9-2 | Teaching Kindergarten: Learner-Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century

Book Review

Teaching Kindergarten: Learner-Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century

Julie Diamond, Betsy Grob, and Fretta Reitzes, eds.
New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2015. Foreword, prologue, acknowledgments, introduction, children’s book list, references, contributors, index. 176 pp. $29.95 paper. ISBN: 9780807757116

by Patricia M. (“Patsy”) Cooper

First Paragraph:

At its heart, Teaching Kindergarten: Learner-Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century is a paean to the play-based, inter-est-driven kindergarten we know from the annals of progressive education. Its osten-sible goal, though, is to resist the increas-ingly more familiar kindergarten, where a skills-based and overtly academic cur-riculum favors more time on the rug for minilessons and less time on it for building with blocks. But to label Teaching Kinder-garten a mere apologia would be to give it short shrift. It is also an up-to-date and highly persuasive argument about why the trend toward all academics all the time is so unnecessary if later academic achieve-ment is truly tied to what children learn in kindergarten. To this end, coeditors and longtime early-childhood educators and leaders Julie Diamond, Betsy Grob, and Fretta Reitzes offer a hefty collection of teachers’ stories that demonstrate the advantages of learner-centered—progressive—education for five-year-olds.