Preschoolers Need More Play and Fewer Scripted Lessons, says Early Childhood Educator Erika Christakis

"The more I observe young children in action, the more faith I have that they are capable and powerful. But our expectations are often mismatched: We ask too much of young children pragmatically, but too little of them cognitively. Preschool classrooms are needlessly noisy, over-stimulating, and aesthetically unappealing environments with rapid pacing and jam-packed schedules. There is too much teacher-directed talk on banal topics and insufficient uninterrupted stretches of time to play. The teachers I admire have learned to loosen the reins. But there is nothing ad hoc about their pedagogy; it takes real skill, knowledge, and professional collegiality to create classroom environments where children see themselves as engineers, physicists, sculptors, storytellers, entomologists, philosophers, musicians, and diplomats. That kind of teaching is not easy."


Read more from Susan Gonzalez' Yale News interview with Erika Christakis, here