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Archive for the ‘Early educators’ Category

Chad d'Entremont, executive director of the Rennie Center. Photo: Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy

Chad d’Entremont, executive director of the Rennie Center. Photo: Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy

 

“Cognitive and non-cognitive skills are inextricably linked,” Harvard’s Nonie Lesaux said during a panel discussion at the Condition of Education event hosted by the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy.

There’s a growing consensus in education that children can’t develop strong cognitive skills without non-cognitive “soft skills” such as focus, persistence, and getting along with others. Indeed, the two categories of skills may be more linked than we realize.


 

Last week, the Rennie Center released the findings of its 2016 “Condition of Education in the Commonwealth” report at an event in Boston’s Omni Parker House Hotel. This year’s report focused on social-emotional learning, a hot topic among educators, parents, and researchers. The topic was so hot that #COE2016 was trending on Twitter during the event.

Covering education trends from birth to college and beyond, Rennie’s work includes a focus on high-quality early education. (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

A recent blog post from NIEER (the National Institute for Early Education Research) takes an inspiring and wide reaching look at the past year.

“Looking back over 2015, it’s been a year packed with action around early childhood education at NIEER, in the states, and across the country,” NIEER’s Preschool Matters blog says.

The blog points first to a U.S. News and World Report opinion piece that provides a summary of the year, noting:

“The needs of our nation’s littlest learners have garnered increasing attention in 2015. Although early learning still takes a back seat to K-12 education and higher education in national policy debates, state and national politicians are incorporating calls for early childhood investments into their stump speeches, philanthropic funders are targeting resources to early learning and, according to a new First Five Years Fund poll, average Americans increasingly recognize the importance of early learning for children’s long-term success.”

(more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

The University of Massachusetts – Boston is launching its new PhD program in Early Childhood Education and Care. It’s an exciting step that promises to create new leadership paths for early educators.

As we blogged in October, “UMass has been actively developing new education pathways for early educators to help them lead both in the classroom and in the policy arena.”

Building on UMass Boston’s bachelor’s, master’s, and post master’s degree programs, the new PhD program will “produce future leaders who are prepared to transform opportunities and outcomes for young children through skilled research, policy development, and innovative practices.”

The program will be “both research-intensive and policy- and practice-oriented.” Student will use their knowledge to “address pressing, meaningful problems in the development of young children, especially in underrepresented and underserved populations, including those living in poverty, with disabilities or developmental delays, and from immigrant or refugee groups, within the U.S. and also in developing countries.” (more…)

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“New York state voted in September to gradually raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15. Many employees working in early childhood centers in New York, however, make less than that. An assistant teacher with a bachelor’s degree currently earns about $13.94 in the city, reports DNAinfo.

“‘If fast food workers deserve $15 per hour, then surely those teaching our most vulnerable children every day deserve significantly more,’ David Nocenti, Executive Director of the child care network Union Settlement, told the outlet [DNAinfo] in September.”

From the Huffington Post article, “The Teachers Who Educate Our Youngest Kids Are Struggling To Make Ends Meet,” by Rebecca Klein, December 7, 2015

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

There’s mom. There’s apple pie. And across the country, there is widespread, bipartisan support for early education and early educators.

That’s the finding of a new market research study commissioned by NAEYC (the National Association for the Education of Young Children).

Now NAEYC is working to turn this popular support into transformative action.

The research findings highlight “three discrete yet interconnected areas: (1) the image of the profession; (2) paths to define and grow the profession; and (3) voters’ commitment to investing in the profession,” NAEYC explains on its website.

NAEYC’s market research builds on an Institute of Medicine report called, “Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8,” which was released earlier this year.

While the Institute of Medicine report drew on the knowledge of experts, NAEYC sought feedback from voters and early educators. Specifically NAEYC’s research had four parts:

• in-depth, online qualitative interviews with early educators

• a quantitative online survey of early educators

• four focus groups with current educators and those interested in entering the field, and

• a national survey of 950 voters (more…)

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Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

States face a persistent problem: Classrooms full of children who struggle to read.

“Only about one-third of all children attending school in the United States can read proficiently by fourth grade,” the New America foundation explains on its website. “The numbers are even more dismaying for our most vulnerable students. How can state policymakers lessen the achievement gap and improve literacy outcomes for all children?”

To find answers, New America has taken a look at all 50 states’ birth-to-third-grade policies.

The resulting report is a ranking of states called, “From Crawling to Walking: Ranking States on Birth- 3rd Grade Policies that Support Strong Readers.”

“Accompanying the research are interactive maps of state progress displayed via New America’s data visualization and policy analysis tool, Atlas.” This is an easy, graphic way to access findings for individual states. (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

Three things we’re grateful for:

New America’s report on Massachusetts’ birth-to-third-grade policies

This amusing article about what reading does to your brain and the news that the national nonprofit RIF (Reading is Fundamental) plans to give away collections of “50 high quality children’s picture e-books.” To find out more go to www.billionebookgift.org

* This cool conference video from NAEYC (the National Association for the Education of Young Children) and the power of early educators. Click here to see more NAEYC videos.

 

 

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