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What to avoid in kindergarten


Continuing the discussion from Save Kindergarten!:

I have never attended kindergarten or ever taught it but I am appaled by the state of many of our kindergartens in this country. Math, science, reading and regimentation are pushing out play and creativity. Play areas have been eliminated in many kindergartens.

This video shows how "Whole Brain Teaching," created by Chris Biffle in 1999, has drained kindergarten of its blood. Children are no longer permitted to play on their own. They are constantly drilled by the teacher who commands "Class!" The students respond "Yes!" Teacher: "Hands and eyes!" Students: "Hands and eyes!" Teacher: "Teach!" Students: "OK!" The students at one point form a bubble in their mouths to prevent them from talking. There is not one second of independent play in this video; all play is directed by the teacher, even at the end of the video when the students are directed to go to their play telephones and listen to themselves whispering the letters of the alphabet.

This type of behavorist indoctrination extends all the way through college. This situation ought to be reversed; all education, to paraphrase Mitch Resnick, should be more like kindergarten used to be.


One of the reasons my colleagues and I began New World Kids as an after school/summer program for PK and K-1 is our dismay in seeing what is happening to kindergarten in public schools. I have been a school teacher and for 30 or so years coached other teachers in learner-based, creative thinking and learning. I was horrified to find classrooms where Kindergarteners were expected to sit "criss-cross, apple-sauce" with hands on knees all day long! I tried it myself and it was mind-numbing. There has been an argument for a few decades about "developmental" vs. "academic" kindergartens. For me this is ridiculous--doing what is developmentally appropriate can have structure and lead to great academic success. I'd like to talk to other early childhood teachers and parents about this. If you are interested, you can also visit and


Very interesting topic!!
As Learning support teacher in Kindergarten I've seen some different styles of teaching in my was horrible for me to find out that most teachers use fear of invalidation to bend children to a "good way to do" instead of embracing the personal expression of themselves or eventually negotiating a more elaborative way to do...but fortunatelly not all teacher act like this..this year I can work in peers with a very talented young teacher, that believes soo much in "making for making sense" and all the children in my classroom really blooms like little's a very different atmosphere!!!
I like to see that in other countries there are people like you that fight for a better experience for kindergarten's children!!!! thank you for sharing your inspiration!