Defending the Early Years Publishes a New Report Explaining What Young Children Should Learn

The importance of cultivating innate learning and exploration in young children.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Defending the Early Years is an organization of professionals who have devoted themselves to early childhood education. DEY has just published a new report by Lillian G. Katz, Professor Emerita of Early Childhood Education at the University of Illinois, called Lively Minds: Distinctions Between Academic Versus Intellectual Goals for Young Children.

This comes from DEY’s website:

Dr. Katz argues that the common sense notion that “earlier is better” is not supported by longitudinal studies of the effects of different kinds of preschool curriculum models. Furthermore, her report maintains that a narrow academic curriculum does not recognize the innate inquisitiveness of young children and ultimately fails to address the way they learn.

“Young children enter the classroom with lively minds–with innate intellectual dispositions toward making sense of their own experience, toward reasoning, predicting, analyzing, questioning and learning,” says Dr. Katz.

“But in our attempt to quantify and verify children’s learning, we…

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