Kindergarten Crisis

Why Children Have to Play in School




Time for play in most public kindergartens has dwindled to the vanishing point, replaced by lengthy lessons and standardized testing, according to three recent studies released by the nonprofit Alliance for Childhood. This group of advocates for children reports that classic play materials have largely disappeared from the 268 full-day conventional classrooms studied.

Authors of the research hail from University of California, Los Angeles, Long Island University and Sarah Lawrence College, in New York. In sounding the warning about the potential intellectual, social and physical repercussions of this widespread educational policy on childhood development, they also point to the academic success associated with play-based schooling in other countries. Students in China and Japan, often heralded for their aptitudes in science, technology, engineering and math, enjoy a play-based experiential approach to school until second grade. Children in Finland, who don’t begin formal schooling until age 6, consistently achieve the highest score on international exams.

For more information visit www.AllianceForChildhood.org.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Experiential Ed

Schools in Finland and New Orleans are pioneering new ways to involve students in a more collaborative education model.

Kinesthetic Kids

Students in a South Carolina school learn their spelling and math by rotating through 15 stations that combine learning exercises with play-ready basketball hoops or exercise bikes.

True Grit

Educators are learning how to build invaluable attributes in children, such as motivation, self-control and positivity.

Course Correction

At last, a new science curriculum adopted by 26 states discusses how human activities contribute to climate change.

High-Tech Teachers

Honestly, she’s not always texting! A third of middle-school students do schoolwork and play learning games on mobile apps, says Verizon.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags