(cue scary music, background shrieking)
In a world where school testing starts in kindergarten and continues, unstoppable, throughout high school, where graduates are rarely well-prepared for the rigors of the real world…
(transition into a happier melody)
… research has determined that play, not testing, can nurture youth who are “confident, co-operative, intelligent, creative, and successful.” To be fair, this information is from a site that focuses on creativity, and one could say that they have a vested interested in promoting play. Ironically, the post spells out rules for play. One must play the *right* way.
To their credit, however, they do extol the benefits of unstructured play. I personally had the good fortune to grow up a) in a safe neighborhood b) with lots of neighborhood kids around my age, give or take five years and c) in an era so very long ago when children ran unsupervised from after school until the street lights came on. That potent mix of socialization, creativity and risk-taking is difficult to artificially construct, even in less restrictive afterschool or camp programs.
Not everyone has those benefits. That is a shame.