ERIC Number: EJ932809
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Early Childhood Military Education?
Rethinking Schools, v25 n4 p42-43 Sum 2011
Does the country's national security rely on top-quality early childhood education? Yes, say the military leaders of Mission: Readiness, an organization led by retired military commanders that promotes investment in education, child health, and parenting support. Actually, the generals are right, but for all the wrong reasons. The generals' aim is to prepare low-income children to be soldiers, trained from their youngest years to follow directions and to comply with the strictures issued by the ranking authority. The author argues that this is not high-quality education; this is utilitarian education designed to serve military and economic needs. This approach to education may prepare young people for a life of military service, but it certainly does not prepare them for citizenship. High-quality early childhood education teaches for citizenship, not for test taking and reductionist assessment. The goal is not compliance but creativity, critical thinking, and compassion. Citizens care for their country and its security. They inhabit the commons and they act on behalf of the common good. Because high-quality early childhood education prepares children to be citizens, it is essential to national security. The investment should and must be a national priority.
Descriptors: Military Service, Military Schools, Citizenship, Altruism, National Security, Early Childhood Education, Child Health, Young Children, Educational Quality, Test Wiseness, Creativity, Low Income Groups, At Risk Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A