A new report out of the Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting provides an interesting distinction between “academic” versus “intellectual” goals in early education settings. Under the definitions used in this report, academic goals are, for instance, learning to read, while intellectual goals are, for instance, learning to use reasoning to predict outcomes to existing problems.
The author of this report cites longitudinal research suggesting that intellectual rather than academic instruction in preschool predicts better long-term outcomes, even in the academic realm. The author also cites research suggesting that “preschool programs are best when they focus on social, emotional and intellectual goals rather than narrow academic goals,” and when they provide “early experiences that provoke self-regulation, initiative and…sustained synchronous interaction in which the child is interactive with others in some continuous process, rather than a mere passive recipient of isolated bits of information for stimulation.”
Hmmm… self regulation, attention, flexibility, social skills, problem-solving… these are sounding familiar to us here at Think:Kids! These are all skills that are practiced during the process of Collaborative Problem Solving.
This report is exciting to us, because it is part of a growing trend that we see, in which adults are recognizing how critical these “intellectual” skills are for setting up young children to be successful as life-long learners. CPS is one way that you can structure your classroom interactions to build these skills.
Take a look at the report, then let us know what you think on our Facebook page.