Author Topic: 'Too much, too soon': Children should not start school until age six or seven, say education experts  (Read 1141 times)

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Offline happyg

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130 teachers and academics call for schooling to be delayed by two years
Warning that current system is causing young children 'profound damage'
Call was dismissed as 'misguided' by a spokesman for Michael Gove

Children should not start primary school until they are six or seven-years-old, according to a coalition of education experts who warn of the damaging pressure to perform in class at a young age.

A letter written by 130 teachers, academics and authors said the UK should follow the Scandinavian model and put off formal lessons for two years.

Under the UK’s current system, children start full-time schooling at the age of four or five.

Experts say this is causing ‘profound damage’ in a generation which is not encouraged to learn through play.

But the call was last night dismissed by as ‘misguided’ by a spokesman for the Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Children in the UK are obliged by law to be in school aged five, which the lobby group said is creating a ‘too much, too soon’ culture.

The warning singled out recent government proposals which mean five year olds could be formally tested from the beginning of their schooling.

Under the current system, children are first assessed at the age of seven. But under Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s proposals, a ‘baseline’ test could be introduced in the first year of primary school.

The group of experts warned that monitoring a pupil’s progress from such a young age promotes stress and fear around learning.

The letter said: ‘The continued focus on an early start to formal learning is likely to cause profound damage to the self-image and learning dispositions of a generation of children’.

A spokesman for Education Secretary Michael Gove said the group who wrote to the Daily Telegraph are promoting ‘bogus pop-psychology.’

These extra few years, in my view, provide a crucial opportunity, when supported by well trained, well paid and highly educated staff, for children to be children’.

Other signatories of the letter include Lord Layard, director of the Well-Being Programme at the London School of Economics, Dr David Whitebread, senior lecturer in psychology of education at Cambridge University, and Catherine Prisk, director of Play England.

The Telegraph said the letter was circulated by the Save Childhood Movement, which will launch its Too Much, Too Soon campaign tomorrow.

It will reportedly call for reforms including play-based schooling for children between three and seven.
Wendy Ellyatt, the founding director of the movement, told the newspaper: 'Despite the fact that 90 per cent of countries in the world prioritize social and emotional learning and start formal schooling at six or seven, in England we seem grimly determined to cling on to the erroneous belief that starting sooner means better results later.


'There is nothing wrong with seeking high educational standards and accountability, but there is surely something very wrong indeed if this comes at the cost of natural development.'

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2418281/Children-start-school-age-seven-say-education-experts.html



Offline AbaraXas

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Considering the state of public education in this country, one would be advised to do the exact opposite anything an 'education expert' says. Of course, in my day job I am considered one so that anyone reading this in a Catch 22.

Offline Rapunzel

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We need to let children be children. What offends me is trying to take them in younger and younger in order to brainwash them about homosexuality, and any other liberal meme of the day...... let them be kids and -- better yet (sorry AB) homeschool them - especially now with Common Core ruining the state of modern education.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline AbaraXas

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We need to let children be children. What offends me is trying to take them in younger and younger in order to brainwash them about homosexuality, and any other liberal meme of the day...... let them be kids and -- better yet (sorry AB) homeschool them - especially now with Common Core ruining the state of modern education.

I didn't mean in my post that public education should start early. I am all for homeschooling and will probably be our choice, at least for the early years. I am really just talking about education in general. The earlier you start the better. Too many parents miss out on the formal years and the schools have become so watered down children's education is becoming stunted.  Kids can still be kids and learn a lot at young ages.

(and I'm in the corporate educational field so I'm not offended).

Offline Rapunzel

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I didn't mean in my post that public education should start early. I am all for homeschooling and will probably be our choice, at least for the early years. I am really just talking about education in general. The earlier you start the better. Too many parents miss out on the formal years and the schools have become so watered down children's education is becoming stunted.  Kids can still be kids and learn a lot at young ages.

(and I'm in the corporate educational field so I'm not offended).

I am a big proponent of parents turning off the television set and not allowing cartoons to babysit their children, instead playing games with them (learn dexterity, thinking, etc.) and read to them... also take them places - especially historic places... yes it is up to parents, but it can be educational and fun and the kiddies never know they are being taught.  My sister home-schooled her two youngest -- both excelled in college and the youngest is starting medical school now... "SHE" wants to be a neurosurgeon.  Has been working part time at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach in the Neuro- unit and it has only heightened her desire to go in that direction.  I bought her brother his first computer when he was three years old and showed him how to use it - (DOS)...... Kids need to learn from their parents and with their parents values - not the liberal world-view.  Expose them to that once they have a strong ground they can stand on.  A good example is Katie Pavlich. She was asked on The Five about her background - they were shocked she attended one of our most liberal universities in AZ and yet is so determinedly conservative - her answer was her parents, they taught her conservative values and what it means, so she was not swayed in Tucson by her liberal professors.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 12:53:06 AM by Rapunzel »
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline jmyrlefuller

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I can't say I disagree with the guy. Certainly in this society we feel somewhat liberated by sending the kids off to school earlier and earlier-- and admittedly, I was in a Methodist preschool by the age of three-- but shoving a curriculum down the throats of children that age is a recipe for disaster. Yet that's what their idea of increasing standards is: we've gone from a twelve-year high school education that could get you most run of the mill jobs to a fourteen-year marathon that will get you nothing but flipping burgers if you are lucky. We keep increasing standards and yet the system keeps becoming less and less useful.

Of course, I would argue the bottleneck is at the middle school age, where the current public education system is a complete failure.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

"In the excitement of great popular elections, deciding the policy of the country, and its vast patronage, frauds will be committed, if a chance is given for them." —Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

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Offline NavyCanDo

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Considering the state of public education in this country, one would be advised to do the exact opposite anything an 'education expert' says. Of course, in my day job I am considered one so that anyone reading this in a Catch 22.

My son brought home this math exercise when he was in 4th Grade,  and was all excited about the teachers note saying he did a “good job”. I glance at it and only seeing 2 incorrect check marks I gave him a high-five and told him “great job!”   I picked it up later while relaxing with a cup of coffee, and my jaw dropped. The only answers the teacher marked wrong were the two he did not fill in with an answer. He got credit for the rest, weather the answer was right or wrong. I kept this recorded because I used it at a conference I had with his teacher and Principle.


Teaches hand written note on test: 
 “SO Close! Keep up the good work

3X2 = 6
5X2 = 10
8X2 = 28
0X2 = 2
4X2 = 20
10X2 = 25
4X2 = 8
7X2 = 27
2X2 = 4
6X2 = 8
1X2 = 2
9X2 = 29
11X2 = 20
7X5 = 35
4X5 = 20
2X5 =10
9X5 = 45
6X5 = 30
10X5 = 50
3X5 = 15
0X5 = 5
5X5 =10
11X5 = Blank   (marked wrong)
8X5 = Blank     (marked wrong)
A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. :Jonathan Cahn

Offline DCPatriot

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Sad and embarrassing at the same time.   **nononono*
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"Journalism is about covering the news.  With a pillow.  Until it stops moving."    - Iowahawk

"You can lead a liberal to the Truth, but you can't make them Think" - damned if I know

Offline NavyCanDo

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Oh and this year 6th grade they have started the kids on CPM1 Math (College Prep Math).  When few have yet to master long division, fractions, and geomatry, they are starting  them on Algebra. I looked at the math book last night for the first time, and the first words out of my mouth were ”Good God”.   I didn’t see a math text book that difficult until 10th grade.     
A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. :Jonathan Cahn

Offline mountaineer

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That's insane, NCD. We didn't do algebra until 8th grade, as I recall, and I barely survived it.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Offline NavyCanDo

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And there is NO HISTORY in the 6th grade curiculum. Thankfully I home school him on the History Subject knowing its importance. I have some great books recomended by home schooling parents.


A nation that turns away from prayer will ultimately find itself in desperate need of it. :Jonathan Cahn

Offline Rapunzel

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Navy do they still have PAT meetings?  They would have to forcibly remove me from the meetings if this were my child.... it infuriates me to see education dumbed down like this.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Oh and I didn't have algebra until 8th grade.  Only class I ever needed a tutor... I hated algebra..yet math over all wad easy for me and I majored in accounting later on.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline DCPatriot

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Oh and I didn't have algebra until 8th grade.  Only class I ever needed a tutor... I hated algebra..yet math over all wad easy for me and I majored in accounting later on.

Loved Algebra and Geometry....enough to pass.

Trigonometry?    Shoot me now.    :thud:
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"Journalism is about covering the news.  With a pillow.  Until it stops moving."    - Iowahawk

"You can lead a liberal to the Truth, but you can't make them Think" - damned if I know

Offline jmyrlefuller

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Oh and this year 6th grade they have started the kids on CPM1 Math (College Prep Math).  When few have yet to master long division, fractions, and geomatry, they are starting  them on Algebra. I looked at the math book last night for the first time, and the first words out of my mouth were ”Good God”.   I didn’t see a math text book that difficult until 10th grade.   
In all fairness, my 1990s education started us off with algebra by grade 7. Grade 6 was still arithmetic, but fairly difficult. 'Course, they still didn't allow us calculators back then, either.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

"In the excitement of great popular elections, deciding the policy of the country, and its vast patronage, frauds will be committed, if a chance is given for them." —Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

“No government program ever dies of its own accord.” ―unknown

Offline Rapunzel

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“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776


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