No More Play In Kindergarten

The classroom has no blocks, dress-up corners or play kitchens. There is no time for show and tell, naps or recess. There is homework every night. For much of the day, the children are asked to sit quietly with their hands folded as their teachers drill them in phonics, punctuation and arithmetic. New York Times

  • ''Are kids developmentally ready to be in an environment where there is such a strong emphasis on academic cognitive outcomes? Are we sacrificing the importance of socialization and placing more of our priorities on academic outcomes? Those are question that I know we are having in the field.'' Until those questions are answered, teachers are left to follow the standards set out by their school systems and meet the expectations of parents. The Tennessean
  • "If you get your name in the red you can't have recess," said Saul Martinez-Martinez, 5. [He] recently received a 100 percent on his math test, has some difficulty staying out of the red zone. "I do work because my mom will be so proud of me," said Martinez.. "(Sometimes) I can't go out for Fun Friday — I'm not upset. I don't want to go outside for Fun Friday." ..[His teacher] Lawson simply smiled at his response…When Lawson's students misbehave, they go to the "sad room.""I'll tell them 'You're missing out on all the fun and that makes me very sad you're not with us,' " Lawson said. The Daily Times

All these examples of how kindergartens have changed sadden and anger me beyond words! What little Saul says about not being upset ("I don't want to go outside for Fun Friday") reminds me so much of the conditioning Aldous Huxley described in "Brave New World". I'm starting to think I'm in need of a little bit of "soma" myself in order to numb my pain, frustration and anger!

"Till at last the child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child's mind.."

- Brave new World, p.28/29

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