Saturday, June 3, 2017

Russ on Reading: Building a Better Pre-School: Finding the Right Balance

Russ on Reading: Building a Better Pre-School: Finding the Right Balance:

Building a Better Pre-School: Finding the Right Balance



Two studies on building a better pre-school caught my eye this week. On the front page of the Wednesday, May 31, 2017 New York Times, education reporter Dana Goldstein details the findings of a group of researchers out of the University of California, Berkeley looking at the role of academics in pre-school, while Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Penn State have just released a brief focused on the importance of social and emotional learning in pre-school. I would like to look at both studies to see what conclusions we can reach when working to create the best possible pre-school environment for children.

The Berkeley study is sure to kick up a lot of fuss, first because it appeared on the front page of the New York Times, but also because it flies in the face of what many parents and teachers see as the optimal pre-school environment. The title of the piece doesn't help, Free Play or Flash Cards? New Study Nods to More Rigorous Preschools. Reading the article and the research report shows that the researchers' report is much more nuanced than a flash cards vs. play dynamic. What the researchers found is that children in academically oriented pre-school classrooms, which included activities focusing on oral language, pre-literacy, and math concepts, made academic gains that advantaged them as they entered kindergarten and throughout the kindergarten year. At the same time, and just as importantly, the authors found that this academic orientation did not have a negative impact on the social, emotional growth of the children.

The Robert Wood Johnson/Penn State brief concludes that to "promote school readiness, preschools need to focus strategically on social-emotional development." A focus on social emotional development pays off in greater 
Russ on Reading: Building a Better Pre-School: Finding the Right Balance:

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education