Those in-the-know speak out …

  • “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” ~ Fred Rogers, TV personality
  • “If I was a spider princess, she said, I would spin webs the color of sky and catch drops of sunlight to give to children who watch too much tv and then everyone would remember to come outside and play. If I was a spider princess, she said, things would be different.” ~ Brian Andreas, Story People
  • “Public schools continuously change to keep up with progress. Technology has much to offer. But the idea that instruction should be disrupted using technology is putting students and the country at risk. It destroys the public school curriculum that has managed to educate the masses for decades… Technology is a helpful tool, but it won’t provide that sense of stability. It’s a cold machine. School districts push technology over teachers. They don’t stop to think about what it will mean to children and their development.” ~ Nancy Bailey, veteran schoolteacher
  • “… Over the last decade, American schools embraced technology, spending millions on devices and apps, believing its disruptive power would help many children learn faster, stay in school, and be more prepared for a competitive economy. Now many parents and teachers are starting to wonder if all the disruption was a good idea… Across the country—in Boston, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Austin, Texas—parents are demanding proof technology works as an educational tool and insisting on limits. They’re pushing schools to offer low- or screen-free classrooms, picketing board meetings to protest all the online classes and demanding more information about what data is collected on students.” ~ Betsy Morris & Tawnell D. Hobbs, The Wall Street Journal
  • “Every aspect of human development, health, and well-being depends on our ability to navigate and form loving relationships. Several recent studies, however, suggest that adults are compromising those relationships when they divert their attention from their infants to their cell phones. In one, infants were more negative and less exploratory when parents picked up their phones. Society’s 12-year unintended experiment since the iPhone was introduced may be the culprit for tweens who are less socially attuned and for the 74% of pre-K-to-8 principals who lamented that their biggest concern was the stark increase in children who suffer from emotional problems. Our digital habits might be getting in the way of our interpersonal relationships.” ~ Kathy HirshpPaek, Ph.D., Temple University & Joshua Sparrow, M.D., Harvard University
  • “Just like paramedics or therapists, teachers are often the first responders for children coping with horrible experiences, including poverty, homelessness, abuse, or the death of a parent. An Education Week Research Center survey this summer found 43% of teachers polled said they had difficulty ‘finding ways to help students who appear to be experiencing emotional or psychological distress’ the most challenging task in their work.” ~ Sarah D. Sparks, Education Week
  • “If we’re going to adopt SEL [Social-Emotional Learning] in order to essentially teach students to be better people, then who will decide what ‘better’ looks like? Is ‘tolerance’ going to be one of the virtues, and, if so, does that mean that students must learn to tolerate persons who would not be tolerated in their families (be that married gay folks or strict religious conservatives)? Should students be taught to feel empathy for everyone, from Nazis to sociopaths?” ~ Peter Greene, Forbes
  • “Whether your child is white or black, that [high-poverty] school is likely to be much less effective.” ~ Sean Reardon, Stanford University
  • “I literally sat down the entire day, except for walking to and from classes. We forget as teachers, because we are on our feet a lot—circling around the room to check on student work, kneeling down to chat with a student … We move a lot. But students move almost never. And never is exhausting.” ~ Alexis Eiggins, teacher who shadowed high school students for two days

Agree? Disagree?

With my many thanks, Carol