Saturday, August 25, 2007

Preschool

Preschool is clearly on my mind right now. I believe in the importance of the learning that happens prior to kindergarten. However, I'm skeptical that the plan in Texas to accredit preschools is really going to improve that learning.
Children should come into kindergarten able to identify some letters of the alphabet and read basic words, such as "cat," Dr. Landry said. They also should get along with other children and follow directions.
I'm not convinced that children should be able to do all of those things. We've already made kindergarten much more academic than it used to be, it seems unfair to do the same thing to preschool.
Lyn Voegeli, who runs private preschools in Richardson and Frisco, worries that the pressures tied to accountability in public schools will trickle down. She doesn't want to see preschoolers poring over worksheets instead of a puzzle or a book.
Exactly my fear. So much research has shown the importance of play for young children in their learning. It's not hard to imagine the move to worksheets happening.

States are pumping more money into pre-kindergarten programs because research shows an early start can narrow the educational gap between poor and wealthier students.

But Texas is ahead of the curve in holding the programs accountable, said Jonathan Plucker, an educational psychologist who heads Indiana University's Center for Evaluation and Education Policy.

"It makes perfect sense that we put some of these things in place for accountability purposes and for parents," Dr. Plucker said.

We need to educate parents to be sure that they understand what is actually important and valuable for their children at different developmental stages.

3 comments:

Herdingcats said...

Am I the only one appauled that "imagination" isn't a goal in Texas' plan?

Passionate Teacher said...

If you haven't yet read "Love that Dog" by Sharon Creech, then put it at the top of your list. This is a fantastic way to launch a poetry unit. You'll laugh. You'll cry. My fifth graders LOVE it! (Especially the part when I cry.)

Jenny said...

Passionate,
Too true. In fact I'm reading it with my class right now. It is one of my favorites. Plus, it's such a quick read I can fit it in anywhere.