Each time I walk into a classroom, I can find at least 3 children who are on the floor in the W-Sitting position…and they kind of remind me of melting snowman. Their legs are wide around their bottoms, their trunk posture is often droopy and they aren’t able to move their arms outside of their base of support to play.
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What’s wrong with W-sitting?
Kids love to be led; they hate to be managed. They know they need to be led because, duh, older people know more than younger people. They hate to be managed, because that means they are not trusted. Under management conditions they can learn to mistrust themselves and to hate the thing that provides the evidence of mistrust—homework, chores and being thoughtful of others. They can even learn to hate math, even though mathematics is so doable and so obviously necessary for making it in the world.
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In the early years of school, children must learn to direct their attention and concentrate on a task. As they grow older, their focus improves. Sixth graders, for example, can tune out extraneous stimuli far more readily than preschoolers, the study’s authors noted.
But could information-dense kindergarten classroom walls, intended to inspire children, instead be overwhelming? Could all that elaborate décor impede learning? Some experts think so.
“I want to throw myself over those scalloped borders and cute cartoon stuff and scream to teachers, ‘Don’t buy this, it’s visually damaging for children!’ ” said Patricia Tarr, an associate professor at the University of Calgary who researches early childhood education and art education, and was not involved in the study.