Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Preschool Education

Several people asked me what I would do to improve education. The first thing I would do is think long term.  We need to make sure every kid in America has an opportunity to learn.  This means leveling the playing field by making sure every child has a quality preschool experience.  It should be mandatory that every school district provide a free appropriate preschool program.  Personally I am fond of the Montessori Method.  

The Montessori Method stresses self-directed learning activities.  Kids learn by doing and making their own discoveries.  The student's learning experiences are matched to their needs, not the needs of a store bought curriculum. Students take responsibility for their own learning which serves them well through the rest of their educational career. When they enter first grade they are prepared and eager to learn.

I  know for a fact that years three through nine are the most important years in a child's educational growth.  Around fourth grade is when we see kids start to act out and lose interest in school.  I believe it's because they are too far behind in their skill development.  In case you haven't noticed, school keeps getting harder every year.

When I am King, I'll give full scholarships to brilliant students who are willing to teach  preschool through 3rd grade.  Better yet, I'll make sure they get paid a minimum of $10,000 more than the other teachers.  Hopefully, this will attract some of our best and brightest to the field. 


  1. I think High School also needs focus, because the kids are not prepared for college.

  2. I would totally teach the primary grades for an extra $10,000 a year over other teachers, even though my current preference is upper elementary (the second graders I'm student teaching for sure are cute, though).

    As I'm a teaching credential/Master's of Education student who graduated magna cum laude undergrad & is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, I think you made your point about attracting the "best and brightest"... (I hate tooting my own horn, but it's relevant to the discussion)

  3. One of my many "dreams" is to start a Montosorri school with a Math/Science/Engineering emphasis. Not too bent, but I think teaching those subjects early is a big deal... especially in lower income communities. Anyway, when I looked into it I was astonished to see how poorly the average pay was for most Montessori pre-school teachers. Creating some incentives would certainly help.

  4. We need to get our priorities straight. Free college and higher pay should help attract the best & brightest. Look at the pay of hedge fund managers -- these people contribute little to the better good. It's time to stop talking a good game and put our money where our mouth is.

  5. It's getting in early, you're right.

    Many kids lose focus and feel like failures once they hit year 3 or so because of their (poor) literacy skills. They haven't made benchmarks, and have slipped through or not succeeded with the reading recovery programs. Then it gets too hard for them to catch up without intense intervention, which most won't get.

  6. I agree only if the early schools are Montessori in nature. Kids don't need an extra year or two of the same force-feed/regurgitate method that passes for public school ed these days. Kids learn best when they are engaged, interested, and have some choice in when and how they learn. This is something that happens very easily in our homeschool. I have discovered that around age 10-11, "unschooled" kids become MORE interested in learning, not less. If I want my kids to grow up to be scientists, they have to be able to see & experience the world before they can understand it. This rarely happens in a classroom (or a home) where kids only get to see videos or read accounts of what the world is like.