Last week, NIEER — the National Institute for Early Education Research — wrapped up a two-week blog forum on the importance of play in early childhood education.
In these blog posts, experts consider the tension that can arise between academics and play. NIEER’s inaugural post explains, “Concerns about whether preschool and kindergarten have become too stressful and regimented are met head on with concerns that they are academically weak and fail to cognitively challenge children.”
The posts are meant to be “valuable resources as parents, teachers, and policymakers strive to ensure play has its place in pre-K.”
In addition to the blogs, NIEER has posted a recommended reading list “to keep the conversation going.”
What the Blogs Say
In a blog post titled “Play, Mathematics, and False Dichotomies,” University of Denver professors Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama write, “Let’s stop the cycle of ‘abuse’—or at least confusion—that stems from false dichotomies in early education. ‘Play vs. academics’ is arguably the main one. Of course children should play. But this does not mean they should not learn, and even play, with mathematics.” (more…)