Education: The Outdated Kindergarten

Why are so many kindergarten kids bored by kindergarten? Because that boring "play school" is woefully behind the times, says Kindergarten Teacher Virginia C. Simmons in the current Harper's.

The curriculum ("learning through play") has not changed in 100 years. But "today's fives are tired of play; they are eager and ready to begin serious work." They have been exposed to travel, nursery schools and working mothers. They visit the public library and fly in airplanes. They dial the telephone, operate hi-fi sets and read words on TV. Yet teachers persist in mindless "fun"—and leave the kids sucking their thumbs.

A former public...

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