Playing to learn.
People always have been trying to understand and to reform elementary school for a long time, but now the administration is getting closer to identifying the success or failure of schools by setting up tests for children. In the article "Playing to Learn" by Susan Engel, she points out to her readers how dictated the new curriculum have become. She tells how children do not get to express themselves during the class work, instead they strive to get higher scores on their assignments.In a new curriculum, children are worrying a lot to get a better grades, than thinking and understanding the new material which was taught them. Susan Engel also says that teachers worry about their children in elementary school to cram for high school as well to college. According to Engel, teachers need to express what is expected from children by the end of the year so children can move on next level and if children start to think it will lead to priceless knowledge according to the new regulation.She also points out what should children be able to do by the age twelve. Another point which she makes is that teachers should not make students memorize formulas or science projects, instead they should make children think and express their feelings which can lead to learning. She feels that play time is one of the best ways that children are engaged and they are more likely to get best learning out of it.Susan Engel feels a curriculum that helps to raise children than grading their ability is the right one.
The two responses I read support and negate the Susan Engel curriculum ideas. Many writers agreed that administration should try and develop children's minds rather than forcing to feed information to children or filling their mind with facts which are useless. Peter Kugel one of the writers notes that it's hard to test the ability of a child on thinking skills and he mentions that as teachers or schools can not tell how the child is doing unless there is a better education system developed. I agree with that, we can not ever tell how children are doing or how far they know a subject, because as educators we should be aware that there is a lot of many different ways that children can be taught and children learn.
Another reader Miriam Sicherman also supports many points by Susan Engel, yet she makes a good point about history. In today's world we should teach children from the very beginning about the history, because teaching it will help children understand the world they live in now. Children need to learn about something which they are interested in, it also means how its been taught. We should always keep in mind that there are many ways to teach children and one of the way should always be play.
In my opinion, I feel that many teachers often neglect the child who does not understand from the first try certain information and still many of them carry out the lesson instead of teaching them in a different way, where they can really understand or learn. I believe that if everything which children learn has some activity like small fun which is play, this will help children learn. Children learn through play and this should be one of the first rules or ways to teach children. I do remember when I was young our teachers used to teach us where the play was present.And I believe that play is something that children and adults always will need because it opens up the person to others and helps children to learn faster.