Active, Play-Based Learning

Dear Friends-

I feel heartened by the increasingly mainstream public discussion of the benefits of approaches to education that are not focused on standardization and high stakes testing. Recently, an article from the Washington Post challenged the troublesome trend of expecting all children to learn to read at the same age (and more specifically, in Kindergarten). The article drew heavily from a recently released report that also cites studies showing greater long-term academic achievement and social/emotional adaptability for children involved in active, play-based, hands-on educational programs during their early years.

It is wonderful, of course, that these findings align with Randolph School’s progressive approach to education. It always feels good to have your work and your values validated by others. But I hope that the continuing release of this kind of information leads to more than a feeling of pride and validation by a handful of progressive schools across the country. I hope that it leads to an increase in people’s willingness to engage in a conversation we so desperately need to be having as a society: What do we value when educating a child, and why?

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I can’t end this note without sending a huge thank you to Randolph’s best “friend” of all time, Diane Boujikian. Diane stepped in to help us out in the upstairs these last few months, and it was just wonderful having her here at school every day. Her deep understanding of children, unending energy and passion, and super sense of humor will be sorely missed by us all. Thank you for your endless wisdom and kindness Diane!! You are incredible!!

I also want to thank Anita, Debbie, Liz and Mike for their unending hours of dedicated work together during this time. They are a truly special team of teachers and I can’t thank any of them enough for all of their skill, dedication, and hard work. Thank you all!!!

Be well,

Ben


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