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Early academic training may produce long-term harm

by Andrew Maisel
image of young students studying

In 1950, fewer than half of all five year-olds attended kindergarten. Today, kindergarten is the formal entry point to the educational system in America. Yet surprisingly, comparisons of academically oriented early education classrooms with their play-based peers show little or no difference in academic outcomes one to three years later.

Worse, multiple studies have shown that those who had received the academic-focused version of kindergarten, ended up being less well adjusted socially and emotionally. And by fourth grade, those who had attended play-based kndergartens were out-performing the others, getting significantly higher grades in school.This paper in Psychology Today looks at the issue.

Why it matters? Be careful what you wish for. Many parents seek our academically focused kindergartens, without understanding that there may be trade-offs. Worth reading the paper if you are or will be looking for a school for a young child.



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