Upstart: The case for raising the school starting age and providing what the under-sevens really need.
Why does Britain and its former colonies send children to school as young as four and five, when in eighty-eight per cent of the world the starting age is six or seven?
Sue Palmer, author of bestselling Toxic Childhood, uncovers the truth: it's not because of what's best for children, but historical accident and economics.
Palmer examines research ranging from neurological science to educational data, and shows that under-sevens gain most - educationally, physically, socially and psychologically - from not being stuck behind a desk. Upstart puts forward a passionate case for Britain adopting a proper 'kindergarten' stage that recognises what under-sevens really need.
With clarity, ease and vigour, Palmer describes a different way of doing early years education that would have huge benefits both for individual children, and for our nation.
"This admirable, clear, and powerful book brings together the voices of child development experts across the world to put a vital question on the political agenda. In Britain and former British dominions, is our outdated, inappropriate way of educating the very young harming their learning, and their lives? Every parent, politician and bureaucrat in those countries that push children to desk-learning at younger and younger ages needs to know how much damage this will cause. And needs to embrace the less costly – in every way – approach of play-based kindergarten provision and a later school start, which works so well elsewhere. Palmer writes in a highly readable style that conveys with ease the latest research into how children develop and grow, and what that means for their learning. A must for anyone with children, with the care of children or with power over children’s education. " - Steve Biddulph, author of Raising Boys and Raising Girls and many other books on parenting; psychologist; activist
Format:Pbk 240 pages