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Archive for the ‘Social-emotional development’ Category

“The problem is Massachusetts has a significant and persistent achievement gap, evident long before children enter school. Too many children show up for school already behind and too many of them will never catch up.

“As we have stated before, our country’s next greatest investment should be early childhood education.

“After all, the human brain develops more rapidly between birth and age 5 than during any other subsequent period.

“And according to several studies, children who participate in high-quality early childhood programs develop better language skills, score higher in school-readiness tests, and have better social skills and fewer behavioral problems once they enter school than those who do not have the benefit of pre-K services.”

“Early ed for all,” an editorial in the Cape Cod Times, July 16, 2017

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What do we know about preschool?

To find answers, researchers in different disciplines from a number of universities and from the think tank Brookings set up a task force to review the evidence “on the impact of state-funded pre-kindergarten programs.”

The result is a new report, “The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects,” released by Brookings and Duke University. Videos of related panel discussions are available here.

This effort produced “one, clear, strong message,” NPR reports. “Kids who attend public preschool programs are better prepared for kindergarten than kids who don’t.”

“This timely report can guide states and local communities, including several here in Massachusetts, as they continue to expand access to high-quality preschool,” Titus DosRemedios, director of research and policy at Strategies for Children, says.

Included in the report is a six-part consensus statement that says: (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Next month, Harvard’s Graduate School of Education is hosting a two-day program on the Science of Early Learning and Adversity.

Participants will learn about the “leadership and organizational strategies that support the design and implementation of strong early learning environments — those that buffer stress, reduce challenging behaviors, and promote development.”

“…working with expert facilitators and colleagues, participants will develop a strategic plan for leadership related to stress and classroom management in the early learning environments they lead.”

This event will be on June 22 and June 23, 2017, and it is open to “early education directors and administrators across the mixed delivery system,” as well as to coaches and leaders of early education service organizations. Tuition is $199. (more…)

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“Turns out one of the most effective ingredients for these early child care programs is interacting with the child. What I mean by interacting is a give-and-take. The term that’s used by the child development specialist is scaffolding, like building a sculpture — in this case of a human being. Staying with the child, taking the child to the next step, challenging the child. In that sense it’s very personalized education.

“It’s very time-intensive education, but it’s education that stays with the child. It also has another effect, which is that it engages, through the enhanced stimulation of the child, the parent. Parents themselves visit the center, so that there is also stimulation of the parent-child relationship that lasts long after the program itself is formally ended at age 5.”

James Heckman, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, “How Investing in Preschool Beats the Stock Market, Hands Down,” NPR, December 12, 2016

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Trainers are available to teach courses on the pre-K and kindergarten social and emotional standards.

The trainers are available to schools and districts. They “present the state’s newly-developed, 10-hour, six-module introductory course on the Massachusetts Preschool and Kindergarten Social and Emotional Learning and Approaches to Play and Learning standards.” according to the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE). “To receive a list of available trainers, email Jane Haltiwanger at jhaltiwanger@doe.mass.edu.”

“The course is designed to familiarize participants with the standards and includes sections on orienting participants to the standards and on social and emotional learning curriculum and instruction, assessment, family engagement, and the administrative role in supporting social and emotional learning and approaches to play and learning.” (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

“Expulsion is a punishment no preschooler should have to experience,” Kate Abbott writes in a recent Preschool Matters blog posted by NIEER (the National Institute for Early Education Research).

Abbott, the director of Early Education at the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, points to four “evidence-based points” that policymakers and early educators should keep in mind as the nation expands preschool:

• “Children who exhibit challenging behavior have the best chance of learning appropriate social skills when they are identified early and provided with effective interventions.”

• “Children who are not able to access interventions before age 8 are much more resistant to change.”

• “Schools and early education programs that are proactive and systemic in addressing the academic, behavioral and social emotional needs of students have greater success.”

• “A wealth of research exists identifying effective strategies for supporting students with challenging behavior at both a class and individual level.”

(more…)

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This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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Jennie Fitzkee

Jennie Fitzkee

 

My name is Jennie Fitzkee. I am an Early Childhood Educator teaching the Full Day, multi-age class preschool class at Groton Community School in Groton, Mass. This my 33rd year of teaching preschool. Lucky me!

“Back in the day,” women were encouraged to become a nurse, secretary, or a teacher. Fortunately, I decided to become a teacher. I made a good career choice! I use the word “career” because teaching young children is far more than a job. It shapes the lives of children and educates parents. That is powerful; both a responsibility and a thrilling challenge. (more…)

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