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It’s Time To Make Kindergarten An Engaging Place For Learning Again


It’s a fact – kindergartens have changed. Nowadays, not only in the US but all over the world as well, children that attend kindergartens study more and play less than they did two centuries ago. More academics and less play – this is what kindergarten has turned into and it’s definitely not going to do kindergarteners any good.

According to Christopher Brown, Ph.D., professor of Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, explains that the constant pressure on kindergarteners to learn to spell, read, and do math through routinized activities can have a negative influence on their learning both in elementary school and high school.

So, the question is: What measures can we take to make kindergarten engaging for children again?

For a couple of years, Christopher Brown and his research team have been carrying out interviews with kindergarteners, their families, school administrators, teachers, policy analysts, policymakers, university educators, lobbyists, and researchers. They’ve done their research in Texas, Washington D.C., and West Virginia and their intention was to identify what these stakeholders think that should happen in kindergarten classrooms.

What they found was that almost every person they interviewed is concerned about the changes in kindergarten. One principal in Texas told them: “We’re killing their joy for school in kindergarten. We have to ask ourselves, ‘What are we setting children up for later?’”

In order to make kindergarten an engaging place for learning again, these stakeholders put forward a variety of suggestions, including: more play, less testing, more interaction with and among the kindergarteners so that teachers can encourage children’s creativity, interest and inquiry, and sense of wonder, and ensuring that kindergarten don’t be as first grade.

The stakeholders said that they want school administrators and policymakers to implement reforms which provide more time during the day for emotional and social learning and for the kindergarteners to have more opportunities to communicate and play with each other.

They also want to better teacher training in order for teachers to have the professional knowledge to help kindergarteners gain learning experiences which support their physical, emotional, cognitive, and social learning while boosting their academic success.

In relation to state and national policy change, the stakeholders want new program and content standards to be established and implemented across the whole K-12 education system.

So, based on this study, it turns out that it’d be beneficial for everyone if all of us stop thinking that being ready to achieve both kindergarten and school success means that kids must gain knowledge and specific academic skills.

Instead, we all should think about how teachers, schools, and families can work together with kindergarteners and students so as to create an engaging learning environment which helps children grow into as well as perceive themselves as competent learners.