Monday, September 22, 2008

What I didn't like

I mentioned that there were a couple of things that I did not particularly agree with in The Power of Play. There were not many as I agreed with the author's main premise; however, there were enough to note.

1) Elkind is very akin to the Montessori method of teaching. While there are appealing aspects of this method, especially in regards to allowing the child to explore what interests him/her, I am under the impression that children also need a balance of structured, guided instruction. Maria Montessori certainly did have good points, especially in regard to the early years, but for elementary on up, I don't mind giving my kids a little more directed learning.
Of course, I will never forbid the vast amount of information found within the library or the infinite amount scientific data that can be collected out-of-doors, or even the exploration of paint and fingers. When children are not over-scheduled (or keeping up with their over-scheduled parents) there is time enough in the day for both parent/teacher directed learning and self-directed learning.

2) Elkind makes only a few remarks regarding discipline so it is hard to critique in depth my disagreement; however, what he does say focuses mainly on light correction. He gives examples of using humor to correct rather than discipline (funny voices, imaginary animals, etc.) Perhaps he does not see the rotten nature bound up in my children, but to me it is very clear that they must be corrected and disciplined with more than just humor.

Those are the largest of the two critiques I had which would in no way halt my recommendation for all those with young children to read this great book: The Power of Play, by David Elkind.

5 comments:

Coraly said...

have you read shepharding a childs heart? Jeff and I just attended a confrence on it this weekend a couple friends and I are reading the book together... absolutlely wonderful...when I have more than 5 minutes i will write up my thoughts, likes and dislikes on the book!

The Six of Us said...

Cor,
I have read shepherding a child's heart and liked the book very much. I will be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Jen said...

Our church has a montessori sunday school program. Nora attended a 20 minute orientation before it began. That was my first exposure to Montessori. While I understand the appeal, I realized in watching the orientation that "free exploration" comes with LOTS of rules if you are going to have 10 to 12 preschoolers.

1. We carry our rugs THIS way.
2. We DON'T dump our puzzles.
3. We carry our puzzles this way. etc.

I can see it fitting in with Nora's tendency toward Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She'll love it. BUT, I did wonder how those rules impact boys especially in the long run.

The Six of Us said...

Honestly, as a preschool or even early elementary program, there are many appealing things and the children seem to love it. Now, however, there are schools which carry over this method into high school.
For a limited amount of time I see this method as a good thing...I just can't see it being my approach 100% of the time.

The Six of Us said...

Honestly, as a preschool or even early elementary program, there are many appealing things and the children seem to love it. Now, however, there are schools which carry over this method into high school.
For a limited amount of time I see this method as a good thing...I just can't see it being my approach 100% of the time.