Kids aged 3-6 pretty much the same for last 85 years

October 16, 2010 at 8:54 am 3 comments

Isn’t it great that somebody is doing studies like these?  The Gesell Institute for Human Development has assessed 3-6 year olds since 1925, and finds that kids in 2010 behave pretty the same — despite the intensity of new kindergarten curriculum.  The article really argues that all the training in new kindergartens, on numbers and letters, leads to more memorization but no more learning.  The bottomline is that play-based curriculum seems to still work the best for these ages.

The national study, undertaken to determine how child development in 2010 relates to Gesell’s historic observations, used key assessment items identical to those Gesell created as the basis for his developmental “schedules” which were published in 1925, 1940, and after his death by colleagues Louise Bates Ames and Frances Ilg in 1964 and 1979.

Given the current generation of children that—to many adults at least—appear eerily wise, worldly, and technologically savvy, these new data allowed Gesell researchers to ask some provocative questions: Have kids gotten smarter? Can they learn things sooner? What effect has modern culture had on child development?

The surprising answers—no, no, and none. Marcy Guddemi, executive director of the Gesell Institute, says despite ramped-up expectations, including overtly academic work in kindergarten, study results reveal remarkable stability around ages at which most children reach cognitive milestones such as being able to count four pennies or draw a circle.

via Harvard Education Letter.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

DARPA wants your kids — to major in CS UCLA says charter schools are more segregated than public schools

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan Kay  |  October 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

    This article doesn’t have enough information to judge it.

    For example, they might have included real Montessori schools in this survey, but didn’t mention it. (I’m guessing they didn’t look either at Montessori schools or the “greatest kindergartens in the world” in Reggio Emilia, Italy.)

    So, while it is highly likely that “cram kindergartens” are a very bad idea, they only present two possibilities to choose from, and as with most interesting things, there are more than two possibilities.

    They did mention the “comfort” that many people took from this possibly bogus result. This is too bad.

    Best wishes,


  • 2. Gail  |  October 18, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Whether true or not, I get some sort of strange satisfaction out of news like this. No kids yet, but I currently feel that I won’t want to use things like the Baby Einstein series (this may or may not be related, but at a glance it seems like the same kind of thing).

  • […] via Kids aged 3-6 pretty much the same for last 85 years « Computing Education Blog. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,039 other followers


Recent Posts

Blog Stats

  • 2,020,810 hits
October 2010

CS Teaching Tips

%d bloggers like this: