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Colors, Numbers and ABCs: What and How Do Toddlers Really Learn?
July 1, 2022
It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.
-Fred Rogers, children's television host, 1928–2003

Amanda Armstrong writes on Edutopia.org, "As educators, our beliefs and values play a role in the type of educational environment we foster, and our experiences and culture influence how we think about play and how we nurture play in our classroom setting."

In the article underlying the newest Exchange Reflections, "Honeycomb Hypothesis: Enhancing Infant and Toddler Learning, Sandra Duncan reflects on how we think about toddlers’ play and learning:

"Is it really that necessary for toddlers to know the difference between the color orange and the color red? What is the reasoning for this insistence?" Duncan goes on to state, "Just because toddlers have memorized which color is orange or can sing the alphabet song without missing a beat does not mean they have meaningful understandings of these concepts—it just means they have good memories." She continues, "There needs to be a shift in pedagogical paradigms from focusing on the acquisition of knowledge of basic facts such as shapes, colors, and alphabet, to a pedagogical emphasis on offering children opportunities for developing meaningful understandings."


Duncan is co-author, along with Sue Penix, and Sally Haughey, of the new book, The Honeycomb Hypothesis.





NEW Exchange Reflections

Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a Making Commitments idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.

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