Vygotsky is nice but not necessary

“A 2007 study published in Science looked at how 4- and 5-year-olds who were enrolled in a school that used the play-based, Vygotsky-inspired Tools of the Mind curriculum measured up to children in a more typical preschool. The students in the play-based school scored better on cognitive flexibility, self-control, and working memory—attributes of “executive function,” which has been consistently linked to academic achievement. The results were so convincing that the experiment was halted earlier than planned so that children in the typical preschool could be switched to the Tools of the Mind curriculum.”

February 20, 2011
The Case for Play
How a handful of researchers are trying to save childhood
http://chronicle.com/article/The-Case-for-Play/126382/

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My comment is that it is great that there is some science behind play. But honestly, even if it can be shown that kids who don’t get to play much are somehow found to be “better” than kids who grow up in an environment of extensive freedom like Sudbury Valley School (by some measurement someone comes up with…) it’s not worth it. It’s a human rights issue and we know that people (and animals) have been playing and not going to school forever and are just fine. (read Peter Gray’s blog or book: Free to Learn) Kids should be free to do what they want as much as any adult. Well, or more really, since they have no financial obligations and no kids of their own to be responsible for.

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Filed under kids are complete people, person: Peter Gray, play, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

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