The Intuitive Mind and Early Childhood Education: Connections With Chaos Theory, Script Theory, and Theory of Mind
In the United States, early childhood education, the education of children from birth to 9 years, grew out of Western European traditions during the 19th century and evolved through the 1950s out of a maturationist, linear child development framework that still predominates. This linear framework, laced with a strong measure of sentiment and caring, meshes with the predominant public elementary school image of learning as discrete additive steps and stages. Within this academic framework, education focuses on the attainment of universal skills and a body of information. In the pursuit of these goals, in the name of developing a citizenry capable of democratic governance and a competent workforce, elementary education policymakers have set a priority on the development of reading, writing, and arithmetic skills. Most schools have shared these goals and made the three Rs the centerpiece of primary education. The primary curriculum has overtaken the kindergartens, which during the past two decades, have begun to look like first grades. At the same time, it is a common occurrence to see teachers of 2-year-olds ritually worshipping the calendar each morning as their children squirm or sit with glazed looks in an attempt to please the teacher.