Test-weary second-grader asks school board: ‘Is that all that matters to grown-ups?’ – The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/01/17/test-weary-second-grader-schools-state-school-board-is-that-all-that-matters-to-grown-ups/

7 year-old girl to School Board:

“Have you ever been in a kids’ lunch room at lunch time? If you go to many of these cafeterias, you will see there is hardly enough time to even eat. Many kids end up throwing their food away. Some of the teachers often ask us if we are sure we want to throw the food away but many do anyway because we want to play for the few minutes we have.”

What else do we need to say about the importance of play?

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And by the way, this is also why Maslow was an idiot.

see: https://thebridgeatruabon.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/two-responses-to-a-lost-child-crying-in-a-field-in-the-rain/

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And, also by the way, this is why 7 year-old girls should rule the world.

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The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders | Psychology Today

http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201409/the-power-play/the-decline-play-and-rise-in-childrens-mental-disorders

The rise of materialism, the decline of personal agency.

Probably the best article on children’s play this decade.

OUR BOYS ARE NOW AT GREATER RISK THAN GIRLS. By Dottie Lamm

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/boys-now-greater-risk-girls/

Sobering, eye-opening article. Also, of course, true of the UK. Here is an edited summary of the data:

” • EDUCATION: This is the first generation of boys in U.S. history who will have less education than their dads.

Yet male teachers are scarce. Recess and vocational education are being curtailed.

Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, drop out of school or be expelled than girls.///

• FATHERLESSNESS: A third of boys are raised in fatherless homes. This lack of a dad leads to poorer academic and behavioral results for them than it does for girls. A recent study of boys revealed that by the third grade, boys with absent fathers scored lower on every achievement test.

Most gang members come from homes without dads.

• EMOTIONAL HEALTH: Depression remains hidden in boys because of the male taboo against the showing of feelings.

Boys’ risky, anti-social or violent behavior often serve as a mask for depression. Usually that behavior is punished but the underlying depression not treated.

Between the ages of 13 and 20, BOYS’ SUICIDE RATES SOAR TO FOUR TIMES THAT of girls of the same age.”

Dear young men: The old stereotypes of what it is to be a ‘man’ are a load of rubbish – Features – Health & Families – The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/dear-young-men-the-old-stereotypes-of-what-it-is-to-be-a-man-are-a-load-of-rubbish-9775874.html

Quirky is the new cool

” Successfully achieving coolness in high school is like being knighted by Ronald McDonald.”

Massive strategic failures of Playwork #4, an occasional series:

http://www.naeyc.org/conference/sessions-for-faculty-and-trainers

Promoted by this posting on Facebook, nothing to do with this conference. Yesterday I visited the Children’s Day website, which had remarkably similar aims and draws on similar sources as the beloved Playday.

The two together provoked this thought:

Failure #4 is the failure to promote the key distinction between play for older children, over 5s, (and, to a lesser extent, from youth) and play in the early years.

They are different. The play we talk about is different. We weeble on about all children need play or all humans need play, but we miss the point about all this.

Which is this, to use an inflammatory metaphor:

The play we are about is after the apron strings have been cut.

It’s pavement play near your house, it’s playing out, is exploring, it’s hanging out with your peers, it’s that ‘when I look back I realise that most of my favourite play memories were of play with no adults around’ play.

I can unpack this, this is just the provocation, dear reader.