WHAT DOES THE DATA TELL US ABOUT THE ROLE OF PLAY IN CHILDREN'S LIVES?

The data is incontrovertible.
They have been telling the same story throughout the last 40 years of research. When children are in environments where
learning is occurring in a meaningful context, where they have choices, and where they are encouraged to follow their
interests, learning takes place best.

Ironically, we have adopted a metaphor of the child as "empty vessel": pour in the facts and the child will passively absorb
the material. However, the research tells us exactly the opposite.

In preschool, when children are pressured to learn in schools with overly "academic" as
opposed to their more playful peers. They are no more ahead in first grade in academic
achievement.

Such programs also have the effect of reducing children's motivation and making them have lower expectations for their
academic abilities, less pride in their achievements, and more dependency on adults.
Children who have been schooled to think that there is one right answer and that learning is memorization are also
dependent on adults for their learning. They have not learned how to learn.  Ironically, these are the children we hope will
join the creative class in the 21st century and keep the United States at the forefront of ingenuity and innovation.

This book shows how kids learn and why we need to step away from the cult of achievement and toward more nurturing
home life full of imaginative play and love of learning. Children today are being placed under an enormous amount of
pressure and this is extending downward even into the crib. Einstein goes beyond debunking myths spread by the
accelerated learning industry and shows parents and educators how children learn best.
There is a large body of research that can be readily accessed on-line that shows the appropriate strategies of preschool
education. This page has links to articles that provide background on the elements to look for in a good Utah preschool.
 
Preschool: What does the Science Tell Us?
EINSTEIN NEVER USED FLASHCARDS
Why Children Need to Play More and Memorize Less
Click on any of the links to read the full articles.
The folks at TheSavvySource.com, an online database with
ratings and reviews of over 55,000 preschools across the
country, have offered their top five tips for choosing the best
preschool for your child.
A short but timely editorial by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
development. This article expresses the view that

"Thirty years of science in the field of child
development tells us unequivocally that
force-feeding academics to young children is not
how they learn best."
National Association for the Education of Young
Children (NAEYC)
Developmentally appropriate practice is based on
knowledge about how children develop and learn.
This summary contains a list of empirically based
principles of child development and learning that
should inform
National Association for the Education of Young
Children (NAEYC)
An article summarizing research with findings
that indicate DAP is directionally correct for
preschoolers.
Forcing too much memorization and rote learning on preschool age
children is generally considered a poor educational strategy. In fact,
kindergarten will produce negative side effects. This article examines
those concerns.
Excerpted from Play, Development and Early Education by Johnson,
Christie and Wardle
Too many educators, politicians, and parents in Utah believe outdoor
play takes time away from academic activities. As a result recess and
physical education in many schools is limited or totally eliminated.
Further, programs that do advocate outdoor play often focus on
learning cognitive and academic skills, rather than encouraging
needed physical pursuits and social interactions. This article reviews
the importance of play.
From the National Association for the Education of
Young Children
what to look for in a good preschool
for your child in Utah.
National Association For The Education Of Young Children
2008 (New Draft)

This is the definitive statement on the appropriate protocols for educating small children. This new 2008 draft is the state-of-
the art and science regarding Early Childhood Education.

The purpose of this position statement is to promote excellence in early childhood education by providing a framework for
best practice. Grounded both in the research on child development and learning and in the knowledge base regarding
educational effectiveness, the framework outlines practice that promotes young children’s optimal learning and development.
This article from the North Central Regional Educational
Laboratory outlines developmentally appropriate teaching
strategies for preschools.
Outdoor preschool playground equipment should have a
mixture of abstract and realistic play events, along with
components and loose parts that encourage dramatic
play. Modular playground equipment should also provide
for interesting play spaces under equipment as well as
on top, and the flow of dramatic play should be taken into
account when designing play environments. Preschool
playgrounds should include unique features around
taken into consideration, outdoor play environments that
encourage taken into consideration, outdoor play
environments that encourage and support dramatic play
can be created. Promoting dramatic play in outdoor
preschool environments will have lasting positive effects
on Utah children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and
social development.
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