(They may like the same snacks at U.S. children, but British kindergartens may be more prepared academically, reporter finds)
Associated Press education reporter Nancy Zuckerbrod had to ask herself a very important question this month as she prepared to move her kindergarten age daughter to London, one that has implications for the way U.S. pre-schoolers learn.
Was the year Zuckerbrod’s daughter spent mastering monkey bars and drawing planets in her Washington D.C. area pre-school doomed to leave her behind compared with her peers in London, who were expected to master fractions, telling time, counting in 5′s up to 50 and more academic tasks? And if so, what did that say about the quality of pre-school in the U.S. compared with early education in England?
One important point Zuckerbrod raised: U.S. fourth-graders were not found lagging behind England on recent international reading studies . So what distinguishes the way the two countries teach early education and how different are the goals? Zuckerbrod, who decided against the teacher’s suggestion of leaving her daughter behind for another year, now has a front row seat to answer some of these questions first hand. It will be interesting to see any follow-up that includes research, data and some questioning of the different approaches.