Jan 162013

The “Exchange EveryDay” message below is a quote from my article, “Beyond Remote Control Teaching and Learning: The Special Challenges of Helping Children Construct Knowledge Today,” which was published in Exchange Magazine (May/June 2011).  I wrote the article because of my deep concern over the extreme misfit I am seeing between so many of the early childhood school reforms currently underway and who the young children of today really are.

That is, as young children are controlled more and more by media and technology—what I call “Remote Controlled-Childhood”—they have a hard time constructing knowledge through the process described in the quote below.  But instead of giving children what they need, today’s education policy makers are responding by mandating remote-controlled approaches to teaching and learning—rote teaching of easily testable isolated facts. Continue reading »

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Dec 162012

I listen to the news about the tragedy, in Newtown, CT, with many complex emotions—deep sadness for the children and families, deep distress that another tragedy like there could happen, anger that guns are so readily available in this country, and much, much more.

But one thing I’ve been hearing does hearten me—the fact that almost immediately after the tragedy, along with talk about the tragedy, there was discussion about how adults can talk to children about what they hear about it on the news. Yes, as news reports about Newtown take over the mind of the nation—even of the world, children do hear about it and need our help dealing with what they hear. And thank goodness, there are now experts and resources out there that will help us do that. And all of us who work with children and families should listen to and read what is said and use what we learn to work with children. Continue reading »

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Dec 162012

I want you all to know about the exciting new guide, “Facing the Screen Dilemma:  Children, Technology and Early Education.”  It is described below in the message that was sent out to list members of my organization, Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment.  As you’ll read below, I co-authored the guide with two colleagues who also care deeply about this issue.  As there is more and more push to use technology in early childhood programs, I hope the guide helps you make intentional decisions about whether or not to use technology and if yes, how.  You can download the guide from the TRUCE website.


Dear Friends of TRUCE,

Smart boards. Smartphones. Tablets. E-books, apps and more. The rapid influx of new screen devices poses a special challenge for the early childhood community. The good news is that TRUCE has collaborated with our colleagues at Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Alliance for Childhood (AFC), to create a new guide offering help and support for childhood educators grappling with how best to support young children’s growth, development and learning in a world radically changed by technology. Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young Children, Technology, and Early Education is designed to help educators make informed decisions about whether, why, how, and when to use screen technologies with young children. Continue reading »

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Aug 172012

The blog post below summarizes my newest project, DEFENDING THE EARLY YEARS. DEY grows out of my deep concern about some of the directions National and state policies are taking early childhood education. I see how they undermine many of the principles and practices that have been at the heart my decades-long work to promote the optimal development and learning of children, especially in educational settings.

If you have examples in your own work of how current reforms are diverting you from your principles, please share them on this blog. I would be very interested in hearing about your experiences, will use them in my own work with DEY to raise public awareness about the problems with current school “reforms”—and will try to respond to the extent that I can. Thank you.

How ed policy is hurting early childhood education - Washington Post article by Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Diane E. Levin and Geralyn Bywater McLaughlinHow Ed Policy Is Hurting Early Childhood Education by Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Diane Levin & Geralyn Mclaughlin.
Published in Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet Blog for The Washington Post, May 26, 2012.

By Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Diane E. Levin and Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin

A coalition of national leaders in the field of early childhood education are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of recent federal education policy reforms on early childhood education and care around the country. The coalition, called Defending the Early Years, believes that children develop best — socially, emotionally and cognitively — when they have educational experiences that promote creativity, thinking and problem solving skills, and engage in meaningful activities geared to their developmental levels and needs. Continue reading »

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Mar 202012

Originally posted on Wheelock College’s Aspire Wire March 20, 2012

The Boston Globe article, “In Reversal, Kids Nag Parents to Step Away from Their Phones, Laptops” by Beth Yeitell (March 8, 2012, available here) once again blames parents for doing it wrong.  They are spending too much time with technology and screens instead of spending time with their children.

I am not saying that parents aren’t spending too much time on screens, but it would be helpful instead of blaming parents to ask, “Why are parents spending so much time with screens and what can we do about it, instead of just blaming them?”  The fact is that parents are victims of many of the same forces in society that their children are—including being lured to screens. Continue reading »

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