"Many children who enter kindergarten are not ready for formal academic classes and the kinds of behaviors needed to pursue these activities,” writes Frances Wardle, in his popular new book, Oh Boy! “This ‘readiness concept’ is an even greater issue with younger children, because developmentally, young children exhibit such a large range of maturity and experience. Early childhood programs—especially those serving children birth to kindergarten—should not be viewed as the first rung of the educational ladder (formal education should begin in the first grade)…
Instead, programs that serve children birth to age six should focus on the view of school readiness popular before the current focus on academics, and characterized by the idea of developing social competence as a major goal for preschool. The foundation for this approach is the belief that each individual child’s natural development and predispositions to learning should be at the center of everything we do. This should be supported and embraced by a nurturing environment with educated, sensitive, and well-trained staff. It’s an approach that is directly guided by the developmental profile of each child.
The main purpose for this paradigm shift is to enable young boys who currently struggle in our programs to be viewed as successful children progressing though the normal and appropriate stages of growth, development, and learning…For young boys to thrive and succeed during these early years, programs should focus on play, exploration of the arts, creating a classroom community, extensive use of the outdoors, movement, and the use of integrated approaches to learning.”
Strategies for Teaching Boys in Early Childhood
"This is not just a book, it's a story…a story of hope for young boys attending childcare in any type of setting. It's a story that sends a message to our industry that we need a paradigm shift—to our thinking, our training, and our hiring—to recognize the gender imbalance that is putting young boys at great risk of failure. It's a story that urges us as a field to better understand the specific complexities of caring for young boys so that we may fulfill our ultimate promise to provide the highest quality of care possible to all children."
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It does not matter how long we have been in the field of early childhood in reference to childcare - we always have more to learn. Young boys are different in so many ways and this article gives credit to the need of planning a program that is inclusive to their physical and experimental way that they learn. Good thoughts and reminders.
I believe that this is the case for both young boys and girls. How about saying "young children?" There has been too much of an academic focus for all young children in Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade.