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Speaking Out for Play-Based Learning

by Susan J. Oliver and Edgar Klugman
January/February 2004
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/speaking-out-for-play-based-learning/5015522/

October 20, 2002: The Chicago Tribune reports that “blocks, dolls, and the toy kitchen were banned from Mary Lauren Tenney’s kindergarten classroom last year in Knoxville, Tennessee.” In Chicago, the science, art, and dramatic play areas a public school kindergarten teacher envisioned in her classroom were prohibited by school administrators who “expected kindergartners to sit all day at desks, go without recess, and learn to read by year’s end.” (Brandon, 2002)

October 29, 2003: It’s news important enough for coverage in the New York Times. Four-year-old Head Start student Nate Kidder “arrived at school . . . with an eager smile that morning. It was his turn to be his teacher’s helper.” Instead, Nate �" now clearly nervous �" was in the middle of ‘a historic moment in early education: more than half a million four year olds in Head Start programs around the country were taking their first standardized test that day.‘ “Most of us in early childhood are very nurturing people,” commented Jana Little, Nate’s teacher. For Mrs. Little and her colleagues, “building confidence �" as well as teaching children how to be part of a classroom and not disrupt it, and how to share �" is just as important ...

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