NYTimes: Let the Kids Learn Through Play

nytimes-learn– “Twenty years ago kids […] spent much of their time playing […] But [… nowadays …] in many schools, formal education now starts at age 4 or 5. Without this early start, the thinking goes, kids risk falling behind in crucial subjects such as reading and math, and may never catch up.”

– “The idea [of …] ‘Starting sooner means learning more’ [… may has …] the opposite effect, potentially slowing emotional and cognitive development, causing unnecessary stress and perhaps even souring kids’ desire to learn.”

– “this trend […is…] a ‘profound misunderstanding of how children learn.'”

– “that kind of education will fail to produce people who can discover and innovate, and will merely produce people who are likely to be passive consumers of information, followers rather than inventors.”

– “Some research indicates that early instruction in reading and other areas may help some students, but these boosts appear to be temporary. […] Those who started at age 5 had lower reading comprehension than those who began learning later. […] Those who had received more didactic instruction earned significantly lower grades than those who had been allowed more opportunities to learn through play.”

– “Play is often perceived as immature behavior that doesn’t achieve anything […] But it’s essential to their development. They need to learn to persevere, to control attention, to control emotions. Kids learn these things through playing. […] The trouble with over-structuring is that it discourages exploration”



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