All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten

Traditionally, elementary teachers have been paid crap money for really difficult, time-consuming work that requires a high degree of professional preparation and on-going development. If you've ever been in school yourself you probably know that not all teachers are noble and do this difficult work out of the goodness of their hearts. Lots of them are kind of apathetic and do the work because it's really, really hard to get fired. (Sorry, this digression is fueled by my own frustration over not being able to find a teaching job in Pittsburgh.)

Anyway, researchers have long suspected that there may be lasting effects from good teaching. However, most studies looked only at standardized test scores, and the impact of good teaching on test scores tends to fade after a few years. A new study (although not yet peer-reviewed) looked at other outcomes by following a group into their 30s and looking at things like marriage and divorce rates, and income. Kindergarten is a place where children learn all kinds of important social skills, in addition to some important pre-reading skills. I'm wondering if the new more academic nature of lots of kindergartens (the last one I worked in was full-day, no naps, no free play, no sand table, sometimes no recess, but lots of reading and writing and math worksheets) would actually not be teaching students what they actually need to know as adults, in exchange for a few points higher on the their third grade bubble tests.


Anonymous said...

Sing it.


Amy said...

Loving this post. Well said.