A Romantic Idea?

"[Bodrova and Leong] say, after all, that play should have a central place in early-childhood classrooms. And they do find fault with the academic approach, arguing that in practice, many of the early-childhood academic initiatives that have been introduced in the No Child Left Behind era have failed to produce any significant improvement in academic skills. At the same time, they don’t agree that the solution is unstructured free play. The romantic idea that children are born with flowering imaginations and a natural instinct for make-believe is simply wrong, they say. Especially these days, they contend, when children spend more time in front of screens and less time in unsupervised play, kids need careful adult guidance and instruction before they are able to play in a productive way."

I'm having some trouble with this one. It is an interesting article, but I had a few moments where I thought, Excuse me? Come again? Like here. If children are not "born with flowering imaginations and a natural instinct for make-believe", I'm not sure where it comes from. In my opinion, our job is to support and enhance those flowering imaginations. And when interest-based, emergent, child-centered curriculum is done wrong, then it can be chaos - teachers should not assume that because they are letting the children lead, they have nothing else to do. It should give you more to do to prepare for the next steps.

Children know how to play. It's what happens when we step back and watch and we don't interfere.

Read it for yourself. What do you think?