Emphasizing social play in kindergarten improves academics, reduces teacher burnout

phys.org | 6/11/2019 | Staff
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Emphasizing more play, hands-on learning, and students helping one another in kindergarten improves academic outcomes, self-control and attention regulation, finds new UBC research.

The study, published today in the journal PLoS One, found this approach to kindergarten curriculum also enhanced children's joy in learning and teachers' enjoyment of teaching, and reduced bullying, peer ostracism, and teacher burnout.

Children - Ability - Periods - Information - Way

"Before children have the ability to sit for long periods absorbing information the way it is traditionally presented in school through lectures, they need to be allowed to be active and encouraged to learn by doing," said Dr. Adele Diamond, the study's lead author, a professor in the UBC Department of Psychiatry and Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. "Indeed, people of all ages learn better by doing than by being told."

Through a randomized controlled trial, Diamond and her colleagues analyzed the effectiveness of a curriculum called Tools of the Mind (Tools). The curriculum was introduced to willing kindergarten teachers and 351 children with diverse socio-economic backgrounds in 18 public schools across the school districts of Vancouver and Surrey.

Tools - Researchers - Drs - Elena - Bodrova

Tools was developed in 1993 by American researchers Drs. Elena Bodrova and Deborah Leong. Its foundational principle is that social-emotional development and improving self-control is as important as teaching academic skills and content. The program emphasizes the role of social dramatic play in building executive functions—which includes skills such as self-control and selective attention, working memory, cognitive...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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