Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I visited a grade 1 classroom (I was there to talk about energy conservation but I learned more from the children who were really aware of what it's all about). I was reminded again of why I never want to be an educator following compulsory curriculum-they interfere with natural rhythms of play and learning.

There's a lot of talk about play going around these days and how important it is for the development of our young into whole, healthy people.
Even old people benefit from play; we keep hearing that play constitutes part of a healthy life. Those who don't play have less imagination and less fun.
Common sense people already know this, but we prevent play from happening due to our over extended schedules (which we impose on little people).
In that classroom of bright and lively children, one little girl was not 'paying attention' for a minute. Instead she took a break to happily delve into a box of legos she'd taken down of a shelf.

"What do you think you are doing?" demanded one of the teachers in attendance. "Why are you playing with lego?"
The little girl sprang up looking down at her feet and in a guilty little voice replied, "I don't know."
From the back of the room the main teacher said loudly, "I've told you over an over not to play. You're already not going to the class party. You've already had one recess canceled and now you are going to have the other one canceled too. AND I'm going to write a note to your mother." The third adult in attendance nodded indignantly.
These teachers are good people I'm sure- at least they are going by the standards they know. My friend tells me a story about what happened at her daughter's school where the school teacher, on seeing the kids getting distracted by the first snows falling (a kindergarten class mind) rushed over to the windows and drew the curtains tight.
Kids are SUPPOSED to play. To get the point across, there is going to be a program on CTV March 14th on the need for play. Also see this article from Scientific America:


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