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Google images approved for reuse Many preschool and kindergarten teachers have told me that they are extremely upset—some to the point of being ready to resign—by the increased pressure on them to teach academic skills to little children and regularly test them on such skills.
They can see firsthand the unhappiness generated, and they suspect that the children would be learning much more useful lessons through playing, exploring, and socializing, as they did in traditional nursery schools and kindergartens.
Their suspicions are well validated by research studies. A number of well-controlled studies have compared the effects of academically oriented early education classrooms with those of play-based classrooms some of which are reviewed herein an article by Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Geralyn McLaughlin,and Joan Almon.
Perhaps more tragic than the lack of long-term academic advantage of early academic instruction is evidence that such instruction can produce long-term harm, especially in the realms of social and emotional development. A Study in Germany that Changed Educational Policy There For example, in the s, the German government sponsored a large-scale comparison in which the graduates of 50 play-based kindergartens were compared, over time, with the graduates of 50 academic direct-instruction-based kindergartens.
In particular, they were less advanced in reading and mathematics and less well adjusted socially and emotionally. At the time of the study, Germany was gradually making a switch from traditional play-based kindergartens to academic ones.
At least partly as a result of the study, Germany reversed that trend; they went back to play-based kindergartens.
Apparently, German educational authorities, at least at that time, unlike American authorities today, actually paid attention to educational research and used it to inform educational practice. One study, directed by Rebecca Marcon, focused on mostly African American children from high-poverty families.
The children from the play-based preschools were now performing better, getting significantly higher school grades, than were those from the academic preschools, This study included no assessment of social and emotional development. The assignment was done in a semi-random way, designed to ensure that the three groups were initially matched on all available measures.
In addition to the daily preschool experiences, the experiment also included a home visit every two weeks, aimed at instructing parents in how to help their children. These visits focused on the same sorts of methods as did the preschool classrooms.
Thus, home visits from the Traditional classrooms focused on the value of play and socialization while those from the Direct-Instruction classrooms focused on academic skills, worksheets, and the like.
The initial results of this experiment were similar to those of other such studies. Those in the direct-instruction group showed early academic gains, which soon vanished.
This study, however, also included follow-up research when the participants were 15 years old and again when they were 23 years old. At these ages there were no significant differences among the groups in academic achievement, but large, significant differences in social and emotional characteristics.
At age 23, as young adults, the differences were even more dramatic. Those in the Direct Instruction group had more instances of friction with other people, were more likely to have shown evidence of emotional impairment, were less likely to be married and living with their spouse, and were far more likely to have committed a crime than were those in the other two groups.
One possibility is that the initial school experience sets the stage for later behavior. Those in classrooms that emphasized academic performance may have developed lifelong patterns aimed at achievement, and getting ahead, which—especially in the context of poverty—could lead to friction with others and even to crime as a misguided means of getting ahead.
I suspect that the biweekly home visits played a meaningful role. What effects have you seen of early academic training, or, conversely, of experience in traditional play-based preschools and kindergartens? This blog is a forum for discussion, and your views and knowledge are valued and taken seriously, by me and by other readers.
Make your thoughts known in the comments section below.
As always, I prefer if you post your comments and questions here rather than send them to me by private email. By putting them here, you share with other readers, not just with me.
I read all comments and try to respond to all serious questions. Of course, if you have something to say that applies only to you and me, then send me an email. Basic Books, with permission See also: Free to Learn ; and alternativestoschool.
Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose.Research into the effect of violent video games on levels of aggression has led to concerns that they may pose a public health risk.
Indeed, cross-sectional studies have found positive correlations between violent video game play and real-life aggression  – . Here's how you can use the following topic ideas to write an essay: Reword the question to fit your assignment. Use a question for your topic idea helps keep you organized.
Christians typically haven’t had much to say about the nearly ubiquitous medium of video games, and often when they do, it’s pretty negative. There are certainly real concerns over violence and addiction in video games.
This article makes the case, however, that the church needs to give video. Playing video games can have many different effects (both positive as well as negative) on children.
Some of these effects include increasing hand-eye coordination and increasing dexterity mental skills; a decreased interest in other activities such as studies and sports; and . The author of "The Effects of Violent Video Games on Behavior" believes that video games are more dangerous than TV violence because "people are more likely to behave aggressively themselves when they identify with a violent character.
The Negative Effects of Video Games Essay. The origin of video games can be traced all the way back to - The Negative Effects of Video Games Essay introduction. Since then video games have continued being advanced with the improvement of technology.