Activities should be included that enable children with different learning styles and strengths to learn. Each curriculum should include a companion guide for teachers that explains the teaching goals, alerts the teacher to common misconceptions, and suggests ways in which the curriculum can be used flexibly for students at different developmental levels. Recommendation 9: The committee recommends that the U. Department of Education and the U. Department of Health and Human Services support the use of effective technology, including videodiscs for preschool teachers and Internet communication groups.
Opportunities to see curriculum and pedagogy in action are likely to promote understanding of complexity and nuance not easily communicated in the written word. Internet communication groups could provide information on curricula, results of field tests, and opportunities for teachers using a common curriculum to discuss experiences, query each other, and share ideas. States can play a significant role in promoting program quality with respect to both teacher preparation and curriculum and pedagogy.
Recommendation All states should develop program standards for early childhood programs and monitor their implementation.
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These standards should recognize the variability in the development of young children and adapt kindergarten and primary programs, as well as preschool programs, to this diversity. This means, for instance, that kindergartens must be readied for children. The standards should outline essential components and should include, but not be limited to, the following categories:. Recommendation Because research has identified content that is appropriate and important for inclusion in early childhood programs, content standards should be developed. The content standards should ensure that children have access to rich and varied opportunities to learn in areas that are now omitted from many curricula—such as phonological awareness, number concepts, methods of scientific investigation, cultural knowledge, and language.
Recommendation A single career ladder for early childhood teachers, with differentiated pay levels, should be specified by each state. Recommendation The committee recommends that the federal government fund well-planned, high-quality center-based preschool programs for all children at high risk of school failure.
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Such programs can prevent school failure and significantly enhance learning and development in ways that benefit the entire society. Policies that support the provision of quality preschool on a broad scale are unlikely without widespread public support. To engender that support, it is important for the public to understand both the potential of the preschool years, and the quality of programming required to realize that potential. Recommendation Organizations and government bodies concerned with the education of young children should actively promote public understanding of early childhood education and care.
Beliefs that are at odds with scientific understanding—that maturation automatically accounts for learning, for example, or that children can learn concrete skills only through drill and practice—must be challenged. Systematic and widespread public. Parents and other caregivers, as well as the public, should be the targets of such efforts.
Recommendation Early childhood programs and centers should build alliances with parents to cultivate complementary and mutually reinforcing environments for young children at home and at the center. Research on early learning, child development, and education can and has influenced the development of early childhood curriculum and pedagogy. But the influences are mutual. The committee believes that continued research efforts along both these lines can expand understanding of early childhood education and care, and the ability to influence them for the better.
Although it is apparent that early experiences affect later ones, there are a number of important developmental questions to be studied regarding how, when, and which early experiences support development and learning. Recommendation The committee recommends a broad empirical research program to better understand:. Variation in brain development, and its implications for sensory processing, attention, and regulation;.
The implications of developmental disabilities for learning and development and effective approaches for working with children who have disabilities;.
With regard to children whose home language is not English, the age and level of native language mastery that is desirable before a second language is introduced and the trajectory of second language development. Recommendation The next generation of research must examine more rigorously the characteristics of programs that produce beneficial outcomes for all children. In addition, research is needed on how programs can provide more helpful structures, curricula, and methods for children at high risk of educational difficulties, including children from low-income homes and communities, children whose home language is not English, and children with developmental and learning disabilities.
Much of the program research has focused on economically disadvantaged children because they were the targets of early childhood intervention efforts. But as child care becomes more widespread, it becomes more important to understand the components of early childhood education that have developmental benefits for all children.
With respect to disadvantaged children, we know that quality intervention programs are effective, but better understanding the features that make them effective will facilitate replication on a large scale. The Abecedarian program, for example, shows many developmental gains for the children who participate. But in addition to the educational activities, there is a health and nutrition component.
And child care workers are paid at a level. Whether the program effect is caused by the education component, the health component, or stability of caregiver, or some necessary combination of the three, is not possible to assess. Research on programs for this population should pay careful attention to home-school partnerships and their effect, since this is an aspect of the programs that research suggests is important.
Child and Adolescent Psychology
Research on programs for any population of children should examine such program variations as age groupings, adult-child ratios, curricula, class size, looping, and program duration. These questions can best be answered through random assignment, longitudinal studies. Such studies raise concerns because some children receive better services than others, and because they are expensive. However, random assignment between programs that have very similar quality features, but vary on a single dimension a math curriculum, for example, or class size would seem less controversial.
The cost of conducting such research must, of course, be weighed against the benefits.
Early Childhood Development - Essay Example
Given the dramatic expansion in the hours that children spend in out-of-home care in the preschool years, new knowledge can have a very high payoff. An important line of research is emerging in this area and needs continued support. All assessments, and particularly assessments for accountability, must be used carefully and appropriately if they are to resolve, and not create, educational problems. Assessment of young. The first five years of life are a time of incredible growth and learning, but the course of development is uneven and sporadic.
Assessment itself is in a state of flux. There is widespread dissatisfaction with traditional norm-referenced standardized tests, which are based on early 20th century psychological theory. There are a number of promising new approaches to assessment, among them variations on the clinical interview and performance assessment, but the field must be described as emergent. Much more research and development are needed for a productive fusion of assessment and instruction to occur and if the potential benefits of assessment for accountability are to be fully realized.
The growing consensus regarding the importance of early education stands in stark contrast to the disparate system of care and education available to children in the United States in the preschool years. As the nation moves toward voluntary universal early childhood programs, parents, and public officials face important policy choices, choices that should be informed by careful research.
Recommendation Research to fully develop and evaluate alternatives for organizing, regulating, supporting, and financing early childhood programs should be conducted to provide an empirical base for the decisions being made. Compare the effects of program variations on short-term and long-term outcomes, including studies of inclusion of children with disabilities and auspices of program regulation. Examine preschool administration at local, county, and state levels to assess the relative quality of the administrative and support systems now in place. Review the evidence that should inform state standards and licensing, including limits on group size and square footage requirements.
At a time when the importance of education to individual fulfillment and economic success has focused attention on the need to better prepare children for academic achievement, the research literature suggests ways to make gains toward that end. Parents are relying on child care and preschool programs in ever larger numbers. We know that the quality of the programs in which they leave their children matters. Much research still needs to be done.
Child Development Research Paper Topics to Score High
Moreover, the considerable lead by other developed countries in the provision of quality preschool programs suggests that it can, indeed, be done on a large scale. Clearly babies come into the world remarkably receptive to its wonders. Their alertness to sights, sounds, and even abstract concepts makes them inquisitive explorers--and learners--every waking minute. Well before formal schooling begins, children's early experiences lay the foundations for their later social behavior, emotional regulation, and literacy.
Yet, for a variety of reasons, far too little attention is given to the quality of these crucial years. Outmoded theories, outdated facts, and undersized budgets all play a part in the uneven quality of early childhood programs throughout our country. What will it take to provide better early education and care for our children between the ages of two and five? Eager to Learn explores this crucial question, synthesizing the newest research findings on how young children learn and the impact of early learning. Key discoveries in how young children learn are reviewed in language accessible to parents as well as educators: findings about the interplay of biology and environment, variations in learning among individuals and children from different social and economic groups, and the importance of health, safety, nutrition and interpersonal warmth to early learning.
Perhaps most significant, the book documents how very early in life learning really begins. Valuable conclusions and recommendations are presented in the areas of the teacher-child relationship, the organization and content of curriculum, meeting the needs of those children most at risk of school failure, teacher preparation, assessment of teaching and learning, and more.
The book discusses:. Eager to Learn presents a comprehensive, coherent picture of early childhood learning, along with a clear path toward improving this important stage of life for all children. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.
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