Monday, August 01, 2005

Child's Play

I was quite happy to read this article from the Hunsville Times about a pre-K program in Alabama that is not designed to give students a head start academically but rather to prepare them socially for Kindergarten. The article says, in part:
"Play is children's work," said Pamela Patton, program specialist for federal programs for the Huntsville school system. "The play that they're doing leads to the skills required for kindergarten.... We're not trying to make them into little first graders"
How wonderful it would be if all young children had a chance to experience this kind of early education!

And it would be even more wonderful if we could learn to incorporate some of that attitude into all levels of education. Especially in elementary school, but also throughout their education, we would be well advised, I think, to put more emphasis on exploiting the natural curiosity of human beings and on allowing students to utilize their creativity. This is where student choice comes in. It makes teaching harder in some ways, but it is definitely more interesting than teaching to a test.

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