Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A longer day, but less time for play: New kindergarten is more rigorous

[26 August 2007 - Baltimore Sun] ... All-day kindergarten has also come under fire from some researchers who warn that when a regimented kindergarten curriculum squeezes out imaginative play, learning and knowledge retention are stunted. "Kindergarten has become the new first grade. We're so afraid that if we don't shove facts in, the children will fall forever behind, [and] schools have whipped themselves into an academic frenzy to push students to learn faster and earlier," said Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a Temple University psychology professor and author of Einstein Never Used Flashcards. Her work highlights a philosophical split between those who say the best learning occurs when a child explores concepts through play, and policymakers who push for a structured approach with more testing to see who is and isn't learning. More

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