Preschool children develop physically through running, jumping and climbing. Play is their context for deep learning and it is critical in preschool. Let's avoid the teacher-directed and worksheet-heavy model of the preschool classroom. Let's get it right.
As James Heckman says, kids pick up the "soft skills" in preschool that allow them to work with others. "Valuable skills like how to resolve conflicts, how to share, how to negotiate, and how to talk things out."
We all have our list of those words. Not the banned-by-the-FCC ones -- I figure all parents agree that those should probably not be part of a 3-year-old's vocabulary. But words that are loaded, words that are hurtful, words that feel personal.
The science on early childhood education is unequivocal. If the U.S. were to make a deep investment in this overlooked part of the education spectrum, we'd diminish many social ills, and increase graduation rates and family incomes.