Emphasizing social play in kindergarten improves academic, reduces teacher burnout.

Posted on September 28, 2019

Schools that emphasizes more play, hands-on learning and students helping each other in kindergarten improves academic outcomes, self-control and attention regulation. This curriculum further enhances a child’s joy in learning and teachers’ enjoyment of teaching, and reduced bullying, peer ostracism and teacher’s burnout.

The fundamental reason is that social-emotional development and improving self-control is as important as teaching academic skills and content. The program emphasizes the role of social dramatic play in building executive functions – which includes skills like self-control and selective attention, working memory, cognitive flexibility, reasoning and planning.

Executive functioning skills are necessary for learning and are often more strongly associated with school readiness than intelligence quotient (IQ). Hence, this trial seeks to show the benefits of a curriculum emphasizing social play to executive functioning in a real-world setting.

Previous studies have demonstrated Tools produces better results for reading and math and on laboratory tests of executive functions. Diamond's new study demonstrates for the first time that Tools also dramatically improves writing (exceeding the top level on the provincial assessment scale), improves executive functions in the real world, and has a host of social and emotional benefits not previously documented.

Classroom teachers further reported that there are more helpful behaviour and greater sense of community in Tools classes. It has also been observed that the children will be more excited about going to school and learning, loving all the activities they did.

Source material from Science Daily

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