Shael Polakow-Suransky & Nancy Nager: Playful Classrooms are Our Smartest Investment

“It has long been noticed that the smartest mammals—primates, cetaceans, elephants, and carnivores—are the most playful,” anthropologist and neuroscientist Melvin Konner wrote in his epic work, The Evolution of Childhood. But as all early educators know: these are tough times on the playing fields.

The work of children is disappearing, the casualty of trickle-down education reform policies that have foist worksheets, drill skills, and standardized “bubble” tests on our youngest students. This process is by no means a new phenomenon, but the pace has accelerated mightily in the years of No Child Left Behind and Race to . . . Read full article →

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