Is child psychology at the center?

Is child psychology at the center?

The question of whether children in kindergartens should acquire academic knowledge or not, at the expense of free time to play, is something that both parents and teachers are concerned about.

The research clearly answers and says that kindergarten academic training has no long-term benefits. It can even cause long-term damage.

In fact, what was shown in the research is a slight increase in the performance of students in the first grade of elementary school, but which is eliminated in the third and fourth grade. Some of the best studies link the kindergarten program with the poor academic, social and emotional adjustment of children in fourth grade.

The research contradicts the argument that the "loaded" kindergarten reduces the difference between the poor and the rich. This definition is used in some educational systems as the most common reason for content orientation.

Kindergarten teachers who follow this academically oriented program are deeply disappointed. They understand the pressure that children receive, who lack the game they so desperately need. Another portion of kindergarteners is resigning or receiving early retirement because it clearly sees that the policies they impose on the classroom harm children.

So why does this trend continue to deprive young children of the joy of play, the joy of teamwork, and the neglect of their age? The answer is certainly not straightforward, but according to industry experts, it lies in the policy pursued, which draws from its focus the knowledge and accumulated experience of educators and researchers around education.

In a socially competitive environment and in a context that requires fast and a lot of knowledge, without depth, coherence and content, where the good survives and the latter is nothing, the content educator and kindergarten certainly could not remain unaffected. Education is not a struggle, it cannot be a struggle, the teachers shout, it is true.

One is the case of kindergarteners in Brookline, Massachusetts where kindergarteners, in a move together with their parents, demanded the reduction of compulsory academic hours and more creative, free games for children.

The game enhances the structure and function of the brain, promotes executive function. It is vital for children, especially at the sensitive age of 5 and 6 years. Children react to the pressure they receive without understanding the reason. 'I hate reading, I hate school, I'm not good at anything', the kids complain. They know that they are expected to read and react.



Peter Gray, (2019), Kindergarten Teachers Speak Out for Children's Happiness, Psychology Today.



Nancy Carlson-Paige, Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin et al, (2015), "Reading Instruction to in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose",

R. A. Marcon,  2002. "Moving up the grades: Relationship between preschool model and later school success." Early Childhood Research & Practice 4(1).

Valerie Strauss, "In a Liberal Boston Suburb, Kindergarten Teachers say their students are Learing to 'hate' School", The Washington Post.


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