Saturday, 13 February 2016

We're Doing Preschool All Wrong, Says New Book

We're Doing Preschool All Wrong, Says New Book

The full article can be read from the hyperlink above

Preschool expulsions? ADD drugs for 2-3 to three year olds? This could be the terrifying road ECE in Australia could go down by aping the US.  "Disappearing are the days when preschools were havens for free play and make believe. They're now factories for rote memorization and dry instruction,.......What Preschoolers Really Need From Grownups, she argues that preschools are no longer giving children enough room to play, leading them to become less inquisitive, curious thinkers -- qualities they need to become successful adults......."Why, when kids are so programmed to learn, are they having trouble?" ....... "We know they're having trouble because we have an actual epidemic of preschool expulsions, kids are being medicated off-label as early as 2 or 3 [years old] with attention management drugs, and also we have more anecdotal evidence that parents are very frustrated."

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Nature Camps Aim to Draw Kids From Screens to the Outdoors - ABC News

Nature Camps Aim to Draw Kids From Screens to the Outdoors - ABC News

The full article can be read from the hyperlink above

Photo property of Outdoors Alliance for Kids
"So many children can easily name a hundred brands for commercial goods, but they can't name a hundred plants in their backyard. 

Experts hail more focus on outdoor education, Education News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Experts hail more focus on outdoor education, Education News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

The full article can be read from the hyperlink above

"In a merit-oriented society like Singapore, it is difficult for parents to accept that much learning occurs outdoors," said Prof Ebbeck......."Many children are involved in academic enrichment programmes, which limits the amount of time children have to explore the outdoor environment."

City children being sold short over the right to play (From Herald Scotland)

City children being sold short over the right to play (From Herald Scotland)

The full article can be read from the hyperlink above

 “We’ve had children here who tell us that this is the first time they’ve played somewhere like this, or even that it’s the first time they have played outdoors all year. "..........“These spaces do exist but quite often they are barricaded in, or they are not accessible to children or need cleaned up. It’s about texture, bushes, ponds, wild adventurous space that doesn’t need equipment. These are the type of places that can be used by all age groups.”

Why a walk in the woods really does help your body and your soul

Why a walk in the woods really does help your body and your soul

The full article can be read from the hyperlink above

"Considering 'microbial diversity' as an ecosystem service provider may contribute to bridging the chasm between ecology and medicine/ immunology [… ] the relationships our individual bodies have with our microbiomes are a microcosm for the vital relationships our species shares with countless other organisms with which we share the planet.'

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Bexley Park natural playspace

I was lucky enough to drive by Bexley Park today and stopped to have a look at their natural playspace section. The Park although only opened in September, 2015 appears to be well loved and used. Here are some photos of some of the play items that Rockdale Council has included. More power to them if this is an indicator of their design response to the current appreciation of nature based playspaces.







Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Danger is coming back to Australian playgrounds with experts advocating risk in children’s play | DailyTelegraph

Danger is coming back to Australian playgrounds with experts advocating risk in children’s play | DailyTelegraph

Something most educators are already aware of, but now it's in the media it must be real.
Full article can be read from the hyperlink above.

All healthy lessons, says the country’s highest authority on playground safety, Associate Professor David Eager, who is a keen advocate of risk in children’s play.

It’s not that playgrounds are dangerous, or that he wants to see children hurt.

Rather, he believes that calculating risk is an essential lesson of childhood, and that exposing kids to controlled risks, such as a fall that might, at very worst, fracture a bone, will keep them safer in the long run.

“Children need to be given opportunities to engage in activities where they will be able to learn from their mistakes,” said Professor Eager, from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Technology, Sydney.

“It’s okay if your children have an accident. Children who are exposed to too little challenge often take on inappropriate risks, where the chance of injury is high, because they lack the ability to judge the level of risk and the strategies and skills to tackle it effectively.”