Nancy Bailey’s Delicious Recipe for Reading

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Parents have always taken pride in their offspring’s precociousness, a tendency against which Jean-Jacques Rousseau railed in Emile, the bible of the “New Education,” published in mid-18th-century France. The Enlightenment philosopher introduced formal reading at the advanced age of 12. Mon Dieu!

We’ve come a long way, baby—helped by the likes of Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, a proponent of dialogic reading, as well as education policies that have run roughshod over children, squashing their innate curiosity and zest for learning.

Nancy Bailey, author of the book Misguided Education Reform, is a veteran teacher who left the . . . Read full article →

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Doing the Right Thing with The New Early Childhood Professional

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Early childhood professionals have long been a beleaguered species. For starters, they’ve had to battle the perception that they’re “just babysitting,” providing “day care.” Never mind the field’s heroic history, chronicled in Exchange magazine a few years ago by Roger Neugebauer and Debra Hartzell.

Heading the list was the Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers, based in Atlanta and founded in 1888 by a group of women from the First United Methodist Church. They’d begun caring for children in an abandoned boxcar, after finding a little one tied to a bedpost for “safe . . . Read full article →

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Setting the Record Straight on Progressive Education

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Earlier this year, Defending the Early Years published Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose. The report, which elicited tremendous interest—in the early childhood community and beyond—shows that research does not support the Common Core requirement that all children must read with purpose and understanding by the end of kindergarten.

Recently, Peter Gray, a research professor of psychology at Boston College, who regularly blogs at Psychology Today, posted to his Facebook page one of his columns, from 2013, on reading instruction. Here is a response from Diane E. Levin and . . . Read full article →

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Susan DuFresne: Humanity Stripped from a Whole-Child System

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Last summer, I reviewed Learning Together, a book that links Vygotsky’s theory of social constructivism with the vision of the Framers’ vision for American democracy. Here’s the thesis:

By developing habits of mind and heart that enable children to construct knowledge through meaningful relationships, [social constructivist early childhood education programs] help to..realize the Framers’ vision of a regime that depends for its survival on the capacity of individuals to advance and disseminate knowledge through their association…and build skills such as inter-subjectivity, cognitive integration, attachment, executive function, self-regulation, discipline, synthesis, creativity, respect, and ethics.

Susan . . . Read full article →

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