Dr. Kataoka wrote:
I am always dismayed to see the content of so-called "children's entertainment" and educational materials. They are so simplistic, as if children cannot understand anything….Indeed.
Making only childish materials available to children is based on a huge misconception…. adults become convinced that children need simplistic materials for their entertainment and education, and they arbitrarily provide children with only these things. The great majority of children's toys and activity books are based on this basic misunderstanding….
The result is that society itself makes children look below themselves in their studies. It is not the children's fault that they are looking down. The adults are forcing them to look down….
The beauty of nature and the splendid fragrance of the arts are necessary for people from childhood. Whether they are exposed to such things daily for ten or twenty years or whether they have been exposed only to lowly, common things will determine that individual's sensibility for the rest of his or her life.
That is one of the core messages that I hope I am communicating in this blog: kids are capable of far, far more intellectually than most adults give them credit for. We are routinely denying children access to the best knowledge of nature and history that humans possess, and to our greatest cultural creations such as classical music, and instead feeding them "simplistic" pabulum considered “developmentally appropriate.”
That is not only an insult to our kids' intelligence. It also cripples our kids in developing the primary means of survival possessed by human beings – their minds.
While Kataoka’s specific interest was in music and music teaching, she makes clear that she intends her point to apply not just to music but rather to all aspects of a child’s development.
The entire essay is a bit over a page in length, and well worth reading: I hope you’ll take a minute to click and read it.