Sunday, December 2, 2012

Preschool--the ultimate bait and switch

Once again, Builder managed to almost wear me down on the side of at least considering a school.  So, today, I went to an open house for Small Modox Girls' School, determined to answer the two basic questions--what are you offering, and how much does it cost.  (Small Modox Girls' School does have a website--but neither curriculum nor hard tuition numbers are addressed.)  Since the orientation assumed that the parents are enrolling for preschool, most of the focus was on the preschool--meeting teachers, touring classrooms,  and discussing curriculum.  It Turns out that SMGS has dedicated preschool teachers, and a curriculum that even my happy creative self could envy--all for a price that, with extras, approached 10 grand.  Per kid.  A little too rich for even Builder's blood.
And then I got annoyed.  What an unfair rip-off.
These poor kids!  Here they are, given a beautiful classroom full of picture books, toys, hammers, nails, blocks, paints, glue, yarn and needles--and then, it's all taken away.  No more carpet.  No more little tables.  Few manipulatives, if any.  Instead of the hive of activity that is preschool and kindergarten, they have to sit in a desk, listen to the teacher, read the chapter, answer the questions, and fill in the worksheet.
Why can't all of school be like kindergarten?  Can't children of seven and eight benefit from the creative, kinesthetic curriculum of kindergarten?  Couldn't subjects like fractions and history be brought to life with cooking and crafts?  (For the record, there were a few slides showing classrooms for the older grades--and they were basically girls siting at desks either listening to the teacher or passively watching a demonstration.).  Why not teach geography through story?    Why not give older children open access to a science lab and make their own discoveries?  Pitch out the worksheets and make it fun!

1 comment:

  1. Then you can't test them, produce wonderful standardized scores and rub them in the face of wavering parents... learning is qualitative, not quantitative. It's not how many pages in the text book are covered or how many worksheets are filled out, it's what you can retain and apply. That is very hard to test.


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