Rethinking Kindergarten

“IQ was the predictor of success in the 20th century. In the 21st century, self-regulation will be the predictor of success,” says Stuart Shanker, distinguished research professor of philosophy and psychology at York University and one of Canada’s leading experts on self-regulation. Genes and temperament impact the development of self-regulation, but the key idea for kindergarten teachers is that children with poor self-regulation struggle to cope with ordinary classroom stimulation: sights, background noises, textures, emotions, what other children are doing and saying. “When a child is putting so much energy into coping,” says Shankar, “there is little left over for paying attention, controlling impulses, remembering instructions and ultimately for learning.”
Canadian and American data suggest that between 25 and 50 per cent of children going into Grade 1 struggle to varying degrees with self-regulation. “That’s why it’s crucial to focus on it in kindergarten,” Shanker says. Here are four ways to build self-regulation in the classroom".   Read More