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ERIC Number: EJ898693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Blocks: A Versatile Learning Tool for Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Anderson, Charlotte
Young Children, v65 n2 p54-56 Mar 2010
In today's standards-driven climate, some teachers feel that incorporating content standards in the curriculum leads to a non-developmentally appropriate approach to working with young children. In her work as a preschool teacher trainer, the author shows students how something as common as blocks can guide them through each of the curriculum content areas. Children have played with blocks for centuries. In the U.S., American mothers and teachers borrowed from German educator Friedrich Froebel's kindergarten methods, including Froebel's wooden ball, cylinder, cube, and other building blocks. Decades later, NAEYC's founder, Patty Smith Hill, enlarged Froebel's blocks, believing that bigger sets would better develop children's physical skills. Caroline Pratt, founder of New York's City and Country School in 1914, soon designed unit blocks in standard sizes, accompanied by wooden figurines. These educators understood what people know today, that through hands-on play, children learn about spatial relationships and physical properties, develop social skills while building together and through requesting and sharing blocks, and use creativity as they construct their own unique works. In this article, the authors discuss blocks as a versatile learning tool that teachers in the field of early childhood education can use to balance their rich play tradition with the current emphases on standards.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A