Renowned Author Claims Preschool Education Has Become Too Rigid and Structured

Renowned Author Claims Preschool Education Has Become Too Rigid and Structured

Preschool has always been known as a place for toddlers to explore their creativity, but a famous author is now saying that today’s childcare is too focused on educational development.

According to the Huffington Post, Erika Christakis, a renowned author and childhood development specialist at Yale University, recently released her newest book, “The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups.”

In the book, Christakis argues that preschools are now too rigid and structured, as opposed to the preschools of yesteryear that catered to a child’s imagination.

Christakis believes that this new focus on scholastic development is preventing children from being themselves, which in turn leads them to become less inquisitive and hinders their potential moving forward.

“Why, when kids are so programmed to learn, are they having trouble? We know they’re having trouble because we have an actual epidemic of preschool expulsions, kids are being medicated off-label as early as two or three [years old] with attention management drugs, and also we have more anecdotal evidence that parents are very frustrated,” said Christakis.

Families spend an average of 7.8% of their monthly income on childcare, so it wasn’t surprising when parents began demanding an increased focus on education in preschools.

However, Christakis creates a distinction between scholastic and cognitive development, claiming that it’s more important to grow a child’s mind than it is to fill their brains with information.

“An academic focus is not necessarily a cognitively rich focus,” Christakis said. “What you lose in a preschool environment with those kinds of expectations is things like open-ended free play, [which] can be squeezed in favor of more narrowly targeted skills like alphabet awareness.”

Preschool curriculum has been a national topic of debate for several years, and those who endorse changes to the current system just lost one of their most fervent supporters.

According to The Sacramento Bee, Bev Bos, an author, teacher, and play-based learning advocate, recently passed away at the age of 81. Those who knew her say that no one was as passionate about helping children grow than Bos.

“She taught us and gave us the ability to trust our children, that they are capable,” said Dina Miller, who worked with Bos at the Roseville Community Preschool.

As for Christakis and her new book, the author is also fighting to expand preschool availability for low-income children. While some may not agree with her opinions, the publication is sure to cause rumblings within the world of childcare.

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