Obama’s Race to the Top Goes to Kindergarten: Is standardized testing for 5-year-olds a good idea? – Slate Magazine

The point made in this article that “most 5-year-olds can’t read, are just learning to write their names, and have trouble sitting still”  may not be an accurate picture of what most 5 year olds that I’ve known over the last forty years as an early childhood educator are like?

In fact, the 5 year olds I’ve  known and those I meet every day  are often quite capable of holding a great conversation with adults and their peers. They are intelligent, confident, sociable, talented and great to be with. Most times they can offer solutions or figure things out. They are creative, spontaneous and able to give good answers. The answers that the 5 year olds give, may not necessarily match the tester’s answers but could it be that our children are right and the tester has made a huge mistake in marking it wrong.

Could it be that we have no confidence in our children and therefore pose such questions such as ” Can kindergarteners even take tests”?

We are truly under-estimating the capabilities of our younger generation. In fact, our 5 year olds can figure out how most electronic gadgets work, can order food from a menu, select a favourite TV programme on a remote control and help to solve problems which baffles most adults.

The reality is that most children are born ‘Genius’ until we start to ‘educate’ them and ‘teach’ them how to draw, read, write or sit for tests.

One good example was given by Sir Ken Robinson in his talk , “Changing Education Paradigms” where he mentioned that the 98% of 1500 Kindergarten Kids reached the ‘genius’ level when asked to think of as many ways they could come up with for a paper clip.

So maybe it is not the 5 year olds who are not ready but rather that we are ready for our children to lead us into the future.

Obama’s Race to the Top Goes to Kindergarten: Is standardized testing for 5-year-olds a good idea? – Slate Magazine.

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