Cover image for All work and no play-- : how educational reforms are harming our preschoolers
Title:
All work and no play-- : how educational reforms are harming our preschoolers
Author:
Olfman, Sharna.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2003.
Physical Description:
viii, 215 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780275977689
Format :
Book

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LB1139.25 .A44 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Educators, neurologists, and psychologists explain how the high-stakes testing movement, and the race to wire classrooms, is actually stunting our children's intellects, blocking brain development and sometimes fueling mental illness. These experts, including a Pulitzer-Prize nominee, explain why play is not a luxury, but rather a necessity of learning.

Testing and technology has become a mantra in American schools, reaching down as far as kindergarten and preschool as politicians and policymakers aim to ensure that our country has a competitive edge in today's information-based economy. But top educators and child development experts are battling such reforms. Here, educators, neurologists, and psychologists explain how the high-stakes testing movement, and the race to wire classrooms, is actually stunting our children's intellects, blocking brain development and sometimes fueling mental illness. These experts, including a Pulitzer-Prize nominee, explain why play is not a luxury, but rather a necessity of learning.

This book also spotlights a program at Yale University that, in response to the dearth of play in preschool curricula, emphasized learning through play for youngsters. Children who participated scored significantly higher on tests of school readiness. In addition, an internationally recognized expert explains why--in striking contrast to U.S. policies starting academics in preschool--several European countries are raising the age when they begin formal schooling to 6 or 7.


Author Notes

SHARNA OLFMAN is Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at Park Point University, where she is also the founding director of the annual Childhood and Society Symposium. Olfman is the editor of the Childhood in America book series for Praeger Publishers. She is a partner in the national Alliance for Childhood, a group of academics, professionals, teachers, and parents who work together to raise and remedy concerns about children's welfare in light of current cultural trends.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

This exemplary anthology highlighting the importance of childhood play responds to what editor Sharna Olfman describes as the current, destructive reform conversations related to the topics of "standards, accountability, testing, and technology." As Olfman effectively points out, these reform initiatives, which President George W. Bush has renewed, stem from the 1983 Nation at Risk report, issued by President Reagan's National Commission on Excellence. The volume under review does an excellent job of reviewing extensive and impressive research that goes beyond the initial research noted in the 1983 Nation at Risk and explains why the US's competitive edge will not be retained or attained by the current reform initiatives. Prominent educators and academics, upheld in this book, articulate the critical need to address the very flawed basic premise behind the current standards and accountability movement. Developmentally appropriate practices, geared to principles of child development and humane pedagogy in the education and socialization of our young children, are not a part of our current reform initiatives, especially "No Child Left Behind." This book is highly recommended for a wide readership, especially those in charge of developing and implementing legislation related to early childhood education. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels. J. C. Agnew Truman State University


Table of Contents

Sharna OlfmanJoan AlmonDorothy G. Singer and Jerome L. Singer and Sharon L. Plaskon and Amanda E. SchwederChristopher ClouderJane M. HealyFrank R. WilsonJeffrey Kane and Heather CarpenterStuart ShankerThomas ArmstrongEva-Maria SimmsSharna Olfman
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Part I The Power of Play in Early Childhood Educationp. 15
1 The Vital Role of Play in Early Childhood Educationp. 17
2 A Role for Play in the Preschool Curriculump. 43
3 Early Childhood Education: Lessons from Europep. 71
Part II Wired Classrooms/Wired Brainsp. 81
4 Cybertots: Technology and the Preschool Childp. 83
5 Handmade Minds in the Digital Agep. 111
Part III Building Blocks of Intellectual Development: Emotion and Imaginationp. 123
6 Imagination and the Growth of the Human Mindp. 125
7 The Vital Role of Emotion in Educationp. 143
Part IV A Mental Health Crisis among Our Children: The Rise of Technologies and Demise of Playp. 159
8 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children: One Consequence of the Rise of Technologies and Demise of Play?p. 161
9 Play and the Transformation of Feeling: Niki's Casep. 177
10 Pathogenic Trends in Early Childhood Educationp. 193
Indexp. 213