A recent feature in the Edmonton Journal on mandatory and full-day kindergarten included comment from our Executive Director. You can read the story here.
The article re-states our position - that mandatory and full-day kindergarten increases costs unnecessarily, takes choice away, and has no demonstrable positive impact on any children. Edmonton Public School Board chair claims that full-day kindergarten would help at-risk kids, but Edmonton Public's own research does not demonstrate that at all.
This article quotes physician, author and former teacher Dr. Gabor Maté, who spoke at the recent ASBA conference. He underlined the fact that the push to full-day kindergarten is about childcare, not about education: “Let’s look upon them for what they really are." he said. "If we think of them as an economic necessity — because the economy is such now that both parents have to work and they can no longer look after the child at home — then that’s what it is. It’s an economic necessity and I can’t argue with that, but let’s not pretend that it’s for the benefit of the kids.”
Maté added: “It’s true that if you do early cognitive tests, kids in kindergarten will do better. What is not true is that in the long term they’ll do better. In the long term, they’re going to do worse because they’re more insecure. Why are they more insecure? Because they’ve lost adult relationships. They’ve done studies … and kids’ stress-hormone levels are higher in kindergarten than they are at home, especially for vulnerable kids.”
The evidence is clear - mandatory full day kindergarten is an expensive and unnecessary social experiment which has nothing to do with improving education. Let's make sure that it is NOT implemented in Alberta.