Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose

Susan Notes:

Read this important report--written by early childhood experts.

There's also an excellent short video that summarizes the issues.

  • Send this to your school board.

  • Write a letter to editor.

  • by Nancy Carlsson-Paige,Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, and Joan Wolfsheimer Almon

    Jan. 13, 2015

    In the United States there is a widespread belief that teaching children to
    read early -- in kindergarten or even prekindergarten -- will help them be
    better readers in the long-run. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that this is so. How then did this idea take hold so strongly?

  • Many children are not developmentally
    ready to read in kindergarten, yet the
    Common Core State Standards require
    them to do just that. This is leading to
    inappropriate classroom practices.

  • No research documents long-term gains
    from learning to read in kindergarten.

  • Research shows greater gains from playbased
    programs than from preschools and
    kindergartens with a more academic focus.

  • Children learn through playful, handson
    experiences with materials, the natural
    world, and engaging, caring adults.

  • Active, play-based experiences in language rich environments help children develop their
    ideas about symbols, oral language and theprinted word -- all vital components
    of reading.

  • We are setting unrealistic reading goals
    and frequently using inappropriate methods
    to accomplish them.

  • In play-based kindergartens and
    preschools, teachers intentionally design
    language and literacy experiences which
    help prepare children to become fluent

  • The adoption of the Common Core
    State Standards falsely implies that
    having children achieve these standards
    will overcome the impact of poverty on
    development and learning, and will create
    equal educational opportunity for all

  • Read the report here. Unlike the Common Core edicts, this is written by early childhood experts.

    — Nancy Carlsson-Paige,Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, & Joan Wolfsheimer Almon
    Defending the Early Years & Alliance for Childhood


    This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.