Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Kindergarten in 1960

This is my kindergarten report card. Yes, I still have it as well as all of my 1st through 8th grade cards and many other mementos of my elementary and high school learning days.

The card is interesting (especially the little note about talking unnecessarily) but what's most interesting is what's not on the card:
  • Nothing about reading ability
  • Nothing about math skills or counting to any number
  • Nothing about any kind of academic testing results
In fact, nothing related to academic content period. It was all about learning through play and discovery while learning how to follow simple directions and work well with others.

This card should be a descriptor of the kind of kindergarten we value today, but tragically something happened in the U.S. and we've all gone nuts when it comes to appropriate learning activities and objectives for children 4 and 5 years old.

Educators point fingers at parents. Parents point fingers at competitive college entrance. I think it was the result of alien experimentation. How else can you possibly explain our manic effort to remove play and discovery from early childhood learning? There's certainly no rational explanation.

I offer this card as a guide to help get us back on track and I hereby relinquish my FERPA rights as to its content (something else we didn't care about in 1960).