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Old 03-17-2011, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
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Preschool lessons: New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire. - By Alison Gopnik - Slate Magazine
Cool article on Slate.com. I suspect that if they did the same experiments with elementary aged children they'd have the same results. I think that cognitive science research will provide some answers useful in reforming education.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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That's an interesting article. I've suspected letting kids discover things on their own was the way to go. Instinctively, although I know nothing about childhood development in a formal way - it seemed that letting my preschool age daughter discover stuff and things for herself made more sense.

I would rather let her sit on the floor and give her some water, some lemons and some sugar, and figure out how to make lemonade, than measure everything out for her and "teach" her how to do it. Not that I'd drink the finished product. She figured it out, though.

I had some qualms last year about not sending her to preschool at three, and I'm kinda glad I didn't. I understand there are good preschools that don't push too hard, but I just thought she was too young. She benefits from being out in the world just fine, at least from my observations.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Hillsborough
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I think it makes sense. My daughter goes to a Reggio preschool and I think that they follow this sort of philosophy of letting the child discover and figure things out for themselves, emphasizing creative and critical thinking. The other day I read an observation note on my daughter from the teacher on this. Something like "Today I saw C sitting on a bike on the bike path but not moving. Another bike, unoccupied, was in front of her bike. I walked over and asked her if she had a problem. She told me 'Yes, that bike is in my way'. I asked her 'What are you going to do about that?' She said she didn't know. I walked away to let her work it out. A few minutes later I saw her riding around the bike path, and asked her how she had solved her problem. She said 'I went around the other bike!'" Of course, that is the obvious solution, but I think that most people would have just made that suggestion to the child, instead of waiting for the child to figure it out herself.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Australia
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I guess we can sit around and wait or we can get up and make things happen
Different ways for different people
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
I think it makes sense. My daughter goes to a Reggio preschool and I think that they follow this sort of philosophy of letting the child discover and figure things out for themselves, emphasizing creative and critical thinking. The other day I read an observation note on my daughter from the teacher on this. Something like "Today I saw C sitting on a bike on the bike path but not moving. Another bike, unoccupied, was in front of her bike. I walked over and asked her if she had a problem. She told me 'Yes, that bike is in my way'. I asked her 'What are you going to do about that?' She said she didn't know. I walked away to let her work it out. A few minutes later I saw her riding around the bike path, and asked her how she had solved her problem. She said 'I went around the other bike!'" Of course, that is the obvious solution, but I think that most people would have just made that suggestion to the child, instead of waiting for the child to figure it out herself.
This is also the principle used by Magda Gerber with infants though it's not quite so verbal. She respects the child and allows him to discover that he can solve problems on his own.

The Program for Infant/Toddler Care

It is also true from my own preschool teaching that play based preschools where centers are set up and children are allowed to learn from them with teacher mentoring often have children who are *more* advanced when they attend kindergarten than preschools where kids are *taught* academics. When kids discover letters and books and numbers and math in environments that give them opportunities, they learn a great deal.
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:50 PM
 
137 posts, read 570,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidxen View Post
I guess we can sit around and wait or we can get up and make things happen
Different ways for different people
So perhaps you would advocate forcing a tree to grow instead of waiting. We can get children to imitate all day , but for them to develop into thinking, creative beings takes time. The natural processes necessary to foster problem solving skills can't be forced. Read the article ... " In other words, direct instruction made the children less curious and less likely to discover new information."
I started reading at age 6 and am not underachieving or poverty stricken as a result.
If we simply want kids to be "worker bees" then by all means let's force them to read when they are 10 months old.
What we will need in the future is problem solvers, critical thinkers, and creative minds.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:25 PM
 
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My daughter went to a school where they did not "teach" at all, children were encouraged to follow their own interests...my daughter did this huge year long project on cat behavior, cat foods, everything about cats, she was 10, and learned more about cats than I ever knew. She was not interested in math, so that was not part of her cirriculum...I was not sure about that...but the next year she was interested in math, and did all sorts of projects with math...an entire year of working on Algebra and Geometry, of course, it involved cats...something about the ratio of their food and wieght, and output...she loved that school. I thought it was very progressive, and good for her. Sigh, then we moved, and she had to go to a regular school...which she hated...
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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Here's interesting research about all the knowledge gained before the teen years can be lost..... or should I say 'pruned' when teen brains go through a reorganization.

frontline: inside the teenage brain | PBS
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