Try a different way to learn
I was pleased to read the Freeport Journal Standard supported my view, that increasing the words spoken to poverty infants might eventually lift them from poverty. Finding ways to accomplish this is not the only change we need.
Health and Human Services reported that its project, Head Start, produces little lasting advantage. This result mirrors the 1960s Perry Preschool Project where only certified, college trained instructors were used. So, please, just forget Head Start, stop blaming teachers or the system and let’s fix this.
According to the book, “Educating Hearts and Minds,” by Catherine Lewis, in Japanese pre-schools in 1997, 50 percent of the time was spent in “free play,” (no rules, no teacher interference).
Only 1 percent of the day was spent on academic activities, the balance on art, singing, story-telling, class meetings and cleanup. Yet, in 2012, 15-year-old Japanese students tested at world high levels for reading and math.
While these results appear to be contradictive, Japanese pre-schools have the stated objectives of encouraging children to become close friends, to self-resolve differences, to recognize school as a desirable place to be, to use children’s imaginations to develop questions and then to seek education to answer them. The American Sudbury Valley Schools successfully rely on “self-education” for all ages. There must be merit in this approach.
With America’s racial diversity, and the bitterness it apparently breeds, I cannot think of a country more in need of a system that encourages children to become friends first, then successful fellow students later.