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Resisting the Kinder-Race

Restoring Joy to Early Learning

Christopher P. Brown Nancy File Christopher P. Brown

216 pages
Teachers College Press

Kindergarten has changed. Many believe that it no longer reflects a nurturing environment but, instead, has become a race for children to learn skills so they are ready for the academic achievement tests that they will take continuously throughout their time in school. Resisting the Kinder-Race examines how the race came about, why it must change, and how all stakeholders in the early childhood and elementary school communities must take part in the reform process. The author draws on his own research to consider how the Kinder-Race might be reimagined through more democratic principles of schooling. Brown offers both practical and political strategies that can alter the day-to-day practices of the kindergarten classroom and the policies that currently define PreK–12 education in the United States. This resource will help readers see kindergarten as an educational environment that expands the learning of every child.

Book Features:

  • Provides an in-depth glimpse into a typical day in the Kinder-Race.
  • Examines how kindergarten devolved from a garden that nurtures children into a race that dashes them from skill to skill.
  • Brings together what are often siloed conversations among stakeholder groups.
  • Highlights how kindergarten is now primarily defined through an economic lens and how this framing of learning, earning, and consuming might be rethought. 
  • Employs varied conceptual frameworks to investigate how stakeholders across different levels of public education make sense of the changed kindergarten.
  • Illuminates the complexity of what is occurring in today’s kindergarten and puts forward practical and achievable ideas for change.
Author Bio

Christopher P. Brown is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin.