Episode 68: Rae Pica & “What If Everybody Understood Child Development?”

August 31, 2015
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Rae is an educational consultant, keynote speaker, blogger, podcaster, and author of 19 books.  She has consulted with the Sesame Street Research Department and the children’s show Blue’s Clues. She blogs for the Huffington Post and is a member of the executive committee of the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.

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The main focus of Rae’s books is on the importance of movement in learning.

A few of her titles are: Moving and Learning: Toddlers; Moving and Learning: Pre-Schoolers and Kindergartners; Moving and Learning: Early Elementary Children; Experiences in Movement and Music; Jump into Literacy; Jump into Science; Jump into Math; Wiggle, Giggle, and Shake; and A Running Start.

This excerpt from her Home page reveals her thoughts about children, learning and movement.

“As an education consultant since 1980, I have watched fads come and go and educational priorities wax and wane. But despite the shifting strategies of the adults around them, children have remained the same! They still need to physically experience concepts to fully understand them, and their preferred modes of acquiring knowledge have always been, and still are, movement, play, and active learning.”


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Listed at the end of these show-notes are several links from her web page, Facebook page, Twitter, her podcast network, and an interview with The Cool Cat Teacher, Vicki Davis.


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On today’s show we focus on her latest book, What if Everybody Understood Child Development?

This is an amazing book. Rae pulls no punches as she talks about her concerns that too many people making decisions about how and what children should be taught know little to nothing about the growth and development of children. 

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Here are a few of the titles of her chapters-

·        All Children are Not the Same

·        The Earlier the Better?

·        When Did a Hug Become a Bad Thing?

·        Teaching Girls They’re More Than a Pretty face

·        Doing Away With the Baby Stuff

·        Why Does Sitting Still Equal Learning?

·        Play is Not a Four Letter Word

·        The Trouble With Testing

·        The Homework Debate

·        You’re Outta Here!


This is a book that every educator, whether in the classroom or not, every politician, and anyone who works with children should read.


I hope that you will take time to make “What if Everybody Understood Child Development?” your next book to read. It will get you fired up about the difference you make and angry about what is imposed upon the classroom that has nothing to do with how children learn.


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