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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Do We Underestimate Our Youngest Learners?

From RealClearEducation

By Daniel Willingham
March 11, 2014

A new experiment shows that first graders can understand a scientific topic usually reserved for older grades--natural selection.

One of the controversies of the Common Core State Standards concerns the difficulty of the content, especially for early elementary grades. Some critics have suggested that the standards are too difficult; first grade children are simply not ready to learn about Mesopotamian civilizations.

For example, evolution has usually been taught in high school, even though it’s a foundational idea of biology that, if students had under their belts, would likely make learning other concepts easier. Perhaps younger students could understand evolution under the right circumstances...

A new study (Kelemen et al, 2014) indicates that’s so.

Read the entire article HERE.

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Daniel Willingham is a columnist for RealClearEducation and professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. He also writes the Daniel Willingham science and education blog.

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