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RESEARCH ON EARLY CHILDHOOD GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT: What is “School Readiness”

October 16, 2016 by in category Research with 0 and 0

 

Selection:  Book reporting on a major early childhood study from the National Academies Press:

Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How (2008)

By Catherine E. Snow and Susan B. Van Hemel, Editors; Committee on Developmental Outcomes and Assessments for Young Children; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Board on Testing and Assessment; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council

Description

The assessment of young children’s development and learning has recently taken on new importance. Private and government organizations are developing programs to enhance the school readiness of all young children, especially children from economically disadvantaged homes and communities and children with special needs.

Downloadable for free at:

https://www.nap.edu/catalog/12446/early-childhood-assessment-why-what-and-how

500 pages | 6 x 9

ISBNs:

Paperback: 978-0-309-31442-8

Hardcover: 978-0-309-12465-2

DOI: 10.17226/12446

 

Dear Families,

School readiness has become of great concern in our country.  We all agree that sometimes, to know what a child really needs, we have to engage in valid and reliable assessments.  We of course hope to create and foster successful lifelong learning pathways for each individual and unique child, with the ongoing in-the-moment and long-term goal being that of helping our children live happy, fulfilling, responsive, and responsible lives.  Research shows us that genuinely and consistently loving relationships are foundational to the growth and development of young children. Our Enlightened and Empowered Kids Preschool, Inc., NFP (E&E) REAL© curriculum is founded on the importance of your loving presence in the education of your little ones.  This effort of E&E is well-supported by the ongoing synthesis of the compelling depth and breadth of early childhood research.  Here are two excerpts from the opening pages (29-33) of the above title.  Please note that the social-emotional component is of utmost importance in this research.  Note that the red ink was done by me for emphasis and is not in the original text that way.  My final thought to share is a quote from Urie Brofenbrenner, in the White House Conference on Children,  (1972)  stated:

“We confront a fundamental and disturbing fact: Children need people in order to become human…child rearing is not something children can do for themselves…it is through interaction with adults and children of different ages that a child acquires new interests and skills and learns the meaning of tolerance, cooperation, and compassion [and the child] develops both his ability and his identity…we are experiencing a breakdown in the process of making human beings human…we must institute changes in the education of the young so that they are exposed not only to social values but to experiences in which these values are implemented through example and personal participation.” (Bronfenbrenner, 1972, pp. 663-664)

Wishing you all of Life’s Blessings,

Maureen

 “Conclusion:         

Well-planned and effective assessment can inform teaching and program improvement, and contribute to better outcomes for children. Current assessment practices do not universally reflect the available information about how to do assessment well. This report affirms that assessments can make crucial contributions to the improvement of children’s well-being, but only if they are well designed, implemented effectively, developed in the context of systematic planning, and are interpreted and used appropriately. Otherwise, assessment of children and programs can have negative consequences for both. The value of assessments therefore requires fundamental attention to their purpose and the design of the larger systems in which they are used….

The largest body of child-oriented federal, state, and local policies focuses on a subset of goals for child development: It is fairly uncontroversial that society should legislate and appropriate funding to ensure safety and health and to promote academic achievement. Much less attention has traditionally been devoted to happiness; trustworthiness; friendship and social relationships; membership in family, society, or nation; moral development; or leading a productive life….

One might conceptualize the policies as a map that provides a distorted representation of the underlying landscape, much as the Mercator projection of the earth greatly overestimatesthe areas of land masses at the poles. The “policy projection” of child development has often shrunk the size of social, emotional, and relational domains to focus on health and academics. This perspective directly reflects (and may indeed result from) the “researcher’s projection” and the associated “measurement projection.” Somewhat more attention has been given by the field of child development to language, literacy, and cognition than to happiness, emotional health, friendship, or morality (although some of these goals are beginning to attract research attention and to be represented in states’ early childhood standards), and the tools available to measure development in that first set of domains are more numerous and more precise.”  (pages 29-33, Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How, 2008, ©., Catherine E. Snow and Susan B. Van Hemel, Editors; Committee on Developmental Outcomes and Assessments for Young Children; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Board on Testing and Assessment; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council

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