I have been a Preschool and Pre-K teacher for 15 years. I am happy that the scientific and economic research that shows the life long positive impacts of quality early childhood education is starting to lead to more investments and expansion of early childhood programs in Massachusetts. However, I am always leery this will come with a push down of the K-12 education model of education into early childhood.

High quality early childhood education is not tracing letters, using flash cards, sitting still for long periods, or preparing kids for future standardized tests. High quality early childhood education allows young children to build on their innate curiosity about the world to become mini-researchers who are guided in their research by well-trained early childhood educators. In addition, high quality early childhood education is done best when the entire community is integrated into the goal of helping children thrive.

To see what this looks like in practice, I highly encourage parents, educators, policy makers, and anyone interested in the future of the commonwealth to check out the free Wonder of Learning exhibit currently at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development ( go to https://wonderoflearningboston.org/ for more info).

I hope by seeing this exhibit educators, citizens, and policy makers will not only want to have this be a model of early education in Massachusetts, but to push up this model into K-12 learning instead of focusing so much on standardized tests.

Teddy Kokoros

Originally appeared on Watertown MA News.