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Preschool: Deborah Stipek on what to look for and how to prepare

July 3, 2017
Education professor Deborah Stipek offers tips for selecting a preschool that makes learning fun. (Photo: Marc Franklin)
Education professor Deborah Stipek offers tips for selecting a preschool that makes learning fun. (Photo: Marc Franklin)
In this episode of School’s In, Stanford education professor shares advice for choosing and making the most of a child’s first classroom experience.

Many parents are daunted by the prospect of finding the right preschool for their child, struggling to weigh the merits of different programs and philosophies. Some preschools advertise themselves as “play-based,” for instance – but that definition varies from one school to the next, says Deborah Stipek, professor of education and former dean of Stanford’s Graduate School of Education (GSE).

In this episode of School’s In, Stipek joined GSE Dean Dan Schwartz and Senior Lecturer Denise Pope to talk about ways to choose a preschool and make it a meaningful learning experience for your child, and how early childhood expectations are changing among parents and teachers.

For one thing, she says, the controversy between play-based and academic philosophies is a false one. “You don’t have to make those choices,” she says. “Kids do need opportunities to play freely, but we also know now that children three to five years old can develop a lot of basic academic skills that serve them well when they go to school.”

Listen from the link below, and find more episodes of School's In at the Stanford Radio main page. The show airs Saturdays on SiriusXM Insight Channel 121.