On April 25, 2015 at Network for Public Education Conference in Chicago, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, professor emerita of early childhood education at Lesley University, spoke passionately about the need for real learning for young children. She is co-founder of Defending the Early Years (www.DEYProject.org), which is an organization dedicated to promoting vibrant and healthy education for young children.
She said that love of learning is being squashed in young children due to current practices in many schools. In those schools, teachers are pressured by the demands of the Common Core State Standards to help four and five year old children to be “college and career ready” instead of engaging these young children in learning experiences which develop their minds and foster their love of learning.
Professor Carlsson-Paige is one of 500 early childhood educators who have authored a position statement entitled ” The Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals on the Common Core Standards Initiative” (here) in opposition to the Common Core because they believe that those standards will harm young children. A mother in the audience at the conference spoke for many others in attendance when she said: “My kindergartener is NOT college and career ready because…….he is a child.”
In ” The Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals on the Common Core Standards Initiative”, the most notable professionals in the country in the fields of child development objected to the Common Core State Standards because:
- The didactic instruction the Common Core mandates is antithetical to how children learn.
- The Common Core leads to inappropriate and unreliable standardized testing of young children.
- The Common Core content crowds out other important areas of learning for young children.
- There is little evidence that Common Core standards for young children lead to later success in literacy and numeracy.
This four-minute video defines real learning as Professor Carlsson-Paige and the other signers of the statement against the Common Core standards for young children define it. If you are not able to view the video here, you can access it at:
You also may want to read the fuller definition of real learning for young children that is on the DEY website (here).