The Gesell Institute for Human Development has performed an 18 month long study on how childhood development in 2010 relates to Gesell's observations published in 1925, 1940 and after his death by his colleagues in 1964 and 1979. Interestingly, not much has changed through all the years. Some experts are concluding that even though the educational system has increased the academic vigor of young children the age at which children reach cognitive milestones have remained stable. Ninety two examiners assessed 1287 children (3-6 years old) from 23 states using 19 tasks. The research indicated that through the years the children develop skills at the same time. For example, the fact that a child can draw a triangle at age 5 1/2 or that a 4 year old can count four pennies has not changed through the years.
This study should help educators to realize that they can slow down. Take the time to allow preschoolers and kindergartners ample amounts of free play, motor time and imaginative play.
My one question is why are more and more children being referred for occupational and physical therapy then?
To read more about this study go to Harvard Education Letter.
View Gesell Developmental Schedules.
Reference: Pappano, L. Kids Haven't Changed Kindergarten Has. Retreived from the web on 10/15/2010 at http://www.hepg.org/hel/article/479#home