Daphna Bassok, assistant director of EdPolicysWorks and professor at Curry, has research cited in new article on prek and learning.
The study’s researchers, Daphna Bassok, Scott Latham and Anna Rorem, compared kindergarten classrooms between 1998 and 2010 using two large nationally representative datasets. The aspects analyzed included teachers’ expectations, time spent on academic versus non-academic content, classroom organization, and standardized testing. Their assessment revealed that the experience in kindergarten has changed dramatically:
“Kindergarten teachers in the later period held far higher academic expectations for children both prior to kindergarten entry and during the kindergarten year. They devote more time to advanced literacy and math content, teacher-directed instruction and assessment, and substantially less time to art, music, science and child-selected activities.” (Study: Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?)
The study by Bassok et. al. uncovered that kindergarten literacy rates increased from 30% in 1998 to 80% in 2010. Of course, it is a beautiful thing when a child learns to read, but are American children being driven to their detriment? The researchers think so. They concluded that kindergarten, which used to be a gentle way to help introduce children to school, now serves more as a gatekeeper, which indoctrinates children into the pressured life of a student.