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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Amber Scorah: A Grieving Mother's Call to Action for U.S. Parents

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Two Sundays ago, at 10:16 p.m., the weekend dead, and dread setting in, a text message arrived from my daughter-in-law. “I cannot believe the world we live in,” she wrote, with a link to a piece by Amber Scorah at the Motherlode.

I read “A Baby Dies at Day Care, and A Mother Asks Why She Had to Leave Him So Soon.”

Now, K.J. Dell’Antonia is not prone to sensationalism. No tabloid fodder for this smart, sensible journalist, mother of four, and editor of “adventures in parenting” for the New York Times.

But we . . . Read full article →

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We Need to Talk about the Test, Bill and Carmen

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There’s nothing like a megadose of civic action to boost my serotonin–especially in these dark times. Several days ago, Parent Voices NY posted to their website an eloquent, diplomatic request of New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, and schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, for a “free and open dialogue about high-stakes testing in city schools.”

You should note that while the letter was drafted by parents, they are deeply concerned about teachers, “conscientious professionals,” whom they describe as working in a “climate of suppression.” Earlier this fall, Fariña indicated that opting out . . . Read full article →

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