Monday, March 30, 2009

Kindergarten disappears?

The traditional kindergarten classroom that most adults remember from childhood—with plenty of space and time for unstructured play and discovery, art and music, practicing social skills, and learning to enjoy learning—has largely disappeared. The latest research indicates that, on a typical day, children in all-day kindergartens spend four to six times as much time in literacy and math instruction and taking or preparing for tests (about two to three hours per day) as in free play or “choice time” (30 minutes or less).
Crisis in Kindergarten: Why Children Need To Play In School argues strongly for the role of play in children's development and against recent rapid conversion of kindergarten into a setting for formal academic learning. The report draws on recent major research, is written clearly and with passion, and deserves close attention. Check it out here. (Hat tip: Melanie Tyner-Wilson.)

1 comment:

  1. Excellent link on a topic that has been on my mind a great deal. I am a middle school teacher of fifteen years and the mother of five year old twins about to enter kindergarten this year. Opportunities to play in school are scarce even at the preschool level. We must speak out on behalf of our children and their right to unstructured play. It is critically important even though it cannot be "measured" or collected as numbers on a matrix!


Updates and data on Kentucky education!