BRAIN FACT: Early Childhood Programs With Directed Academic Curriculum May Risk The Developmental Growth Necessary For Future Academic Success

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

“Early childhood programs that implement a directed academic curriculum often replace essential, hands-on learning activities with skill-based performance and rote-learning tasks. In doing so, they risk the developmental growth necessary for children’s future academic success.”
~Healy, J.M. 2004. Your Child’s Growing Mind. New York: Broadway Books.

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Photo Credit: Anissa Thompson

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2 Responses to “BRAIN FACT: Early Childhood Programs With Directed Academic Curriculum May Risk The Developmental Growth Necessary For Future Academic Success”
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Leisa Olson said...

This makes a lot of sense, since children learn through their senses, this is how they find out how they fit in the large scheme of things. It is through this stimulation that they understand gravity, sweet, sour, hot, cold, up, down, in and out etc. To take this exploration away would decrease the amount of stimulation happening that creates more brain activity. I found this fascinating.

August 4, 2010 at 3:05 PM
Sharon Sarles said...

"Drill and kill" may be correctly labeled. Early childhood educators should be well aware of the importance of play. However, we might make a little balance or clarity by leaving room for directed play. Huh? Okay, what I mean is like in the Montessori Method, the children choose their work, but the environment is prepared. So the children have the delight of play, while they also tend to cover the "learning objectives" that educators might want. And similarly in "emergent curricula" sometimes we have a list of learning objectives promulgated for instance by the state government. So when it is raining, and the children make damns, we might see that as an opportunity to talk about hydoelectric damns. So we are NOT talking about "dry 2D boring stuff" nor are we talking about play as in "go amuse yourself on the tarmac." Play doesn't have to be aimless. Directed play is a great way to go.

January 30, 2011 at 9:35 PM

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