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Meme: Five Things Policymakers Ought to Know

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Lead from the Start: Meme: Five Things Policymakers Ought to Know

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Meme: Five Things Policymakers Ought to Know

Five things I wish policymakers knew about my classroom. Thanks to Nancy Flanagan for starting this MEME at Teacher in a Strange Land.

1. Preschool is not baby kindergarten, nor is it play school or daycare. We do hard and important work that benefits every child who attends. Everyone talks about how preschool is supposed to get kids ready for "real school. " Real school meaning innaprpriate curriculum based on prior experiences students haven't had, taught as if every student is an 8 year-old girl, and tested to make sure it measures what students don't know and what the teacher didn't teach. If kids were taught the way they learn the first 4 years of school would look a lot more like preschool and a lot less like "real school."
2. Social skills are THE most important thing we teach in preschool. Without social development you get immature brainiacs in 1st grade or borderline psychopaths in high school.
3. The important academic content covered in preschool using materials like letter beanbags, plastic fish, blocks, dolls, crayons, fake food, and matchbox cars include: reading, writing, algebra, economics, geometry, scientific inquiry, democratic processes, creativity, problem solving, and citizenship.
4. Imagination is important, not only to children's development but to our national economy.
5. A child's brain develops at its quickest pace from birth to five years old no matter how rich or how poor a child is.
I am going to tag some folks to participate in this MEME. Karissa at Pre-K Now, Vanessa, Preschool Punk, and Melissa B. at Scholastic Scribe.

Child image:
Image from United Way:


At 9:16 AM, Blogger Melissa B. said...

This is a great *meme*. I especially like it because it's not like all those other bloggy kinds of *memes* that seem silly and only designed to get contacts and justify a post. You've got some well-thought-out answers, too. I'm going to do this later in the week, I think. In the meantime, don't forget today's Silly Sunday Sweepstakes!! I've got a SWEET snap for you to caption!

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Nancy Flanagan said...

Thanks for a great response to the "5 policy things" meme. I especially liked #4. I have heard many, many people (including a lot of teachers) argue that creativity cannot be taught (so why bother...). I don't think that's true--but even for the teacher who believes that they must have every minute of every class structured and chock-full of "content," there are always the random sparks and connections that occur when kids begin to combine facts and skills to make new ideas. That's imagination. You almost can't stop it...even if you don't think you can "teach" it. We suppress imagination in schools at a frightening rate.

Thanks for grabbing the reins in VA. As always, you rock, John.



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