Tagged “Early Childhood Education”

Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: Where Does Early Childhood Education Fit Within Our National Priorities?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. Recently the ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll addressed where quality early education falls within U.S. priorities and goals.

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Klea Scharberg

Throughout October: Early Childhood Education

What does "education" mean for our youngest learners? The first years of school are as important for an educated population as any other period, perhaps more. Additionally, research shows that implementation of high-quality preschool programs can be beneficial for the lifelong development of children in low-income families and that an upfront commitment to early education provides returns to society that are many times more valuable than the original investment.

With the current focus on standards and academic achievement, is learning and testing coming too early? Curriculum and assessment should be based on the best knowledge of theory and research about how children develop and learn with attention given to individual children's needs and interests in a group in relation to program goals. Join us throughout October as we look at the importance of early childhood education and the specific social, cognitive, and emotional needs these learners have that are different from those of older learners. If early childhood is where we begin to build skills and behaviors such as persistence, empathy, collaboration, and problem solving, are we teaching in developmentally appropriate ways?

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Start Empathy

Empathy from the Beginning

Post written by Laura White for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization. Also published in Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Terrie Rose - Ashoka FellowHow early should you be thinking about developing empathy in your child? According to Dr. Terrie Rose, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of Baby's Space, the work of developing a child's emotional readiness for school and life happens before they are even born. In the following interview, Dr. Rose shares some of her insights and advice from her new book, Emotional Readiness: How Early Experience and Mental Health Predict School Success, on how to help children be empathetic and healthy individuals.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Free Webinar: Children Are Born to Learn

Join Wendy Ostroff, author of the recent ASCD book Understanding How Young Children Learn: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom, in a free webinar on how to engage children in learning through motivation. How children learn is the single most important subject for teachers to understand. And to understand learning in all its complexity, we need to examine its development.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 3:00 p.m. eastern time
Register now!

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Walter McKenzie

iPedagogy: From Piaget to iPads

I've had ongoing discussions with artists and educators who aggressively advocate for high-quality human experience they believe they can provide via handheld tablets. The artist is adamant his iPad paintings are a valid form of art. The educator is touting his implementation of iPads to kindergarteners in a Maine public school district. In both cases, I asked the same question: "Are you advocating for this because it adds value, or just because you can?"

I ask the question because we live in the age of "just because I can." We don't need a reason. We simply push the boundaries of traditional assumptions. If I can do something that couldn't be done five years ago, it has de facto value and any arguments are invalid. In a virtual-world vacuum this may be true; in a vacuum there are no real-world implications. But as educators, there are very real implications for how we think about research-based learning theory and the integration of technology into learning. I continue to think through this personal pedagogical dilemma, as a veteran educator and techie. I write this as an open invitation to you to think this through with me.

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Dianna Minor

The Effects of Early Learning

We have come to a pivotal point in education. The effects of early learning have consistently shown that children who do not have a strong start will continue to lag behind and encounter major barriers in the latter grades. Data from early grades have been powerful predictors of achievement and outcomes. Therefore, strong foundational skills in reading, math, and writing are fundamental for successes in high school, college, and in the workplace.

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Start Empathy

Math, Science, Literacy, and Empathy Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Neon Tommy - Creative Commons

Post written by Sharon Lazich for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.

In February President Obama laid out an ambitious agenda to invest in our young people, calling for early childhood education for every child in America. In his own words:

"Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on—by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own."

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John Farden

Giving Our Kids an Early Start to Success

John Farden - Save the Children

It is our favorite time of the day, right after the nightly bubble bath, just before bedtime—snuggled up in our rocking chair with a pile of story books.  As far as my 20-month-old son knows, this time is all about cuddling, telling stories, singing songs, and having fun. But I know better. The truth is, I am giving him an invaluable gift—a head start towards success in kindergarten, grade school, high school, then college and a career.

Despite our busy schedules, my wife and I have read to our son nearly every night of his young life. We do this because we have read the parenting books and research that say it is what we are supposed to do. But we also do it because we both have parents who instilled in us the value of education, starting by reading with us when we were very young.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Strong Readers All: What Would It Take ... ?

Post written by Naomi Thiers, associate editor, Educational Leadership

EL Summer 2012

What would it take to make all the children we serve strong readers?

It's a bold question to ponder as you prepare for the coming school year. Sadly, according to the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, U.S. students are not all strong readers. But authors in ASCD's Educational Leadership (EL) summer issue, "Strong Readers All," share stories of how they successfully helped all learners improve their reading skills—by using nontraditional approaches at every grade level.

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Molly McCloskey

Best Questions: Mental Health

Despite the rumors, school improvement is hard. It's not about a single passionate leader. It's not about "fixing" teachers and teaching or parents and parenting. It's not about poverty. It's not about money. And it's not about standards. It's about all of them. And more.

In this column, I'll take on the real deal of school improvement—for all schools, not just certain kinds. And for all kids. Because it's not about quick fixes or checking off the instant strategy of the moment. It's about saying, "Yes, and...", not "Yes, but..."; no matter what our circumstances are. It's about asking ourselves the best questions.

More than 20 years ago, I spent one school year as the full-time school counselor in an early childhood center in Washington, D.C. Our enrollment was 250 full-day preK and kindergarten students in an old, huge brick building with 20-foot high ceilings and massive center courtyard-like hallways. I spent the year in easily washable clothes and with my hair in a ponytail at all times because, as anyone who has ever worked in early childhood can tell you, fancy clothes and fancy hair don't mix well with peanut butter and finger paint. It may have been the best job (before this one at ASCD, of course) that I ever had.

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