Takaharu Tezuka on the Benefits of Living Dangerously in Kindergarten

ted talk japanese kindergarten

Ruby Takanishi, who presided over the Foundation for Child Development for many years, sends me small gifts. In a recent email with the subject line “Favorites,” I clicked on the link to a TED talk by Takaharu Tezuka about a kindergarten that he and his wife and partner, Yui, renovated in 2007 in Fuji, a suburb of Tokyo.

They are architect/poets, working toward unity with nature and the elements. House to Catch the Mountain is one of their creations. They also understand what children need.

“Kids love to make circles,” he tells us—the inspiration for a school in the . . . Read full article →

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Julie Zuckerman: Early Childhood's Opt-Out Warrior

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Arab Spring has come to New York. The state’s parents, students, and teachers have had enough. Nearly 200,000 boycotted the English Language Arts exam last week. T-E-S-T has achieved the status of obscenity.

The journalists are going wild. “New York politicians beware,” warned Fred LeBrun, in the Albany Times Union. “A revolution is in progress.” Juan Gonzales of the New York Daily News described it as “an act of mass civil disobedience.”

Under the headline “New York schools could lose millions in federal funds if boycott of Common Core testing . . . Read full article →

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Lillian Katz on Lively Minds: Innovation of the Undisruptive Kind

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One of the hottest questions today is this: how do we produce legions of those creative, inquiring, innovative minds to keep our beloved U.S. engine of capitalism humming? We can’t stop thinking about it.

Why, those stubborn politicians are even crossing the aisle, falling all over themselves in support for universal preschool. Never mind that access is still limited, and quality sketchy, or that prekindergarten is too late: we need to be supporting children and families prenatally on up. At least we’re on the right track.

But we’re going about this project in the wrong way, torturing children . . . Read full article →

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The Color of Success: Eva Moskowitz's Academies of Misery

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Recently, after pressing “publish” and posting “Tenicka Boyd Opts Out of the Opt-Out Movement” to my blog, I panicked. Who was I—a white, privileged, card-carrying member of the northeastern elite—to challenge this woman of color? Where did I come off foisting my progressive, developmental interactionist approach on someone who thinks children are better off enduring endless testing?

Rooted in “interconnected spheres of thought and emotion,” this philosophy spawns teaching that puts a high premium on meeting children at their particular stage of growth, and engagement with people, the environment, and the community. It . . . Read full article →

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