WHO WE ARE: TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment) has just turned 20 years old! TRUCE is a national grassroots organization of early childhood educators and parents, who are deeply concerned about the impact of commercial culture, media, and media-linked toys on children’s play, learning, and behavior. TRUCE prepares materials to help teaches and families understand, resist and counteract the power of screens, and promote rich, meaningful play activities for young children.
WHAT’S NEW? As all family members spend more time with screens, TRUCE has developed Seasonal Family Play Plans to help reduce this trend. The Play Plans use everyday materials like water, chalk, cardboard boxes, and bubbles—depending on the season, to inspire families to turn off their screens and, instead, to play together. Go to TRUCE’s website (www.TruceTeachers.org), to find three two-page Family Play Plans for each season, filled with easy-to-follow ideas for family play (Winter Play Plans will be added in November). Family Play Plans can be copied and distributed without special permission. On the website you will also find a 1-pager describing the Play Plans that can be distributed to families.
TRUCE AT NAEYC ANNUAL CONFERENCE: TRUCE materials at a booth in the Exhibit Area. TRUCE Co-Founder, Diane Levin, will be doing a session related to TRUCE’s mission, “Beyond Remote Controlled Teaching and Learning,” as well as on a panel sponsored by the NAEYC’s Special Interest Group on Play Policy and Practice.
Beyond Remote-Controlled Teaching & Learning:
Reclaiming Early Education from Misguided Academic Mandates
Diane Levin’s 2014 NAEYC session builds on the issues discussed in her NAEYC book, Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood: Teaching Young Children in the Media Age as well as her work with Defending the Early Years, an organization founded to support the rights and learning needs of young children. Participants will learn about:
How key environmental factors in which today’s young children are growing up, especially the media, technology, and commercial culture, are contributing to remote-controlled childhood.
How remote-controlled childhood is undermining creative play and learning through play, and the very foundation children need for later successful academic learning in school; thereby, running the risk of turning children into remote-controlled learners.
How the increasing pushdown by State and Federal policymakers to teach narrow academic skills and use formal assessment methods at younger and younger ages has led to remote controlled teaching—exactly the opposite response that today’s media-influenced, remote-controlled learners need—i.e., they really need help learning how to become actively engaged in their own learning through playing and interacting in the real world.
What we can do in the classroom and in the wider society to counteract remote-controlled teaching and learning (i.e., the current school reform policies), and instead, help remote-controlled children become actively engaged, creative players and learners—thereby promoting optimal development and learning at home, school and in the wider society.