I've been in education for 20 years, and there's a disturbing trend afoot in kindergartens around the US
Apr. 17, 2017
Being a kindergartner today is very different from being a kindergartner 20 years ago. In fact it is more like first grade.
Researchers have demonstrated that 5-year-olds are spending more time engaged in teacher-led academic learning activities than play-based learning opportunities that facilitate child-initiated investigations and foster social development among peers.
...Here's how play helps children
Research has consistently shown classrooms that offer children the opportunities to engage in play-based and child-centered learning activities help children grow academically, socially and emotionally. Furthermore, recess in particular helps children restore their attention for learning in the classroom.
Focus on rules can diminish children's willingness to take academic risks and curiosity as well as impede their self-confidence and motivation as learners — all of which can negatively impact their performance in school and in later life.
Giving children a chance to play and engage in hands-on learning activities helps them internalize new information as well as compare and contrast what they're learning with what they already know. It also provides them with the chance to interact with their peers in a more natural setting and to solve problems on their own. Lastly, it allows kindergartners to make sense of their emotional experiences in and out of school.