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Archive for the ‘Social-emotional development’ Category

New research on racial segregation in early education has revealed a troubling trend.

“Nationwide, early childhood education is more segregated than kindergarten and first grade, even while enrolling a similar number of students,” according to the an Urban Institute report, “Segregated from the Start Comparing Segregation in Early Childhood and K–12 Education.”

“Early childhood programs are twice as likely to be nearly 100 percent black or Hispanic, and they are less likely to be somewhat integrated (with a 10 to 20 percent black or Hispanic enrollment share).”

Among the reasons this segregation is harmful:

“Research shows that the early years are the best time for children to learn tolerance and respect for kids from other races, cultures and backgrounds,” the Hechinger Report explains.

Halley Potter, a senior researcher at The Century Foundation, tells Education Dive, “Studies show that children learn more, in academic and social measures, when they have the chance to interact with peers who have different backgrounds and experiences. And these peer effects may be especially strong for young children in early education settings, for whom much of the day is spent in play and exploration alongside their peers.” (more…)

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Clifford Kwong and Amy O’Leary. Photo courtesy of Amy O’Leary

“My mother is the one who tried to scare me around from education,” Clifford Kwong says.

“Every time I showed interest in education, she asked me not to do it.” His mother, who had worked in education for decades, warned that his student loans would be high and his salary would be low.

Her advice: choose business or science.

But as a student at Boston College High School, to fulfill his school’s community service requirement, Kwong chose to work at a child care center in Quincy. “They told me I was a natural,” he says of his time there.

He didn’t think much of this feedback at the time. He was on his way to college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and he was taking his mother’s advice.

“I tried science,” Kwong says. “At the end of the day it didn’t feel like it was enough. Whereas at the end of a day doing community service, I felt great after working with kids.” (more…)

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Child/adult interactions are special and powerful – and don’t get the attention that they deserve.

Junlei Li is working to change that with Simple Interactions, an initiative that seeks to “encourage, enrich, and empower human interactions around children and their helpers.”

As we’ve blogged, Li was the co-director of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College. Now he’s the Saul Zaentz senior lecturer in early childhood education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).

Li “developed the ‘Simple Interactions’ approach to help identify what ordinary people do extraordinarily well with children in everyday moments and made that the basis for promoting positive system change,” his HGSE website says.

These child/adult interactions can occur in a range of settings, from early childhood and K-12 classrooms to afterschool programs and pediatric hospitals.

Li draws inspiration for his work from Fred Rogers, the famous children’s television show host of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood,” who left an indelible mark on generations of young viewers. (more…)

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“Perry significantly increased participants’ education, health, full-time employment and reduced incidence of anti-social behavior and crime.”

“Children of Perry participants excel in various life domains — despite growing up in neighborhoods that are similar or worse off than neighborhoods of the control group.”

“Fadeout is a myth — success isn’t a measure of IQ or academic achievement in elementary school, but long-term beneficial outcomes like schooling, employment, health and life achievement over time.”

 

Perry Preschool: Intergenerational Effects Webinar, research results from Professor James J. Heckman’s newest analysis of the Perry Preschool participants, May 13, 2019

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To teach the whole child, a new report says, it’s best for teachers to braid academics together with social-emotional learning.

“The promotion of social, emotional, and academic learning is not a shifting educational fad; it is the substance of education itself,” the report says, adding, “Social, emotional, and academic skills are all essential to success in school, careers, and in life, and they can be effectively learned in the context of trusted ties to caring and competent adults.”

Released by the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, the report — “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope” — looks at its 36-year-old predecessor, a report called a “Nation at Risk,” and provides a “a more hopeful assessment” of education in the United States. (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Last week, Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey announced a new, $355,000 initiative, the “Trauma-Informed Care for Young Children Grant Program.”

The program will “fund training and capacity building of early education and care providers to address the needs of children experiencing trauma,” according to a press release. Forms of trauma include “violence, separation from a loved one, stress due to poverty or related to the opioid crisis.”

As we’ve blogged before, violence, opioid addiction, and toxic stress are all challenges that early educators find among the children in their classrooms.

“Children who have experienced violence, substance use, and other trauma are especially in need of high quality care,” Healey said in the press release. “This grant will provide funding to strengthen these programs to help our most vulnerable children succeed.”  (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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My name is Lesley Byrne, and I work as a pre-K teacher in the Lowell Public Schools. I had worked in early childhood education for seven years when, in 1993, the Lowell initiated the first pre-K programs in its schools. I knew this was where I wanted to be, as I have always believed that providing a positive, first-school experience for families can lead to future school success. I was excited to work toward offering these experiences for children and families. 

For a few years, I was involved in The Family Literacy Program, a collaboration between the Lowell Adult Education program and the Early Childhood Education program. Imagine you’re a parent who is new to this country. You don’t understand English or American culture. Now imagine sending your child to a “foreign” school! The Family Literacy Program aimed to support these families. The program offered classes in English as a Second Language to parents of pre-K children. As one of the pre-K teachers at this time, I got to use my skills not only to educate and support the children in my class, but also to work with parents on how to support their child’s learning at home. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my teaching career.  (more…)

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