Monday, November 28, 2011

Blocks: Finally Getting Recognition

We had to laugh when With Building Blocks, Educators Going Back to Basics appeared in the NYTimes online. This very interesting article outlines the current recognition of blocks as a worthy and useful educational pastime for children in PreK and Kindergarten in the more expensive schools in New York City. They have successfully re-discovered what most of us have known all along, as quotes from the article remind us!
...Studies dating to the 1940s indicate that blocks help children absorb basic math concepts. One published in 2001 tracked 37 preschoolers and found that those who had more sophisticated block play got better math grades and standardized test scores in high school. And a 2007 study by Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Hospital, found that those with block experience scored significantly better on language acquisition tests.

And this one is funny:
But perhaps the hottest pitch of late, particularly to high-stress, high-strung New York City parents, is that blocks can build the 21st-century skills essential to success in corporate America.

The one discussion in the article that we disagree with is the instruction that parents should encourage children to make block creations by photographing their work. There is nothing wrong with taking pics of unforgettable creations, but children should work and play for their own fulfillment, not for a Kodak moment.

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