EC Blog Book Study Begins- Join In!

Published on: August 31, 2015

Filled Under: Beyond The Pages, Books, Guest Speakers, Resources

Views: 1257

It’s finally here – the day that our blog book study begins. It is my genuine hope that this study intrigues individuals, serves as inexpensive professional development, provides access to resources otherwise not attainable, and encourages meaningful conversations throughout this country and perhaps even the world.

This is our newest feature on the blog: Beyond The Pages. Beyond the Pages is an online blog book study. This feature acknowledges the importance of reading books while taking you beyond the pages and creating group dialogue. Stacie Goffin has charged those in early childhood education to “continue the conversation” and we believe that this is one method to do that.

Our first book study is centered around Rae Pica‘s book What If Everybody Understood Child Development? We highlighted her book on the blog last May. You can learn even more about this book in Rae’s candid interview. Find her online at Rae Pica’s Bam-Radio Facebook page and on Twitter @BodyMindChild #AskingWhatIf.

What If Book Study Marketing Pic

We’re pleased to announce that we have an amazing lineup of early childhood experts to assist in leading the conversation around this book! There are many ways for you to participate in this study. If you are just joining us, you will find all the book study details HERE.

Today we are discussing Chapters 1 (All Children Are Not The Same), 2 (The Earlier The Better?), and 7 (Doing Away with Baby Stuff). Angèle Sancho Passe is our guest this week to provide insight and lead our discussion. Visit Angèle’s website to learn more about her books and work in early childhood.Angele Passe

Angèle says, “It’s a privilege to continue the conversation boldly started by Rae Pica! In What if Everybody Understood Child Development?, she tells us that the proverbial pendulum has swung in the wrong direction and too far. Her examples of zero tolerance, no recess, play as a waste of time, and general misunderstanding of academics for young children make us cringe.

Yet we could argue that as the insiders in early childhood education we may have brought this nonsense on ourselves. In our zeal to promote developmentally appropriate practice, we may have neglected to explain –and continuously demonstrate -what we truly meant. Early childhood education happens through play, yes, but it is not laissez-faire, anything goes, developmental whatever! This unclear whatever is the fear driving the downward push we so deplore. If many children are not reading in fourth grade, it must be that early education is not rigorous and early enough or so goes the reasoning. Then rigor becomes inflexible rules and inappropriate practices.

People who know a lot about child development have talked among themselves a lot about DAP (what’s that?), but perhaps not enough to principals, parents, politicians, journalists, or business people. We have not given clear examples. We have not shown what productive, creative play is, and what children learn through play.  We also have not provided enough reassuring proof of our good work teaching young children.

Not all children are the same, indeed. But, all children do follow a similar developmental spiral. They can be ready for kindergarten and learn to read by third grade with rigorous, but not rigid, scaffolding from skilled adults. So thanks Rae, for opening this important discussion.

To add to your vision, I’d like to propose a new resource. It’s a video recently released by the Minnesota Department of Education. In just 8 minutes, it describes and demonstrates how to do developmentally appropriate early education with intention and wisdom. The Shift: The Development and Learning of the Kindergarten Age Children, available at”


Go ahead and share/retweet this post! Let us know that you’re participating in this study (where you’re from and how you’re connected to early childhood). We’d love to hear from you about your thoughts regarding Chapters 1, 2, and 7 and/or about Angele’s commentary. Your voice matters – participate in the dialogue and share your ideas here! (Comment below) If you’ve chosen to blog about what you’ve read on your own site, link back and share your post with us here. Perhaps you have a burning question about something that you read in one of these chapters… we have a feature for that – Ask The Author! That’s right, Rae Pica will be available throughout this live study to answer your questions. #AskAuthor

*If you’re a MN participant and are seeking training hours for your active participation in this book study, please visit THIS LINK for the details and requirements.

What to read next: Chapter 3- The Power of Joy and Chapter 5- When Did a Hug Become a Bad Thing? (9/7/15). 

58 Responses to EC Blog Book Study Begins- Join In!

  1. Yi Ling (Ivy) Flanders says:

    I like the idea of help parents understand that all children can’t be expected to be the same. Sometimes, it’s even harder to educate the parents. We need to show them the resources and numbers from the professional and explain everything to them to gain their trust, and it surely takes the time to do all the process. Also, we do adjust our curriculum and use teaching practices base on the research and children’s different levels and needs.

  2. Derrylin Young says:

    After reading the chapters 1, 2 & 7, Each of the chapters showed how we are pushing our young children to move at a pace not developmental appropriate. We are not really looking and Listening to our children to see where they truly are developmentally. We put pressure on them to perform the way we want them to perform when they should be enjoying Learning. Also, some of us are not aware of the detriment that bad sleeping habits can have on a child. These things need to change so that our children can be successful.

  3. Brandon Young says:

    After reading the 3 chapters of the “what if everybody understood child development book there where a few realizations that I came away with.
    For instance, in chapter 1 regarding all children are not the same I obviously understood that all children don’t learn the same way, but it seems the author believes that the learning standard that most child care schools use today cant possibly be standardized. I always assumed that curriculum experts figured out a universal general process in which at least most kids would comprehend. Yet after reading this and thinking about it, it does seem impossible to generalize such a thing if all children are indeed different. Ultimately the chapter challenges you to re-evaluate early childhood teaching standards.

  4. Steph Kallinen says:

    Yup, I found myself nodding in agreement many times in these first 3 chapters. I am a child care provider and the push that kindergarten is the new 1st grade, preschool the new kindergarten and day care the new preschool has been driving me nuts for years! There are a couple reasons for this: 1) Let them play and be little!! They have years of school ahead of them. 2) I am one provider with sometimes 10 kids. The point of day care is to CARE for the kids- feed them, love them, keep them safe. It was mentioned in the chapters that the people making the laws have never worked in our situations and have no idea what goes on in a day care or classroom setting. I couldn’t agree more with that. I have no time to be “teaching” after all the diaper changes, feeding and cleaning up and etc. Do I play educational games and do the kids learn from me? You bet! But it is very informal and play based! I also stress kindness and conflict resolution in my day care setting. If we focused more on this in the younger years instead of pushing the reading, writing, formal education them maybe the society we live in wouldn’t be so messed up!

  5. Kathryn Lundin says:

    Chapter 1, 2 & 7
    I feel that the concept of earlier is better has been a huge obstacle in how we decided when and what to teach as educators. I see children in my preschool classroom that are stressed out because they can’t read, bringing them to the point of tears. This is because we are not letting them accomplish what is “normal” for a 4 or 5 year old child. I feel that No Child Left Behind did more harm that good. It places unrealistic expectations on the children and on the educators. We are also not acknowledging the fact that we are pushing children so hard it is causing a loss or lack of sleep, which in turn leads to problematic behaviors in the classroom and more stress on teachers and students.

  6. Samantha says:

    I have always agreed that children learn different. Some may need music or complete quietness. Allowing the children to have this or more time to learn is something I would love to see. My son was put into Pre-K for 2 days-4 hours a week. They would jump me all the time about him not knowing how to spell his name, he was 3 when started and turned 4 a month before school was out. I did not force my son to do the school work that was sent home. We spelled his name in Legos or cheerios. I dislike the idea of forcing my son to school already. With his behaviors at home, I was instructed to try sending him to school. I’m thankful that they get to play some of the time, but I won’t force him to learn everything RIGHT NOW. He tires out fast and loves to sleep. Him sleeping 12-14 hours a night is normal and then still napping during the day. I love how in the book it states childhood is not a dress rehearsal for adulthood. I love that in my daycare we take a curriculum and turn it into play time more often. I am big on my child and my daycare children resting. Naptime is not a strict must wake up by this time. They can rest until awake. My own child needs his sleep or we have behaviors a lot more through out the day. I believe we need to be teaching our kids how to play with friends or how to laugh.

    I was worried about this book being above my level of changing my lifestyle. But I love that I can relate and believe so far 100%!

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