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robertogreco : preschool   47

AnjiPlay (@anjiplay) • Fotos y vídeos de Instagram
“We have discovered that some teachers, if they really want to hear what children have to say, that their whole state of being is at ease, and they listen closely and that in the process of listening they discover that children are speaking a wealth of information, and these teachers will be receptive to the information that they are hearing. And then some teachers want to hear children say what they the teachers, deep down, want the children to say, things that they want to hear, and will unconsciously overlook what children are actually saying. They can't hear clearly and are unable to truly understand the child's expression. And you can see that their physical state of being is one of anxiety.” —Wang Zhen, Vice Principal, Jiguan Kindergarten, Anji County interviewed by Dr. Chelsea Bailey on November 7, 2018.
wangzhen  children  childhood  preschool  anjiplay  listening  howweteach  teaching  pedagogy  hearing  attention  presence  receptivity 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Decolonising Early Childhood Discourses Project
"After the demise of apartheid, South African higher education has been concerned with gender and class, but no attention has been paid as yet to age as a category of exclusion. In particular child and childhood has not been included in postcolonial discourses about the transformation of higher educational spaces and curricula. Despite decades of sustained academic critique and contestation in early childhood research, current programmes of study globally and the pedagogies promoted in their courses still assume the essentialised, universal western child who develops according to a stage-like linear process of formation according to his or her innate potential (developmentalism).

This project seeks to bring together national and international experts from the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, to investigate how a new theoretical framework - one that is grounded in critical posthumanism, the affective turn and socially just pedagogies can explain this injustice and inform decolonising postdevelopmental theories and practices in higher education. What will be examined in particular is how critical posthumanism could contribute towards a reconfiguration of childhood in the design and content of postcolonial curricula and research projects. It includes some internationally acclaimed experts and philosophers and early career emerging researchers, incl Karen Barad and Rosi Braidotti. More than 30 team members interact, share and disseminate ideas with each other and more broadly, through colloquia and writing workshops as well as social media and synchronous virtual meeting spaces.

This research project seeks to provide intellectual spaces - both face to face and virtual, for philosophers, theorists and practitioners to interact across diverse geographical contexts to engage in debate and deliberation about posthumanism, the affective turn and the impact that these bodies of knowledge have for decolonising early childhood, in particular developing approaches which have resonance for southern perspectives and contexts. Hence, the bringing together of highly rated experts in the field from Southern continents: Africa, South-America and Australia as well as Europe (Netherlands, Sweden, UK, Cyprus), US and Canada. One of the critiques that posthumanism is based on is the unproblematised Eurocentric character of knowledges - white, male and particularly relevant in this context, adult - which are assumed to be applicable in all contexts and which have been used to subjugate other knowledges in their dominance. The researchers on this project are acutely aware of these practices and one of the objectives of the project is to investigate and problematise knowledges from both Northern and Southern contexts, with an eye on developing and evaluating postcolonial posthumanist frameworks to innovative higher education pedagogies, research practices and academic programmes across departments and Faculties."
children  decolonization  childdevelopment  pedagogy  education  posthumanism  karenbarad  rosibraidotti  postedevelopmentalism  learning  philosophy  developmentalism  eurocentrism  criticalpedagogy  earlychildhood  preschool  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  openstudioproject 
may 2018 by robertogreco
The Double-edged Sword of Pedagogy: Modeling the Effect of Pedagogical Contexts on Preschoolers’ Exploratory Play
"How does explicit instruction affect exploratory play and learning? We present a model that captures pedagogical assumptions (adapted from Shafto and Goodman, 2008) and test the model with a novel experiment looking at 4-year-olds’ exploratory play in pedagogical and non-pedagogical contexts. Our findings are consistent with the model predictions: preschool children limit their exploration in pedagogical contexts, spending most of their free play performing only the demonstrated action. By contrast, children explore broadly both at baseline and after an accidental demonstration. Thus pedagogy constrains children’s exploration for better and for worse; children learn the demonstrated causal relationship but are less likely than children in non-pedagogical contexts to discover and learn other causal relationships."

[via: https://twitter.com/cblack__/status/924720508066607105 ]
teaching  learning  education  pedagogy  play  exploratoryplay  unschooling  deschooling  elizabethbonawitz  patrickshafto  hyowongweon  isabelchang  sydneykatz  lauraschulz  preschool  sfsh 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Running Free in Germany’s Outdoor Preschools - The New York Times
"Robin Hood Waldkindergarten, which opened in 2005, is one of more than 1,500 waldkitas, or “forest kindergartens,” in Germany; Berlin alone has about 20. Most have opened in the last 15 years and are usually located in the city’s parks, with a bare-bones structure serving as a sort of home base, but others, like Robin Hood, rely on public transportation to shuttle their charges daily out into the wilderness, where they spend most of the day, regardless of weather. Toys, typically disparaged at waldkitas, are replaced by the imaginative use of sticks, rocks and leaves. A 2003 Ph.D. dissertation by Peter Häfner at Heidelberg University showed that graduates of German forest kindergartens had a “clear advantage” over the graduates of regular kindergartens, performing better in cognitive and physical ability, as well as in creativity and social development.

The American journalist Richard Louv, who coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” in his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods,” is cited often by Robin Hood staff, as is “Coyote’s Guide to Connecting With Nature,” by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown. (“Savage Park,” by Amy Fusselman, is another book that chronicles uninhibited play and was inspired by a visit to an adventure playground in Tokyo.) The pedagogical philosophy of waldkitas, which privileges outdoor play and hands-on environmental learning, comes originally from Scandinavia, but, as one teacher put it to me, “they don’t make a big fuss about it like they do here.” The trend’s non-Teutonic origins are somewhat surprising: There might be nothing “more German” than a state-funded preschool based primarily in a forest.

Germany has nearly three times as much protected land as the U.S., proportionate to the countries’ sizes, a nontrivial fact that highlights the way much of the country thinks about nature and its role in the emotional health of its citizens. “It’s terrible that kids today know all about technology but nothing about the little bird outside their window,” Peters said, gesturing out toward the woods and sounding like any number of quotable Germans, from Goethe to Beethoven to Bismarck, all of whom have rhapsodized on the psychic benefits of spending time in the forest. He continued: “In life, bad things happen — you lose your job or your partner or everyone just hates you — but you’ll always have this.”"



"THERE ARE SCATTERINGS of forest kindergartens in the U.S. as well as in the U.K. Even in Japan and South Korea, where education is famously strict, waldkitas are becoming increasingly popular. They have spread mostly through word-of-mouth among parents. And in Germany, it’s not just the wealthy — or the eccentric — who send their children. Like all other preschools in Berlin, tuition at Robin Hood is covered by the government for kids aged 2 through 6 (apart from a 100 euro per month fee because it’s a private school). New York City preschools can cost upward of $40,000 per year."
forestschools  preschool  schools  education  learning  children  germany  parenting  2017  nature  richardlouv  sfsh  amyfusselman  peterhäfner  outdoors  nyc  southkorea  japan  uk  berlin 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Wise Forest Preschool - Nature-Based Preschool Classes & Nature Camps
"Wise Forest Preschool is a child-centered outdoor preschool program with classes and camps held in a beautiful wooded area of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Our play-based curriculum is designed for children ages 2.5 to 5 and is modeled after European forest kindergartens. Activities include valuable free play time, hiking, hands-on ecology lessons, fort building, creative arts, and circle time. Our ratios are 4 students per teacher. We carefully observe each student's natural strengths and interests and we strive to empower them to embrace and cultivate their unique abilities.

Students have the opportunity to develop their senses, creativity, powers of observation, and coordination by exploring and engaging the natural environment. We foster emotional awareness, and we praise mindfulness, effort, and concentration. Our goal is to cultivate compassion, empathy, and a lasting connection to the natural world."
forestschools  sanfrancisco  preschool  schools  nature  goldengatepark  sfsh 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Nature Nurture
"At Nature Nurture, we feel strongly that exploration is the key that opens the door to adventure, enlightenment, and learning; respect for the child is the key that keeps the door open. Nature Nurture is filled with rich opportunities for growth, individualized recognition, feedback, support, and compliments, as well as learning and practicing conflict resolution, respect for self and others, and etiquette. Our day is also filled with having fun, fun, and more fun!

Children are encouraged to use all forms of expression: words, sounds, body language, basic sign language (taught at Nature Nurture), art, music and dramatic play. They are also encouraged to problem-solve on their own. When needed, a teacher or support teacher is there; ready and able to contribute words, choices, or suggestions for the children to tell each other. More times than not, with just a little nudge or the provision of a few words, the situation has been resolved...by the children.

ALL Nature Nurture classes are held rain or shine. Please come prepared with proper attire for the predicted, and equally unpredicted San Francisco weather. We love puddle jumping and scouring for worms in the mud."
forestsschool  schools  sanfrancisco  preschool  education  nature  sfsh 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Parks Plus Creation
"Philosophy
We believe that all children, in a safe, nurturing environment, have the capacity to learn and develop through play, sensory experiences and exploration. We empower each child to be a creative, competent, and curious explorer through our focus on collaborative learning, whole child development, sensory explorations, social and emotional development, care for nature and an overall understanding of the importance of building, not only kindergarten readiness skills, but life skills.

Collaborative Learning
Collaborative learning takes place between children, educators and parents. We are
all involved in the process of learning. We focus on listening, asking questions and being supportive of one another.

Whole Child
We respect and celebrate each child’s individuality, creativity and expression and are flexible as we support his/her unique way of learning. Each situation, interaction and relationship provides endless opportunities to expand our understanding of each child. We encourage the child to be involved in the process of understanding his/her strengths, challenges and interests. This process promotes positive self-image, confidence and competence. We adapt our curriculum to best meet those needs and interests through our dedication to open communication and reflection.

Sensory Exploration
Children learn best through the exploration of their senses. We provide opportunity for each child to be in a constant dialogue with his/her surrounding by promoting different ways to explore nature. Through experimentation children develop their cognition, problem solving, critical thinking, descriptive language and observation skills. Sensory activities also help to strengthen fine motor skills, critical for writing.

Social and Emotional Development
We focus closely on social and emotional development of each child, and the important process of cultivating meaningful relationships. Promoting emotional literacy, problem solving skills and language skills we help build self-esteem and the development of empathy. We develop creative solutions for conflict resolution by including the children in the process and planning, empowering them to believe in their own capabilities, and to help understand that they are a contributing part of a community.

Care for Nature
We foster respect and care for natural environments through education and exploration. All children are capable of caring for living things. Guiding children to protect the environment helps them gain a sense of responsibility. As a child builds a relationship with nature, he/she develops positive memories and experiences that will help add to the development of a lifelong connection to the environment. We hope to nurture the protection and better the understanding of nature for present and future generations.​

Life Skills
+ Observation skills
+ Critical thinking
+ Self regulation
+ Thoughtful problem solving
+ Conflict resolution
+ Confidence
+ Respect for natural environments and each other
+ Math, sequencing, categorizing, defining patterns
+ Language and vocabulary
+ Physical stamina and confidence, balance
+ Fine motor development and control
+ Cooperation
+ Reflection and curiosity"
schools  education  preschool  sanfrancisco  forestschools  sfsh  presidio 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Berkeley Forest School | Berkeley, California
"Berkeley Forest School is based on fundamental humanitarian principles, as well as respect for children and their ability to construct their own knowledge.

Children have the right to play, explore, and take risks, while conscious of their connection to the invigoratingly complex natural world we share.

Teachers support the rich wilderness of the children's imagination by facilitating their efforts in inquiry, investigation, and analysis.

We do not teach children what to think.
We cultivate experiences where children learn what it is to think for themselves: to develop their own ideas, and to test those ideas."

[See also:

"Forest Kindergartens Push Back Against Academic Focus For Young Kids"
https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2014/11/14/forest-kindergarten-play-nature-based-alternative/

"Best Options for a Forest School in the San Francisco Bay Area"
https://medium.com/@one_preschool/best-options-for-a-forest-school-in-the-san-francisco-bay-area-be8a3a7cba3c ]
schools  berkeley  forestschools  lianachavarín  heathertaylor  kindergarten  preschool 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Sugar Hill Museum Preschool (David Adjaye) - YouTube
[See also:
http://www.archdaily.com/514785/david-adjaye-s-sugar-hill-development-a-new-typology-for-affordable-housing
http://www.averyreview.com/issues/20/sugar-hill-two-years-later
http://www.designboom.com/architecture/adjaye-associates-sugar-hill-housing-complex-harlem/ ]

"Sugar Hill Museum Preschool is one of the most inspiring projects I've ever seen. Design by the worldwide recognized architect David Adjaye.This educational center, located in between Harlem and Washington Heights is an action from the past, developing right now to expect future results. This project composed by an environment that helps early childhood education to communicate visually within the city, through transparent windows, but at the same time involving the children in an interaction with natural elements. Expression, self-determination, creativity, imagination, economics are some of the splendorous skills offered by Sugar Hill Museum Preschool. Thanks to Broadway Housing Communities for show us the place.

THE SUGAR HILL PROJECT

898 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10032.

The Sugar Hill Project, BHC’s most recent initiative, leverages the success of our integrated model which pairs permanent housing with early education and educational advocacy, and access to the arts. The 191,000sf mixed-use building designed by globally renowned architect David Adjaye was prominently located in Upper Manhattan’s Sugar Hill historic district on 155th Street, the crossroads of the traditionally African-American neighborhood of Harlem and the immigrant, mostly Latino communities of Washington Heights.

BHC received more than 48,000 applications for housing at Sugar Hill.

Conceived as an oasis of stability, learning, and opportunity for children and families in an area where more than 70% of children are born into poverty, the Sugar Hill Project features:

• 124 affordable studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments
• Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
• 11,000sf Sugar Hill Museum Preschool
• Community art gallery
• Parking garage for residents and community members
• Seasonal green market (June-November)

All 124 apartments have been leased to low-, very low- and extremely low-income families and single adults; 25 of these households came from the NYC homeless shelter system.

A light-filled early childhood center with the capacity to serve up to 200 children from birth to five and their families serves building residents and the wider community.

The innovative Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is dedicated to the cognitive and creative development of children ages 3-8. An exhibition, education, and storytelling programs celebrate the cultural legacy of one of New York’s most prestigious neighborhoods. Young visitors and their families are invited to engage with art and artists as they explore and share their creative voices.

A replicable model of innovation in affordable housing and community development, BHC’s Sugar Hill Project is poised to generate transformational change for generations to come.

sugarhillmuseum.org "
preschool  davidadjaye  architecture  schooldesign  design  2016  nyc  education 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Participation is an invitation: Citizen, Citizenship, Participation DVD | Reggio Children
"During the meetings, as the children used different expressive languages to investigate and interpret the themes and meanings of community and citizenship, their words and ideas emerged more and more clearly.
 
It was immediately visible (and audible!) that we were building a sort of alphabet, a lexicon that inventoried the value of citizenship, participation, city, public places, migration, rights, duties…

The children’s reflections represent a special occasion to re-launch, also in other contexts, the themes of welcome, borders, and democracy, and to elicit, we hope, new stories and new opportunities for listening."
reggioemilia  utopia  pocketsofutopia  environment  education  preschool  children  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  sfsh  tcsnmy  everyday  being  cv  culture  presence  togetherness  citizenship  participation  community  civics  democracy  listening 
november 2016 by robertogreco
The Times of Time | Reggio Children
"an interweaving between the learning experiences of the adults, the experimentation of the children, and the photographic images, highlighting an approach to the visual language that is constructed in a context of many relationships"
reggioemilia  utopia  pocketsofutopia  environment  education  preschool  children  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  sfsh  tcsnmy  everyday  being  cv  culture  presence  togetherness  relationships  photography 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Everyday Utopias DVD | Reggio Children
"Here we present two videos that are part of The Wonder of Learning - The Hundred Languages of Children exhibition.
 
They describe a day in an infant-toddler centre and a day in a preschool: the everyday-ness of being together, the strength of a way of organizing that is designed but light, knowledgeable but flexible; a special care for the environments and the way of being at school, the idea that the infant-toddler centre and preschool are places in which culture is created.
 
Our hope is to “raise normal children as the result of a hard-won and everyday utopia” (Loris Malaguzzi)."
reggioemilia  utopia  pocketsofutopia  environment  education  preschool  children  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  sfsh  tcsnmy  everyday  being  cv  culture  presence  togetherness  lorismalaguzzi 
november 2016 by robertogreco
The Scandinavian School
"Welcome to The Scandinavian School San Francisco!

The Scandinavian School is a community center and preschool in San Francisco. We bring our background of Nordic languages and culture to the wonderful city of San Francisco - combining the best of the US and Scandinavia.

Over the last decade, The Scandinavian School has transformed from a small preschool into a comprehensive preschool and cultural center with classes for all ages, as well as adult language courses for different skill levels."
schools  sanfrancisco  preschool  sfsh  scandinavia  swedish  norwegian  danish 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Little School
"The Little School is a relationship-based, inclusive pre-school committed to providing individualized, quality education to young children and a nurturing environment to children, families and teachers."
sfsh  schools  preschool  sanfrancisco 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Bay Area Discovery Museum
"The Bay Area Discovery Museum is located on 7.5 acres of natural beauty framed by the majestic backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Museum is a space for imaginations to run wild. Every curated detail of our exhibits brings creative thinking to life for all stages of childhood. Navigate winding tunnels to develop physical and intellectual risk-taking skills. Feel the rush of cold-water tide pools that surprise and awaken curiosity. Imagine new worlds by transforming into a spider, a ship captain, or a bridge builder. At every turn is a new opportunity to challenge the boundaries of creativity."



"Overview
The Discovery School at the Bay Area Discovery Museum is the only museum-based preschool in California, and we draw upon the Museum’s 25 years of child-directed, open-ended, inquiry-driven learning, as well as best practices in creativity development from the Museum’s research division, the Center for Childhood Creativity. The Museum also provides an unmatched location at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on 7.5 acres in Fort Baker with quick access to beaches, natural habitats, historic batteries and hiking trails.

Our Approach
The Discovery School is a Reggio-inspired, research-based preschool program that offers children the freedom to pursue their passions and ideas through play and guided inquiry. Children are encouraged to make choices, take risks, and spend the time they need to construct their own understanding of the world. The Discovery School emphasizes process through experimentation and repetition, allowing children to develop and test their own theories and discover multiple outcomes. Ultimately, the goal of The Discovery School is to spark in children a lifelong passion for exploration and creative problem-solving and prepare them to thrive in school and life beyond.

Curriculum
At The Discovery School, children’s curiosity and interests shape a flexible, project based, open-ended curriculum. Educational experiences are designed to support the growth of the whole child in all domains: cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and academic. Children are exposed to academic skills such as literacy, math and science, as well as art, music and performance, in a play-based environment.

A strong emphasis is also placed on the development of children’s executive function skills, relationship development and self-regulation. In daily activities we take advantage of our inspiring location, exploring the Museum exhibitions and the outdoor environment around Fort Baker.

Documentation and Reflection
At The Discovery School, educators engage the methods of observation, documentation and reflection with children and parents in order to make learning visible and allow all to see learning progress through the year. We collect and often display classroom documentation (recorded through notes, photos, drawings, voice recordings, videos, etc.), compile weekly reflections and hold weekly educator collaboration meetings to analyze the documentations and formulate our next steps for the child’s curriculum. We involve parents and families in the documentation process and weekly reflections become part of an ongoing conversation between parents, children, teachers and peers about the children’s learning."
museums  marin  sausalito  children  schools  preschool  sanfrancisco  bayarea  marincounty 
april 2016 by robertogreco
What Kids Need From Grown-Ups (But Aren't Getting) : NPR Ed : NPR
"Q: What is this phenomenon that you call "the preschool paradox"?

A: It is the reality that science is confirming on a daily basis: that children are hardwired to learn in many settings and are really very capable, very strong, very intelligent on the one hand. On the other hand, the paradox is that many young children are doing poorly in our early education settings.

We've got a growing problem of preschool expulsions, a growing problem of children being medicated off-label for attention problems. We have a lot of anecdotal evidence that parents are frustrated and feeling overburdened. So that's what interests me: What is going on?

We have very crammed [preschool] schedules with rapid transitions. We have tons of clutter on classroom walls. We have kids moving quickly from one activity to another. We ask them to sit in long and often boring meetings. Logistically and practically, lives are quite taxing for little kids because they're actually living in an adult-sized world.

On the other hand, curriculum is often very boring. A staple of early childhood curriculum is the daily tracking of the calendar. And this is one of those absolute classic mismatches, because one study showed that, after a whole year of this calendar work where kids sit in a circle and talk about what day they're on, half the kids still didn't know what day they were on. It's a mismatch because it's both really hard and frankly very stupid.

We're underestimating kids in terms of their enormous capacity to be thoughtful and reflective, and, I would argue, that's because we're not giving them enough time to play and to be in relationships with others.

Q: Why do you think so many educators and policymakers have come to see play and learning as mutually exclusive?

A: Yeah, it's incredibly weird — this fake dichotomy. The science is so persuasive on this topic. There's all kinds of research coming not only from early childhood but animal research looking at mammals and how they use play for learning.

I think there are two answers. There really has been tremendous anxiety about closing achievement gaps between advantaged and less advantaged children. You know, we're always as a society looking for quick fixes that might close those gaps. Unfortunately, it's had downstream consequences for early learning, where we're going for superficial measures of learning.

I think the other problem is that the rich, experience-based play that we know results in learning — it's not as easy to accomplish as people think. And that's because, while the impulse to play is natural, what I call the play know-how really depends on a culture that values play, that gives kids the time and space to learn through play.

Q: What does playful learning look like?

A: Playful learning is embedded in relationships and in things that are meaningful to children. I use the example of the iconic [handprint] Thanksgiving turkey. When you really get into what's behind those cutesy crafts, a lot of curriculum is organized around these traditions, things around the calendar, things that are done because they've always been done.

When you look at how kids learn, they learn when something is meaningful to them, when they have a chance to learn through relationships — and that, of course, happens through play. But a lot of our curriculum is organized around different principles.

It's organized around the comfort and benefit of adults and also reflexive: "This is cute," or, "We've always done this." A lot of the time, as parents, we are trained to expect products, cute projects. And I like to say that the role of art in preschool or kindergarten curriculum should be to make meaning, not necessarily things. But it's hard to get parents to buy into this idea that their kids may not come home with the refrigerator art because maybe they spent a week messing around in the mud.

Preschool teachers are very interested in fine motor skills, and so often they think that these tracing and cutting activities [are important]. I would argue that those are not the most important skills that we need to foster.

Q: What are the most important skills we need to foster?

A: I think the No. 1 thing is that children need to feel secure in their relationships because, again, we're social animals. And children learn through others. So I think the No. 1 thing is for kids to have a chance to play, to make friends, to learn limits, to learn to take their turn.

Q: You're talking about soft skills, non-cognitive skills ...

A: I actually won't accept the term non-cognitive skills.

Q: Social-emotional skills?

A: I would say social-emotional skills. But, again, there's a kind of simplistic notion that there's social-emotional skills on the one hand ...

Q: And academics on the other ...

A: Right, and I would argue that many so-called academic skills are very anti-intellectual and very uncognitive. Whereas I think a lot of the social-emotional skills are very much linked to learning.

I think the biggest one is the use of language. When kids are speaking to one another and listening to one another, they're learning self-regulation, they're learning vocabulary, they're learning to think out loud. And these are highly cognitive skills. But we've bought into this dichotomy again. I would say "complex skills" versus "superficial" or "one-dimensional skills."

To give you an example, watching kids build a fort is going to activate more cognitive learning domains than doing a worksheet where you're sitting at a table. The worksheet has a little pile of pennies on one side and some numbers on the other, and you have to connect them with your pencil. That's a very uni-dimensional way of teaching skills.

Whereas, if you're building a fort with your peers, you're talking, using higher-level language structures in play than you would be if you're sitting at a table. You're doing math skills, you're doing physics measurement, engineering — but also doing the give-and-take of, "How do I get along? How do I have a conversation? What am I learning from this other person?" And that's very powerful.

Q: What is high-quality preschool to you?

A: The research base is pretty clear. I'll start by telling you what it isn't. We start by looking at two variables. One set are called "structural variables" — things like class size, student-teacher ratios, or even the square-footage of the classroom and what kinds of materials are in the classroom.

And then there are so-called process variables, which are different. They tend to be more about teaching style. Is the teacher a responsive teacher? Does she use a responsive, warm, empathic teaching style? And then the other key process variable is: Does the teacher have knowledge of child development? And is that teacher able to translate that child development knowledge into the curriculum?

Q: Which seems like a hard thing to measure.

A: It's actually not. And there are many good measures — things like: Is the teacher on the floor with the child? Is the teacher asking open-ended questions? You know: "Tell me about your picture" versus "Oh, cute house, Bobby." It's actually not that hard to measure.

But here's the thing. The structural variables are easier to regulate. And, if you have a workforce problem where you're not paying teachers well and a pipeline problem where there aren't good career paths to get into teaching, it's much easier for us to focus on the structural variables when those have an indirect effect only. The direct effect is the process variables.

My colleague Walter Gilliam at Yale has come up with this wonderful mental health classroom climate scale, which really looks at these process variables in very granular detail — so, not only looking at the interactions between the teachers and the children but how the teachers are interacting with each other.

Q: You mount a spirited defense of unscheduled kid time [at home]. Less shuttling to and from sports practice, dance practice, swim lessons. Be sure, you say, to give your child time to sit on the floor and stare at the ceiling if that's what they want to do. I know a lot of parents who would find that view heretical.

A: That's because we don't have faith in young children. And we don't really have faith in ourselves. And we've been programmed to believe that the more enrichments we can add on [the better].

I think boredom can be a friend to the imagination. Sometimes when kids appear to be bored, actually they haven't had enough time to engage in something. We quickly whisk it away and move them along to the next thing. And that's when you say, "How can I help the child to look at this in a new way? To try something new, to be patient."

You've really kind of adultified childhood so kids really don't have those long, uninterrupted stretches of time to engage in fantasy play. And because we've kind of despoiled the habitat of early childhood, a lot of times they don't know what to do when given that time. So we kind of have to coach them.

I think there's a little bit of a repair process that we need to engage in. Because if you've got a kid who's used to going to a million lessons and only uses toys that have one way of using them and then, suddenly, you put them in a room with a bunch of boxes and blocks and say, "Have fun!", the kid's gonna say, "Are you kidding me? What?!""



"Now, I do want to be clear: There are all kinds of ways to respond to being hurt, including filing a police report, reporting to your supervisor or professor or RA in a dorm, talking with your friends, ignoring. To me, I think the social norming piece is really important because I believe we put way too much faith in these administrative guidelines, "suggestions."

Is that really how behavior change happens? I don't know. I think for some things, absolutely, legal recourse makes a difference. But for other things, I think, peer norming is highly effective, and to me, Halloween costumes would be in that category.

We can't … [more]
children  education  play  unstructuredtime  learning  preschool  school  curriculum  howwelearn  rules  structure  lcproject  openstudioproject  conversation  norms  behavior  howweteach  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  listening  coryturner  erikachristakis  relationships  boredom  imagination  parenting  guidelines  process  empathy  policy  transitions  sfsh 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Broken Things Can Be Beautiful Things: Early Childhood Explorations in Play and Art — Marta Cabral
"This book exemplifies a progressive approach to early childhood education as it pertains to the teaching of art in a play-based curriculum. It is based upon an art exhibition featuring the works of infants, toddlers and preschoolers from the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center in New York City. The biographical profiles featured in this book reflect the children's experiences and explorations with materials throughout the school year and highlight their individual perspectives as young artists. The text describes the process of developing an exhibition of the artwork of young children as well as frames the endeavor in terms of how it can provide meaningful learning experiences for the children, their families and the broader community."
books  martacabral  children  art  children'sart  progressive  education  arteducation  teaching  howweteach  play  curriculum  exhibitionsoflearning  learning  toddlers  preschool  infants 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Kindergarten Has Become the New First Grade - The Atlantic
"Pendulum shifts in education are as old as our republic. Steven Mintz, a historian who has written about the evolution of American childhood, describes an oscillation in the national zeitgeist between the notion of a “protected” childhood and that of a “prepared” one. Starting in the early 2000s, though, a confluence of forces began pushing preferences ever further in the direction of preparation: the increasing numbers of dual-career families scrambling to arrange child care; a new scientific focus on the cognitive potential of the early years; and concerns about growing ability gaps between well-off and disadvantaged children, which in turn fueled the trend of standards-based testing in public schools.

Preschool is a relatively recent addition to the American educational system. With a few notable exceptions, the government had a limited role in early education until the 1960s, when the federal Head Start program was founded. Before mothers entered the full-time workforce in large numbers, private preschools were likewise uncommon, and mainly served as a safe social space for children to learn to get along with others.

In the past few decades, however, we have seen a major transfer of child care and early learning from home to institution: Nearly three-quarters of American 4-year-olds are now in some kind of nonfamily care. That category spans a dizzying mix of privately and publicly funded preschool environments, including family-run day cares, private preschools in church basements, and Head Start programs in public elementary schools, to name a few. Across all of them, the distinction between early education and “official” school seems to be eroding.

When I survey parents of preschoolers, they tend to be on board with many of these changes, either because they fear that the old-fashioned pleasures of unhurried learning have no place in today’s hypercompetitive world or because they simply can’t find, or afford, a better option. The stress is palpable: Pick the “wrong” preschool or ease up on the phonics drills at home, and your child might not go to college. She might not be employable. She might not even be allowed to start first grade!

Media attention to the cognitive potential of early childhood has a way of exacerbating such worries, but the actual academic consensus on the components of high-quality early education tells another story. According to experts such as the Yale professor Edward Zigler, a leader in child-development and early-education policy for half a century, the best preschool programs share several features: They provide ample opportunities for young children to use and hear complex, interactive language; their curriculum supports a wide range of school-readiness goals that include social and emotional skills and active learning; they encourage meaningful family involvement; and they have knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers.

As an early-childhood educator, I’ve clocked many hours in many preschool classrooms, and I have found that I can pretty quickly take the temperature from the looks on kids’ faces, the ratio of table space to open areas, and the amount of conversation going on in either. In a high-quality program, adults are building relationships with the children and paying close attention to their thought processes and, by extension, their communication. They’re finding ways to make the children think out loud.

The real focus in the preschool years should be not just on vocabulary and reading, but on talking and listening. We forget how vital spontaneous, unstructured conversation is to young children’s understanding. By talking with adults, and one another, they pick up information. They learn how things work. They solve puzzles that trouble them. Sometimes, to be fair, what children take away from a conversation is wrong. They might conclude, as my young son did, that pigs produce ham, just as chickens produce eggs and cows produce milk. But these understandings are worked over, refined, and adapted—as when a brutal older sibling explains a ham sandwich’s grisly origins.

Teachers play a crucial role in supporting this type of learning. A 2011 study in the journal Child Development found that preschool teachers’ use of sophisticated vocabulary in informal classroom settings predicted their students’ reading comprehension and word knowledge in fourth grade. Unfortunately, much of the conversation in today’s preschool classrooms is one-directional and simplistic, as teachers steer students through a highly structured schedule, herding them from one activity to another and signaling approval with a quick “good job!”

Consider the difference between a teacher’s use of a closed statement versus an open-ended question. Imagine that a teacher approaches a child drawing a picture and exclaims, “Oh, what a pretty house!” If the child is not actually drawing a house, she might feel exposed, and even if she is drawing a house, the teacher’s remark shuts down further discussion: She has labeled the thing and said she likes it. What more is there to add? A much more helpful approach would be to say, “Tell me about your drawing,” inviting the child to be reflective. It’s never possible to anticipate everything a small person needs to learn, so open-ended inquiry can reveal what is known and unknown. Such a small pedagogic difference can be an important catalyst for a basic, but unbounded, cognitive habit—the act of thinking out loud.

Conversation is gold. It’s the most efficient early-learning system we have. And it’s far more valuable than most of the reading-skills curricula we have been implementing: One meta-analysis of 13 early-childhood literacy programs “failed to find any evidence of effects on language or print-based outcomes.” Take a moment to digest that devastating conclusion.

I was recently asked to review a popular preschool curriculum that comes with a big box of thematic units, including lists of words and “key concepts” that children are supposed to master. One objective of the curriculum’s ocean unit, for example, is to help preschoolers understand “the importance of the ocean to the environment.” Children are given a list of specific terms to learn, including exoskeleton, scallop shell, blubber, and tube feet. At first glance, this stuff seems fun and educational, but doesn’t this extremely narrow articulation of “key concepts” feel a little off? What’s so special about blubber, anyway? Might a young child not want to ponder bigger questions: What is water? Where do the blue and green come from? Could anything be more beautiful and more terrifying than an ocean?

The shift from an active and exploratory early-childhood pedagogy to a more scripted and instruction-based model does not involve a simple trade-off between play and work, or between joy and achievement. On the contrary, the preoccupation with accountability has led to a set of measures that favor shallow mimicry and recall behaviors, such as learning vocabulary lists and recognizing shapes and colors (something that a dog can do, by the way, but that is in fact an extraordinarily low bar for most curious 4-year-olds), while devaluing complex, integrative, and syncretic learning.

Last year, I observed some preschoolers conversing about whether snakes have bones. They argued at length among themselves, comparing the flexible serpentine body with dinosaur fossils and fish, both of which they had previously explored. There was no clear consensus on how these various creatures could contain the same hard skeletons, but I watched, transfixed, as each child added to the groundwork another had laid. The teacher gently guided the group as a captain might steer a large ship, with the tiniest nudge of the wheel. Finally, a little boy who had seen a snake skeleton in a museum became animated as he pantomimed the structure of a snake’s spine in a series of karate chops: “One bone, one bone, one bone,” he informed his friends. “I think we’re all going to have to do a lot more research,” the teacher replied, impressed. This loosely Socratic method is a perfect fit for young minds; the problem is that it doesn’t conform easily to a school-readiness checklist.

The academic takeover of American early learning can be understood as a shift from what I would call an “ideas-based curriculum” to a “naming-and-labeling-based curriculum.” Not coincidentally, the latter can be delivered without substantially improving our teaching force. Inexperienced or poorly supported teachers are directed to rely heavily on scripted lesson plans for a reason: We can point to a defined objective, and tell ourselves that at least kids are getting something this way.

But that something—while relatively cheap to provide—is awfully thin gruel. One major study of 700 preschool classrooms in 11 states found that only 15 percent showed evidence of effective interactions between teacher and child. Fifteen percent.

We neglect vital teacher-child interactions at our peril. Although the infusion of academics into preschool has been justified as a way to close the achievement gap between poor and well-off children, Robert Pianta, one of the country’s leading child-policy experts, cautions that there is “no evidence whatsoever” that our early-learning system is suited to that task. He estimates that the average preschool program “narrows the achievement gap by perhaps only 5 percent,” compared with the 30 to 50 percent that studies suggest would be possible with higher-quality programs. Contrasting the dismal results of Tennessee’s preschool system with the more promising results in places such as Boston, which promotes active, child-centered learning (and, spends more than twice the national average on preschool), lends further credence to the idea that preschool quality really does matter.

It’s become almost a cliché to look to Finland’s educational system for inspiration. As has … [more]
education  pedagogy  learning  literacy  listening  preschool  kindergarten  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  finland  erikachristakis  2015  schools  edreform  conversation  vocabulary  cv  unschooling  deschooling  schooliness  directinstruction  schoolreadiness 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Present Perfect Trailer - YouTube
"Present Perfect explores the very real experience of aging in America- both growing up, and growing old. Help us bring this incredible story to life. Go to http://www.presentperfectfilm.com/sup... to support this film!"
aging  preschool  agesegregation  us  2015  youth  agedesegregation 
september 2015 by robertogreco
on microaggressions and administrative power - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"Let’s try to put a few things together that need to be put together.

First, read this post by Jonathan Haidt excerpting and summarizing this article on the culture of campus microaggressions. A key passage:
Campbell and Manning describe how this culture of dignity is now giving way to a new culture of victimhood in which people are encouraged to respond to even the slightest unintentional offense, as in an honor culture. But they must not obtain redress on their own; they must appeal for help to powerful others or administrative bodies, to whom they must make the case that they have been victimized. It is the very presence of such administrative bodies, within a culture that is highly egalitarian and diverse (i.e., many college campuses) that gives rise to intense efforts to identify oneself as a fragile and aggrieved victim. This is why we have seen the recent explosion of concerns about microaggressions, combined with demands for trigger warnings and safe spaces, that Greg Lukianoff and I wrote about in The Coddling of the American Mind.

Now, take a look at this post by Conor Friedersdorf illustrating how this kind of thing works in practice. Note especially the account of an Oberlin student accused of microaggression and the way the conflict escalates.

And finally, to give you the proper socio-political context for all this, please read Freddie deBoer’s outstanding essay in the New York Times Magazine. Here’s an absolutely vital passage:
Current conditions result in neither the muscular and effective student activism favored by the defenders of current campus politics nor the emboldened, challenging professors that critics prefer. Instead, both sides seem to be gradually marginalized in favor of the growing managerial class that dominates so many campuses. Yes, students get to dictate increasingly elaborate and punitive speech codes that some of them prefer. But what could be more corporate or bureaucratic than the increasingly tight control on language and culture in the workplace? Those efforts both divert attention from the material politics that the administration often strenuously opposes (like divestment campaigns) and contribute to a deepening cultural disrespect for student activism. Professors, meanwhile, cling for dear life, trying merely to preserve whatever tenure track they can, prevented by academic culture, a lack of coordination and interdepartmental resentments from rallying together as labor activists. That the contemporary campus quiets the voices of both students and teachers — the two indispensable actors in the educational exchange — speaks to the funhouse-mirror quality of today’s academy.

I wish that committed student activists would recognize that the administrators who run their universities, no matter how convenient a recipient of their appeals, are not their friends. I want these bright, passionate students to remember that the best legacy of student activism lies in shaking up administrators, not in making appeals to them. At its worst, this tendency results in something like collusion between activists and administrators.

This is brilliantly incisive stuff by Freddie, and anyone who cares about the state of American higher education needs to reflect on it. When students demand the intervention of administrative authority to solve every little conflict, they end up simply reinforcing a power structure in which students and faculty alike are stripped of moral agency, in which all of us in the university — including the administrators themselves, since they’re typically reading responses from an instruction manual prepared in close consultation with university lawyers — are instruments in the hands of a self-perpetuating bureaucratic regime. Few social structures could be more alien to the character of true education.

Friedersdorf’s post encourages us to consider whether these habits of mind are characteristic of society as a whole. That seems indubitable to me. When people in the workplace routinely make complaints to HR officers instead of dealing directly with their colleagues, or calling the police when they see kids out on their own rather than talking to the parents, they’re employing the same strategy of enlisting Authority to fight their battles for them — and thereby consolidating the power of those who are currently in charge. Not exactly a strategy for changing the world. Nor for creating a minimally responsible citizenry.

In a fascinating article called “The Japanese Preschool’s Pedagogy of Peripheral Participation,”, Akiko Hayashi and Joseph Tobin describe a twofold strategy commonly deployed in Japan to deal with preschoolers’ conflicts: machi no hoiku and mimamoru. The former means “caring by waiting”; the second means “standing guard.” When children come into conflict, the teacher makes sure the students know that she is present, that she is watching — she may even add, kamisama datte miterun, daiyo (the gods too are watching) — but she does not intervene unless absolutely necessary. Even if the children start to fight she may not intervene; that will depend on whether a child is genuinely attempting to hurt another or the two are halfheartedly “play-fighting.”

The idea is to give children every possible opportunity to resolve their own conflicts — even past the point at which it might, to an American observer, seem that a conflict is irresolvable. This requires patient waiting; and of course one can wait too long — just as one can intervene too quickly. The mimamoru strategy is meant to reassure children that their authorities will not allow anything really bad to happen to them, though perhaps some unpleasant moments may arise. But those unpleasant moments must be tolerated, else how will the children learn to respond constructively and effectively to conflict — conflict which is, after all, inevitable in any social environment? And if children don't begin to learn such responses in preschool when will they learn it? Imagine if at university, or even in the workplace, they had developed no such abilities and were constantly dependent on authorities to ease every instance of social friction. What a mess that would be."
academia  preschool  conflictresolution  japan  alanjacobs  freddiedeboer  akikohayashi  josephtobin  machinohoiku  mimamoru  disagreement  rules  freespeech  culture  discomfort  collegiality  jonathanhaidt  power  authority  children  activism  management  administration  schools  society 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Our RISD — Playing for Keeps
"Children in eastern China are taking the notion of learning through play to new heights, according to Associate Professor of Industrial Design Cas Holman, who has been collaborating with educator Cheng Xueqin to design tools for kids that complement her vision for learning. Over the past 14 years, Cheng has developed a comprehensive play-driven educational model for China that is being used to incredible effect in 120 public preschools in Anji County.

“Anji Play is about joy and agency and allowing kids to develop as whole people,” says Holman. “The play is completely child-directed; teachers don’t even prompt them about what to build. When playtime is over, the children draw ‘play stories’ to visually communicate what they made and what questions they were trying to answer.”

Holman observed the system in action during a trip to China last month and plans to return in August to work with factory directors on creating a core set of high-quality materials – ladders, barrels, blocks and the like – with consistent specs. She’s also working with Cheng’s team to help adapt the model for use in the US and other western countries.    

The approach to play at these Chinese preschools is one Holman has long advocated for through her own work. As she notes in this newly posted opinion piece for Fast Company, “The ideal toy for a child is not a toy at all but something they’ve appropriated for play.”

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/120218237 ]

[See also: https://www.fastcodesign.com/3048508/the-case-for-letting-kids-design-their-own-play ]
play  children  china  kindergarten  schools  education  casholman  chengxuegin  design  schooldesign  toys  student-directedlearning  reggioemilia  via:ablerism  roleplaying  preschool  anjiplay  anji 
july 2015 by robertogreco
We have no idea if universal preschool actually helps kids - The Washington Post
"The reality is that the research on state preschool programs does not yet support effectiveness for the type of universal preschool programs being promoted today. It certainly does not support expensive government expansions of preschool education as currently envisioned, particularly for middle-class children with no demonstrable need for a “head start.” We need much more high-quality randomized research studies showing large and long-term benefits, at reasonable costs, before any expansion of pre-k can be justified."
education  preschool  headstart  research  2014  davidarmor  universalpreschool  policy  politics 
october 2014 by robertogreco
S’More Inequality
"Cognitive psychology—“the mind’s new science” of the last several decades—has directed both popular and scholarly attention to the cultivation of individual willpower as a tool of personal maximization. The Stanford marshmallow experiment on delayed gratification among preschoolers serves as a widely recognized touchstone for this revivification of interest in the will. But the marshmallow test is more than a handy synecdoche for the cold new logic behind shrinking public services and the burgeoning apparatus of surveillance and accountability. It also shows how the sciences of the soul can be deployed to create the person they purport to describe, by willing political transformation. The individual agent of willpower—“executive function,” in the argot of the cognitive sciences—becomes both the means and the end of school privatization. This body of work offers a way to read savage social inequality and a bifurcated labor market as individual mental functions whose ideal type is corporate decision making; it also aids the transition to corporate control of education itself. Following this trope from the realm of cultural logic to public policy allows us to watch neoliberalism operating simultaneously as ideology and agenda and to recognize the consistent denial of reproductive labor that gives the lie to its pretensions."

[via: https://twitter.com/yayitsrob/status/517691187516280832
https://twitter.com/yayitsrob/status/517691603280879616 ]
executivefunction  via:robinsonmeyer  cognitivescience  psychology  cognitivepsychology  willpower  self-control  marshmallowtest  delayedgratification  control  neoliberalism  bathanymoreton  2014  children  schools  schooling  edreform  policy  education  preschool  privatization  ideology  popscience  capitalism  latecapitalism  labor  behavior 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Teacher Tom: Figuring Out Those Damned ATMs
"We're so often amazed that kids figure out new technology faster and better than adults. Let me tell you why: because they play with it. In fact, that's why young children learn everything faster and better than adults. Play, not swiping fingers across screens, is what's in their DNA, it's in all of our DNA, but we've unlearned it as we've gotten older. We worry that we're going to break something or look foolish or somehow do it "wrong," so we resort to instruction manuals and tutorials and our kids to show us the way.

Why do we stop engaging new things through play as we get older? I don't know the full answer, but part it must lie in how we're taught to learn as we get older. In our society, the younger children are, the more likely it is that they are allowed the time and space to play, to explore, to discover, to make mistakes, both inside and outside the classroom. This is why most young kids tell us they like school: learning is pleasurable, exciting, and interesting when we pursue it though play. Yet as we get older, the opportunities to play become increasingly rare until by the time we hit middle school, it's pretty much all about instruction manuals and tutorials and getting the "right" answer. That's why in traditional schools, the older kids get, the more likely they are to report they hate school.

The fact that young children "take to" screen-based technology shouldn't surprise us. They also take to rocks and sticks and cardboard boxes and water and other people. We're not so impressed by that, however, because we too have mastered those things, years ago, as we freely played.

Education "reformers" have it backwards. They look at middle schools and high schools and see children struggling, hating school, so they are seeking to make our preschools and elementary schools more like middle school and high school to get them "ready." It should be the other way around: we should be trying to make the middle school and high school experience more like what we find in early years. It's not our job to make kids school ready, it's our job to make schools ready for kids. If we do that, I'll bet we'll find that even adults can figure out those damned ATMs."
2014  tomhobson  edtech  technology  education  schools  unschooling  deschooling  howweteach  play  howwelearn  learning  children  digitalnatives  middleschool  highschool  cv  school  schooling  schooliness  edreform  preschool 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Swedish School De-emphasizes Gender Lines - NYTimes.com
"What has become a passionate undertaking for its teachers actually began with a nudge from Swedish legislators, who in 1998 passed a bill requiring that schools, including day care centers, assure equal opportunities for girls and boys.

Spurred by the law, the teachers at Nicolaigarden took the unusual step of filming one another, capturing their behavior while playing with, eating with or just being with the center’s infants to 6-year-olds.

“We could see lots of differences, for example, in the handling of boys and girls,” said Lotta Rajalin, who directs the center and three others, which she visits by bicycle. “If a boy was crying because he hurt himself, he was consoled, but for a shorter time, while girls were held and soothed much longer,” she said. “With a boy it was, ‘Go on, it’s not so bad!’ ”

The filming, she said, also showed that staff members tended to talk more with girls than with boys, perhaps explaining girls’ later superior language skills…"
via:litherland  neutrality  gender-neutrality  criticalfriends  change  egalitarianism  egalia  egaliaschool  nicolaigarden  nicolaigardenschool  sweden  2012  observation  preschool  education  gender 
november 2012 by robertogreco
The Virtues Of Play | Wired Science | Wired.com
"Nietzsche said it best: “The struggle of maturity is to recover the seriousness of the child at play.” While parents might be tempted to enroll their kids in preschools that seem the most “academic,” that’s probably a mistake. There is nothing frivolous about play."
education  play  children  psychology  games  reggioemilia  montessori  kindergarten  preschool  unschooling  deschooling  jonahlehrer  nietzsche  learning  academics  reading  math  tcsnmy  schools  damagedbyschools  cognition  parenting 
march 2011 by robertogreco
For Kids, Self-Control Factors Into Future Success : NPR
"Economists and public health officials want to know whether teaching self-control could improve a population's physical and financial health and reduce crime. Three factors appear to be key to a person's success in life: intelligence, family's socioeconomic status and self-control. Moffitt's study found that self-control predicted adult success, even after accounting for the participants' differences in social status and IQ.

IQ and social status are hard to change. But Moffitt says there is evidence that self-control can be learned.

"Identical twins are not identical on self-control," she says. "That tells us that it is something they have learned, not something they have inherited."

Teaching self-control has become a big focus for early childhood education."
tcsnmy  preschool  teaching  self-control  justice  society  learning  behavior  crime  success  health  lcproject  classdieas  delayedgratification 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Think Thank Thunk » Surprise! My Wife is the Good Teacher, I Just Plagiarize
"He didn’t have the ingrained sense of fear and respect most kids have for teachers. He did not have the false urgency that we create in our students. He wasn’t worried about whether I was going to test him, because in preschool, you don’t have tests, just really sweet experiences."
relationships  teaching  preschool  tcsnmy  emergentcurriculum  emergent  constructivism  topost  shawncornally 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Genetic and environmental influences on prereading skills and early reading and spelling development in the United States, Australia, and Scandinavia [.pdf]
"Genetic & environmental influences on prereading skills in preschool & on early reading & spelling development at the end of kindergarten were compared among samples of identical & fraternal twins from the US, Australia, & Scandinavia. Mean comparisons revealed significantly lower preschool print knowledge in Scandinavia, consistent with the relatively lower amount of shared book reading & letter-based activities w/ parents, & lack of emphasis on print knowledge in Scandinavian preschools. The patterns of correlations between all preschool environment measures & prereading skills within the samples were remarkably similar, as were the patterns of genetic, shared environment, & non-shared environment estimates: in all samples, genetic influence was substantial & shared environment influence was relatively weak for phonological awareness, rapid naming, & verbal memory..."
literacy  learning  reading  scandinavia  us  australia  instruction  preschool  spelling  filetype:pdf  media:document 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Nursery school personality and political orientation two decades later - Jack and Jeanne H. Block [.pdf]
"Preschool children who 20 years later were relatively liberal were characterized as: developing close relationships, self-reliant, energetic, somewhat dominating, relatively under-controlled, and resilient. Preschool children subsequently relatively conservative at age 23 were described as: feeling easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and relatively over-controlled and vulnerable. IQ during nursery school did not relate to subsequent liberalism/conservatism but did relate in subsequent decades. Personality correlates of liberalism/conservatism for the subjects as young adults were also reported: conservatives were described in terms congruent with previous formulations in the literature; liberals displayed personality commonalities but also manifested gender differences"
politics  preschool  psychology  self-reliance  energy  relationships  liberalism  conservatism  experience  naturenurture  victimhood  personality  vulnerability  inhibition  tcsnmy  filetype:pdf  media:document 
february 2010 by robertogreco
What Do Preschools Have in Common with Bridges and Airports? - NurtureShock Blog - Newsweek.com
"Kids in noisy environments hear enough words that they learn to communicate. But they miss out on the additional language necessary to master the more sophisticated nuances of phonics, vocabulary, and structure."
reading  learning  preschool  schools  schooldesign  development  education  hearing  children  noise  tcsnmy  lcproject  sound  auditory 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Garden School» A Montessori Toddler Community in Portland, Oregon
"The Garden School opened in September 2008 in Northeast Portland, Oregon. Nestled inside a home, the school provides a warm, welcoming setting for children. Our intention is to create a natural and peaceful environment that allows the toddler to follow his inherent wisdom with gentle guidance. ... Beautiful outdoor areas - including a space for gardening and plenty of room for exploration - encourage children to interact with nature. In addition, the children participate in the preparation of an organic, communal meal each day."
schools  gardens  urbangardening  urbanfarming  montessori  portland  oregon  preschool  daycare  tcsnmy  csl 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Movie Review - Nursery University - First Preschool, Then the Ivy League - NYTimes.com
" If you thrill to the sight of a preschool teacher bringing an investment banker to his knees, then “Nursery University” is for you. Following five Manhattan families as they navigate the cutthroat competition for elite nursery school spots for their pampered progeny, this knowing documentary from Marc H. Simon and Matthew Makar shows that, in New York City at least, exclusivity breeds contentment.

The movie’s educators and “application consultants” ($4,000 for seven meetings, thank you very much) may debunk the belief that these schools are essential for the Ivy League bound, but try telling that to the frazzled parents. Anxiously speed-dialing for applications and preparing for the all-important family interviews (“Tell them you like the New York Times crossword puzzle,” one father jokingly advises his winsome toddler), otherwise sane adults succumb to anger and frustration."
film  education  excess  competition  children  parenting  schools  schooling  nyc  preschool  documentary 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Protect Our Kids from Preschool - WSJ.com [via: http://joannejacobs.com/2008/08/23/preschool-gains-arent-universal/]
"Why don't preschool gains stick? Possibly because the K-12 system is too dysfunctional to maintain them. More likely, because early education in general is not so crucial to the long-term intellectual growth of children. Finland offers strong evidence for this view. Its kids consistently outperform their global peers in reading, math and science on international assessments even though they don't begin formal education until they are 7. Subsidized preschool is available for parents who opt for it, but only when their kids turn 6."
education  schools  government  policy  finland  learning  children  preschool  schooling  parenting 
august 2008 by robertogreco
'bercario primetime' by marcio kogan arquiteto (mk27)
"bercario primetime or primetime child learning center is located in sao paulo, brazil. the nursery
design  lcproject  schools  schooldesign  children  brasil  preschool  brazil 
august 2008 by robertogreco
The trouble with older kindergarten. - By Emily Bazelon - Slate Magazine
"study suggests that effects of kindergarten redshirting are more serious & long-term...create age span in classroom that extends...18 months..makes it harder for younger ones to keep up...in age of academic kindergarten...trend...among well-off families may be fueling trend toward state laws that delay kindergarten for everyone...starting...late correlates with dropping out of high school & earning less afterward"
education  kindergarten  children  parenting  schools  redshirting  preschool  learning  lifetime 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Next American City » Magazine » The New School
"Studies and teachers suggest that involving parents in their children’s schools improves the quality of education and helps build community. Then why isn’t the cooperative preschool more popular?"
education  schools  schooling  parenting  learning  children  change  activism  reform  preschool  trends  urban  cities 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Preschool ratings and Preschool reviews: The Savvy Source for Parents
"We believe that the depth and quantity of parent reviews and the first-hand information from school directors makes this the most informative web site about preschools in the country. We hope that you will agree."
children  parenting  preschool  recommendations  education  toys  books 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Main Page - Free-reading
"Free-Reading is an ongoing, collaborative, teacher-based, curriculum-sharing experiment. We're looking to provide a reliable forum where teachers can openly and freely share their successful and effective methods for teaching reading in grades K-1."
reading  instruction  activities  curriculum  books  free  kids  literacy  children  teaching  wiki  schools  opensource  phonics  elearning  ebooks  audio  lessons  spelling  education  preschool  elementary  english  writing 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Inner Child Dept.: Cool for School: The Talk of the Town: The New Yorker
"Last week, the Blue Man Creativity Center (it can’t call itself a school until it gets state accreditation) welcomed forty-three boys and girls between the ages of two and four to its first day of classes and mayhem."
art  children  play  education  schooldesign  preschool  learning  creativity  bluemangroup  lcproject  reggioemilia  tcsnmy 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Day-care centers breed misbehavior at Joanne Jacobs
"The more time a child spends in a day-care center the more likely the child will misbehave in class, according to a long-term study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development."
children  schools  daycare  preschool  behavior  research  studies  parenting  vocabulary  education 
march 2007 by robertogreco

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