How did we get to this point where we need to defend play for little kids? How can adults be so cruel to prevent kids from being kids?

Answer

To answer your question, we must look at what's happening in society today as a whole, not just in early childhood education. Unfortunately, we're at a dangerous point when the words of experts are no longer held in high esteem. The author, Tom Nichols, has tackled this critical issue in "The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters."

With a plethora of reading materials at our fingertips, everyone now feels haughtily well-informed, even when their knowledge lacks depth. TV personality, Jenny McCarthy, dispenses advice on childhood vaccinations. Political pundits explain the complex science of climate change. Software developer and philanthropist, Bill Gates, lectures on what we need to do to improve our educational system. None of them is an expert in these areas but are more than willing to act like one.

We have many brilliant scholars in early childhood education who advocate for play. Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige and Dr. Diane Levin are just two. Their voices, however, aren't heard by the masses. Instead, the loudest sounds now come from non-experts: moms and dads who share their opinions on Facebook and other social media sites.

Sadly, the overriding message that they're disseminating is one of angst. They express their fears that bad things will happen to kids who aren't academically prepared for kindergarten. They'll be placed in the low reading group. They'll be behind their peers. Their self-esteem will be damaged.

Because of the Common Core standards at elementary schools, many parents no longer see preschool as separate, special, and magical. In their minds, it's just the preparation ground for kindergarten. This sentiment is becoming even more pervasive as so-called “transitional kindergartens” open at more and more elementary schools across the nation.

The good news is that parents can easily change what's happening by demanding play in early childhood education. Every preschool in the US should be a place where kids have what they need to be happy and well-adjusted, develop strong social skills, and become confident and eager learners. The materials needed aren't pencils, workbooks, computers, and desks. They're easels, dramatic play areas, tricycles, a puppet theater, a performing stage, a sandbox, a dollhouse, wooden blocks, play-dough, and lots of art materials.

You may want to read my article entitled: “5 Things Children Do at Preschool That Are a Waste of Time.” https://wehavekids.com/education/Choosing-a-Presch...

Updated on January 19, 2020

Original Article:

33 Reasons to Choose a Play-Based Preschool, Not an Academic One
By McKenna Meyers
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