UC Berkeley psychologist Alison Gopnik has a great article on Slate about how--well, it's probably about how preschool education is going to hell in a handbasket because of misunderstandings about how kids learn and about what toddlers should be learning in the first place.
Actually, she looks at a couple of new studies that show kids end up learning more when they're prompted to discover something on their own than when they're taught it outright.
Adults often assume that most learning is the result of teaching and that exploratory, spontaneous learning is unusual. But actually, spontaneous learning is more fundamental. It's this kind of learning, in fact, that allows kids to learn from teachers in the first place.Our kids' preschool is a guided play-based paradise, but I imagine that unless the entire early educational system in this country re-orients itself to take account of the preliminary results from these two studies, all the rest of y'all's kids are all gonna be working at Hardee's or whatever. Sorry.