on literacy and math skills than they do learning through play and exploration, exercising their bodies, and using their imaginations. The implications of these radical changes in early education practice reach far beyond schools. Until recently few people were talking about the long-term effects of the disappearance of children's play. Now, leaders of major business corporations are saying that creativity and play are the future of the U.S. economy. The authors call on policy makers, educators, health professionals, researchers, and parents to take action as follows: (1) Restore child-initiated play and experiential learning with the active support of teachers to their rightful place at the heart of kindergarten education; (2) Reassess kindergarten standards to ensure that they promote developmentally appropriate practices, and eliminate those that do not; (3) End the inappropriate use in kindergarten of standardized tests, which are prone to serious error especially when given to children under age eight; (4) Expand the early childhood research agenda to examine the long-term impact of current pre-school and kindergarten practices on the development of children from diverse backgrounds; (5) Give teachers of young children first-rate preparation that emphasizes the full development of the child and the importance of play, nurtures children's innate love of learning, and supports teachers' own capacities for creativity, autonomy, and integrity; and (6) Use the crisis of play's disappearance from kindergarten to rally organizations and individuals to create a national movement for play in schools and communities. [Condensed, with permission, from the report "Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School," prepared by the Alliance for Childhood, 2009. To access full report see ED504839.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten
Audience: Parents; Teachers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A