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Misinformation is Hurting Our Children
September 23, 2021
Years ago, Mum went to a primary school that borders the park – for nature walks, right here…She remembers collecting oak and sycamore leaves, pines cones, conkers. All the children would lay their finds on a nature table – I wonder how many schools have a nature table these days. I know mine doesn’t.
-Dara McAnulty, in his book, Diary of a Young Naturalist

A new article by early childhood education consultant and author Rae Pica is called "How Misinformation is Hurting Our Children." She writes that "there are myths wreaking havoc on childhood and early education...I want the facts – and child development – to dictate how children are raised and educated."  She outlines what she sees as the four biggest myths currently circulating throughout society:

"Myth 1. Earlier is better

Myth 2. Children learn by sitting
Myth 3. Digital devices are necessary for learning
Myth 4: Play is a waste of time"

In his book, Adventures in Risky PlayRusty Keeler also tries to dispel some of the misunderstandings about children and play. He writes: "I understand that in a modern world full of pressures and constraints on children’s time in and out of school, something as obvious as play needs some scientific support and lobbying…play has been limited, sidelined, sublimated, and even decimated for way too many children in our busy, high-achieving, over-stimulated, over-scheduled, over-protected, overly biased, overly adult-oriented view of what children should be doing, accomplishing, competing and completing." He goes on to provide "scientific support for play," beginning with a list of play benefits from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Here are a couple:

  • "Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers.
  • As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges."


Adventures in Risky Play
What is Your Yes?

Use coupon code PLAY
to get this title for 20% off!

Adventures in Risky Play: What is Your Yes? goes to the heart of risk-taking and children. As educators working with young children, we all have boundaries and feelings around what risky play is allowed. Rusty Keeler invites us to examine the cage of boundaries that we have created for ourselves and our children. He challenges us to rattle our cage and discover where the lines are movable. In our role as educators and caretakers, when we allow children to play and confront risk on their own terms, we see them develop, hold their locus of control and make choices on how to navigate the bumpy terrain of a situation. What better teaching tool for life is there?

May not be combined with any other offer.
Offer ends September 24, 2021, at 11:59 pm PST.
Not valid on past purchases or bulk discounts.


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Comments (3)

Displaying All 3 Comments
Tiffany Peckham · September 29, 2021
Lincoln, NE, United States

Rae, we are happy to share!

Francis, I always love reading your comments. They do not go unnoticed!

-Tiffany at Exchange

Francis Wardle · September 23, 2021
Center for the Study of Biracial Children
Denver, Colorado, United States

The problem is that many of these myths have been translated into policies that programs have to follow: state early childhood standards, school kindergarten entrance requirements, and standardized achievement tests. Further, many who advocate approaches to "closing the achievement gap" view play as a determent to the learning of minority students who struggle in school. My wife worked in a Black public school where the principal declared, "when I come to observe the ECE program, I don't want to see any children playing!"

Rae Pica · September 23, 2021
Rae Pica Keynotes & Consulting
Alexandria, VA, United States

Thank you for sharing my blog post. I'm convinced that nothing will change for the children and ECE until we debunk these harmful myths circulating throughout society!

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