• Op-Ed

    Teach Instead of Test

    Dr. Donna Housman       

    3_newspaperopRecently I read an article in the Boston Globe, “What to Test Instead” (Ideas, September 16), which I found to be a thought-provoking piece really highlighting what is critical in educating our children.

    The ability to create, collaborate and problem solve can be developed, facilitated, encouraged, and supported very early on in a child’s life.  In fact, when these competencies are introduced within the child’s first three years, they can actually shape the brain’s circuitry, becoming an integral part of a child’s academic and moral development.

    Over the last 25 years I have seen, first hand, that these skills can be taught and cultivated right from the start.  Imagine what typically happens when a four-year- old has an argument with a peer: yelling and fighting followed by a teachers’ intervention.  At Beginnings School, we offer a Peace Table where children come together to resolve problems.  Here, preschool age children sit with classmates to work out conflicts by discussing, listening, and problem-solving.  Under the guidance of a teacher, the Peace Table exercise fosters communication and team-work and helps build self-confidence, resiliency, and collaboration. Mastering these skills is essential for a lifetime of personal, social and academic success.

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