Last Week, Fort Worth, Tx., hosted a statewide summit on early learning, and public radio station KERA conducted an interview of three of the summit’s experts: a pediatrician, an economist, and a business leader, about “how early childhood programs and elementary educators can better prepare kids for academic success.”
The three interviewees are:
Dr. Neal Halfon, a pediatrics professor and director of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities
James Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning, University of Chicago professor of economics, and
Robert H. Dugger, Chairman of the ReadyNation Advisory Board and Invest in Kids Working Group
The conversation covers achievement gaps, parent engagement, kindergarten readiness, and the importance of being able to play well with others.
Of these crucial social and emotional skills, Dugger says, “From the business community, we think of these more as executive skills. These are the skills that enable a person to work effectively in a team.”
“If these skills are not in place by age 5 — kindergarten entry — they frequently don’t appear. We know that addressing them before age 5 works.”
To hear more, listen to the interview. It’s posted on KERA’s website and can also be downloaded.
And consider making a comment on the interview’s webpage to stir up the conversation on the importance of high-quality early education and care.