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Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School

Susan Notes:

Ohanian Comment: As noted in the Acknowledgments of the report, preliminary results of the studies were discussed at a meeting in May 2008 at Sarah Lawrence College, and the feedback of participants was important to the framing
and writing of the report. I was privileged to be one of the participants at this meeting.


Contact: Joan Almon, Executive Director, 301-801-5293, joan.almon@verizon.net
or Ed Miller, Program Director, 917-363-1982, ed@allianceforchildhood.org

Demise of Kindergarten Play Documented
In New Alliance for Childhood Report

College Park, MD, March 20, 2009â"Time for play in most kindergartens has dwindled to the vanishing point, replaced by lengthy lessons and standardized testing, according to results of three new studies released today by the nonprofit Alliance for Childhood. Children in all-day kindergartens were found to spend four to six times as much time being instructed, tested, or prepared for tests (about two to three hours per day) as in free play or âchoice timeâ (30 minutes or less). Classic play materials like blocks, sand and water tables, and props for dramatic play have largely disappeared.

The findings are documented in Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School. The report states that these practices, âwhich are not well grounded in research, violate long-established principles of child development and good teaching.â The Alliance calls for the restoration of âchild-initiated play and experiential learning with the active support of teachers to their rightful place at the heart of kindergarten education.â

The full text of Crisis in the Kindergarten is available here. [pdf file]

— Alliance for Childhood
Press Release


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