Preschool teachers are adopting new techniques to control students’ behavior that focus on impulse control, the Wall Street Journal reports. Seeking to counter a growing trend in rowdiness among young students, progressive curricula involve structured daily playtime during which kids take an imaginary trip to a pretend destination. Each plays a role—barber, librarian, or baby, for example—and must stick to the chosen role for the whole 45-minute playtime.
By forcing kids to stick to the rules of even such a casual game, teachers instill groundwork for “executive function”—the ability to exert self-control and focus on a task. It's a throwback to role-playing games of generations past, one educator acknowledges: "What parent do you know who opens the door in the summer and lets children rove around the neighborhood?"