Submitted to be published in MEMSPA Weekly Update as response to
Ready for Kindergarden? Maybe not
published in the May 7, 2019 MEMSPA Weekly Update.
As a national colleague of mine, Vincent Costanza who just finished his term on the board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, recently noted in an April 19, 2019 EdWeek commentary titled,
Your Objections to Whole-Child Education Aren’t Wrong. They’re Just Outdated
, “two competing narratives have taken root in communities of early-childhood education policy and practice:
On one hand, an increased emphasis on numeracy and literacy in a child's early years comes at the expense of developing the whole child, including the social-emotional learning and executive functioning that have a profound impact on later learning. On the other hand, adopting whole-child curricula in kindergarten that widen the aperture of key learning outcomes to incorporate social interaction, self-regulation, and other psychosocial development milestones puts academic progress at risk.”1
This short-term view with emphasis on one or two aspects of development is one of several contributing factors (e.g., lack of adequate and equitable funding, lack of quality Tier 1 instruction within a MTSS framework) that has gotten Michigan into our education crisis to begin with and why we now have a Top10in10 Strategic Plan to get Michigan out of the bottom 10 states in education with the goal of being back among the top in the country by 2025, which includes a whole-child approach to education.