This Higher Standard for Early Education a Puzzle

 I am glad that Wisconsin received a waiver from No Child Left Behind. I sincerely hope that the new approach will work.  I have, however, some concerns. As an educator, I was taught the Piaget method in regard to how best to teach young children. Before the age of nine or ten young children don’t understand concepts of time or history. So it was with surprise when I read that “Previously first graders might have written essays about who they consider a historical figure. Now students will have to back up their opinion with evidence.” (WI State Journal 8-26) First graders?  Who wrote that standard and did they have any knowledge of how young children learn?  How is the first grader who can barely read going to find this evidence?  And as for history, I have experience in that field as well.  When I was trained to be a docent at the state State Historical Museum in 1986 we were told that in Wisconsin, fourth graders are required to learn about Wisconsin history. Fourth grade was chosen because before that time historical concepts are not easily grasped.  When young children came to the museum their experience was all “hands on.” I suspect most first graders think of grandma as a historical figure.  Will they be allowed to write about her?

 

 

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