Miseducation of Children

1 January 2017

Miseducation of Children “All across the country, educational programs intended for school-aged children are being appropriated for the education of young children (Elkind, 1988, p. 3). The miseducation of children is teaching children skills that are inappropriate for them according to their development level and the skills they possess. It is pushing a child to do too much too soon and often times has nothing to do with the child’s benefit, but rather the parents goals set forth for their children.

Miseducating a child can have both short and long-term negative effects on the child’s growth and development. The miseducation of young children is today’s norm. Throughout schools across the country, curriculum is being implemented in classrooms that have little to do with “the child”, but rather high expectations of educators and parents that would rather have their child writing, reading, and doing basic math at very young ages.

Parents bombard their children with extra-curricular activities, such as swimming and gymnastics at too young of an age without knowing the negative effects it can have on their child. According to David Elkind, parents that do this miseducate their children and “put them at risk for short- term stress and long-term personality damage for no useful purpose” (Elkind, 1988, p. 4). Children learn in different ways, and at different speeds. Every child is different.

Setting too high expectations for children who possess different skill levels can affect that child’s self-esteem. Children look up to adults, so if an adult says that they should be doing a certain task a certain way and they are incapable of doing the task, it can have a negative effect on how the child views him/herself. It can also have a long term effect on how the child learns as he/she gets older. This is why it is important for teachers and parents to use developmentally appropriate practices with the children in their care.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice “Developmentally appropriate practice refers to applying child development knowledge in making thoughtful and appropriate decisions about early childhood program practices” (Gestwicki, 2010, p. 9). Developmentally appropriate practices allow teachers to look at the child as a whole. It allows us to really get to know our children and how they learn, what holds their attention, their likes and dislikes, and so on.

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