This is an A plus read for everybody wanting to make sense of early childhood education!
Simply said, Rae Pica walks the talk with plain language about what kiddos really need to survive and thrive in today's challenging STEM world. It's up to us to protect our littles and ensure each child is treated as a genius waiting to explore inner greatness.
Rae Pica promises straight talk about bettering children's education and lives, and she delivers! Every chapter is a single essay about the things that matter most to us. Twenty-nine outstanding topics tackle hot button issues of critical importance, such as recess, handwriting, homework, testing, etc. How timely!
We know that children learn best in developmentally appropriate ways. The demise of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) was long overdue. However, wagging tongues and pointing fingers do not fix things. We have tremendous opportunity right now to raise our voices about what kids are really like and how to best reach and teach them.
Kudos to Rae Pica for reinfocing that play is the best learning ever. Making school so challenging that recesses are cut or eliminated, scores are what matter, with pianos and rhythm sticks replaced by Data Walls, is just wrong. Rae just states the facts, research-based, practical and worthy of our notice. Everything is backed up and so obvious you just shake your head in agreement.
I read the book in one sitting. In fact I coudn't put it down. Loaded with timely hot topics, it reinforced we're all thinking the same things, but Rae Pica put it together for us, such generosity.
I love the book's easy-to follow format. Each chapter is an important essay, standing on its own, with helpful concluding how-to, and where to learn more, for teachers and parents. Can't beat that. In only a few pages per topic we learn or validate our thoughts about practices regarding keyboarding, time-outs, movement, competition and more.
Rae Pica knows what she is talking about. She cites experts, offers great reference materials and real life stories and interviews which illuminate her beliefs. For readers, the simplicity and eloquence of her articles underscore her vast knowledge base and practical experience.
I read this book cover to cover, in one sitting, as I said. I was fascinated that my beliefs about teaching children were so clearly in line with Rae's thinking. I know you will feel the same way, too.
I could write about every single chapter, which is what I intended to do, but instead, read this book, share it with others and swing this pendulum back to commonsense teaching and learning. Kids are not scores. Teachers are dedicated and deserve our praise and support. I am not sure what schools of the future will look like. I do know that kids are kids and great teachers can teach with an iPad or slate. It really doesn't matter as long as we teach the way kids learn best- differently. Thanks, Rae. This holiday gift keeps on giving!