Concluding and Moving Forward
Traditionally scholars and teachers in the field of early childhood education have showed relatively little concern about the impact of calls for education to be a vehicle for developing human capital. Primary and secondary schools have long been expected to impart a particular set of “subject area” skills and knowledge, even if teachers, administrators, and curriculum developers have been subjected to a degree of surveillance and “accountability” that have been steadily growing since WWII and intensifying considerably in the last three decades. Until recently, kindergarten, and, to an even greater degree, preschool teachers have been given greater leeway to teach to the “whole child,” incorporating opportunities for “play-based” learning and the development of “nonacademic” learning, such as the development of social skills and motor skills into the curriculum. In addition, preschool and kindergarten students have not been subjected to the same heavy regimen of standardized testing that has been growing in the academic lives of primary and secondary students.