Archive for the ‘Professional development & preparation’ Category

Patricia Hnatiuk teaching at Wheelock College.  Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Patricia Hnatiuk teaching at Wheelock College.
Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children


How are colleges and universities doing at training early educators? A new policy brief — “Early Childhood Higher Education: Taking Stock Across the States” — provides answers, pointing to fragmented efforts that need more organization and consistency.

The brief is based on information collected through the Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory, “a research tool for describing the landscape of a state’s early childhood degree program offerings at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.”

The inventory is administered by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California at Berkeley. The organization also produced the policy brief.

The brief “highlights findings from inventories conducted in seven states to date —California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island — on the extent to which ECE teacher preparation is currently integrated across the birth-to-age-eight continuum, and on variations in field-based practice opportunities for teachers of young children.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

“On behalf of the nation’s governors, we urge Congress to enhance state early childhood education programs by continuing Preschool Development Grants as part of FY 2016 appropriations.

“Governors understand that early childhood education is a key component of building a literate, knowledgeable and skilled 21st century workforce. Preschool Development Grants, including expansion grants, enable governors to build on their efforts to promote school readiness by accelerating state-focused innovation to improve access and quality in early childhood education. States use the program to better serve our youngest students, including English language learners and early learners with disabilities; improve the professional development of preschool teachers and administrators; and expand access to early education programs to thousands of students.”

A letter from the National Governors Association to Congress, November 10, 2015

Read Full Post »

“My husband is among about 50 adults who are participating in an Oakland Public Library program to train volunteers to read to low-income three and four year olds in preschool and Head Start classrooms for a half hour each week. He has just completed his 18 hours of mandatory training, plus two observations of storytime conducted by child librarians. Once he presents his assignment to fellow volunteers (which involves two books, several fingerplays and songs as well as ideas about how to handle challenges that might arise with eager and squirmy listeners) he will be cleared to face his assigned preschoolers.

“Some hear about this training and think it is excessive; as a former preschool teacher, I consider this level of preparation appropriate for a volunteer, but far too little for a preschool teacher. Disturbingly, however, my husband’s volunteer training exceeds that of many teachers working with preschool-age children each day across our country…”

“Despite all we have learned about the crucial development in the first years of life and the important role of teachers in facilitating early learning, ECE [early childhood education] jobs offer little premium to those teachers who have earned degrees.”

“It’s time to change how we prepare and support early childhood educators,” by Marcy Whitebook, posted on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website Impatient Optimists, October 19, 2015

Read Full Post »

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) wants to know what you think preschoolers should know about science, technology, and engineering.

EEC is requesting public feedback on its adoption of Pre-Kindergarten Science, Technology and Engineering Standards.

From studying the moon to understanding more about the earth’s rocks, soil, and water, these topics capitalize on children’s natural curiosity and excitement about how the world works – making the preschool years an ideal time to learn these lessons.

We blogged about the standards a couple of years ago when they were in draft stage. As we explained then, the standards cover “biology and the life sciences (plants and animals); earth and space science; and the physical sciences.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

J.B. Pritzker is best known as a Chicago-based venture capitalist and philanthropist. He has also donated millions of dollars to early education. But this fall, Pritzker is sporting a new job title: early education policy wonk.

Pritzker has co-authored a paper, with the nonprofit Bridgespan Group, called “Achieving Kindergarten Readiness for All Our Children: A Funder’s Guide to Early Childhood Development from Birth to Five.”

In the paper, Pritzker and his co-authors point to the vast unmet need for high-quality early education and care — and they argue that philanthropists can play a key role.

As a related fact sheet explains, “Remarkably, 1 in 4 American children come from low-income families and enter kindergarten not ready to learn.” And, “50% of all low-income children from birth to 5 are at risk of not being fully prepared for kindergarten.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

The University of Massachusetts – Boston held its third annual Early Education Leadership Forum earlier this month, highlighting research done by students in its Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice Post Master’s Certificate Program.

UMass has been actively developing new education pathways for early educators to help them lead both in the classroom and in the policy arena.

As we blogged about UMass’s program last year, “In Massachusetts, it’s clear that these two educational systems — preschool and higher education — should develop in concert with each other, so that early educators are always learning the newest concepts and strategies for teaching young children.”


A Spotlight on Early Educators

The leadership forum’s topics included “supporting children’s social and emotional development, building positive family and community relationships, and early education and care policy and systems change. Tom Weber, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, was the keynote speaker.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Woodland Early Learning Center. Photo Source: U.S. Department of Education Flickr page

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Woodland Early Learning Community School. Photo Source: U.S. Department of Education Flickr page

“As our country continues to move forward on the critical task of expanding access to high-quality early learning programs for all children, we must do everything we can to ensure that children with disabilities are part of that,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said earlier this month while he was visiting the Woodland Early Learning Community School in Kansas City.

“Duncan visited the city public school as the first stop on his annual 10-city Back to School bus tour,” the Kansas City Star reports. “This year’s tour, under the theme ‘Ready for Success,’ was set to highlight the importance of including children with disabilities in high-quality early learning programs and to push the importance of community focus on early childhood education.”

To encourage this work, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have released a “Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,134 other followers

%d bloggers like this: