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Kindergarteners Focus Better in Bare Classrooms? Research Claims Disputed

Expert Criticizes Research on Performance of Kindergarteners In Bare Classrooms

Education expert Alfie Kohn disputed research claiming kindergarteners scored better on tests of recall if their classroom walls were completely bare. Kohn said the study was flawed because researchers failed to look at other factors that could have affected the results, The Washington Post reported.

"Now if you regularly read education studies, you won't be surprised to learn that the authors of this one never questioned, or even bothered to defend, the value of the science lessons [students] learned," said Kohn, referring to a study that was published last month in Psychological Science. "Whether [the lessons] were developmentally appropriate or presented effectively, whether they involved anything more than reading a list of facts or were likely to hold any interest for 5-year-olds." 

Kohn added, "Is a given lesson worth teaching? I’m pretty sure that’s the question we should be asking — rather than employing discipline, or demanding self-discipline, or pulling stuff off the walls in order that students will devote their attention to something whose value is simply taken for granted."

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Article by Navindra Persaud, EducationWorld Contributor

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