BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Education
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Hot Topics 
UK Systems 
League Tables 
Features 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 4 January, 2001, 00:36 GMT
Playschools are too 'academic'
children at play
Professor Sylva wants more emphasis on a social curriculum
Pre-school education must place more emphasis on children learning by reciting nursery rhymes, singing songs and chatting to each other, according to an education specialist.

Professor of Educational Psychology at Oxford University, Kathy Sylva, warned of the dangers of playschools becoming too academic.


In this new century we should move to the balanced cognitive and social curriculum

Professor Kathy Sylva
"In 25 years we have moved from no curriculum to an overly academic curriculum," Prof Sylva will tell delegates at the North of England Education conference in Bridlington on Thursday.

"In this new century we should move to the balanced cognitive and social curriculum," she says.

Those who had had a more relaxed pre-school education were more likely to read a newspaper and vote in elections in later life and less likely to get divorced, her research found.

Children who went through a formal programme revealed "more anxiety and had lower self-esteem when they were primary pupils", she said.

Mix of work and play

The government said it accepted the most successful nurseries and playschools allowed a mix of play and formal lessons.

"Songs and rhymes can be used to assist learning - we don't see any hard and fast division or separation between learning and play," a spokesman for the Department for Education said.

"Early Years centres which have demonstrated good practice have shown the ability to deliver seamlessly learning alongside play."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

04 Jul 00 | Education
Search for 83,000 child carers
06 Jun 00 | Education
Free places for all three year olds
18 May 00 | Education
Chasing pre-school targets
29 Mar 00 | Education
More money to rescue playgroups
25 Jul 00 | Education
Out-of-school activities increase
17 Feb 00 | Education
17m for out-of-school activities
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories