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Ed Policies Ignore Science on How/When Children Learn

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  • BBracey@aol.com
    This articile has clickable links on the Washington Post Site. From ABC to PHD It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. -- Einstein Learn
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 2, 2010
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      This articile has clickable links on the Washington Post Site.


      From ABC to PHD

      "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." --
      Einstein Learn everything you need to stay sane during the school years
      with veteran education writer Valerie Strauss and her guests.

      Ed policies ignore science on how/when kids learn

      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/guest-bloggers/how-ed-policies-ignore-s

      My guest is Lisa Guernsey, director of the Early Education Initiative
      at the New America Foundation.

      By Lisa Guernsey
      Our education system starts at age 5, pays little attention to
      children’s development and achievement until third grade, and is strewn
      with remedial programs to get older children back on track.
      Meanwhile, studies keep pouring forth that highlight the importance of
      children’s earliest years – birth to age 8 – in developing the mental
      capacity that enables life-long learning.
      In short, our education policies don’t align with the latest science on
      how and when children learn. American public education is out of whack.
      Two new books drive home this point: Mind in the Making: The Seven
      Essential Life Skills All Children Need and Britain’s War on Poverty. A
      third piece of reading -- a landmark study in the journal Child
      Development published this spring – also makes the argument for getting
      smarter about policies that affect young children and their later
      achievements in school.
      Now, I don’t mean to get too heavy. I know summer is for beach reading
      about the girl with the dragon tattoo, not education and child policy.
      So let me summarize as quickly as I can:
      Mind in the Making is, in essence, a parenting book. But author Ellen
      Galinsky, the president and co-founder of the nonprofit Families and
      Work Institute in New York City, doesn’t talk about diapers and baby
      food.
      She bases her arguments on dozens of experiments on how and when
      children form ideas about the way the world works and what they need to
      learn. The science makes clear that children need adults in their lives
      who recognize that abilities are not preordained by genetics. When
      parents and caregivers engage in one-on-one conversations with
      toddlers, for example, they help children develop the language skills
      needed to succeed at reading, writing and communicating in their later
      years.
      Britain’s War on Poverty, by Jane Waldfogel of Columbia University, is
      a book for policy wonks. It tells the story of a country getting it
      right.
      In 1999, the United Kingdom pledged to halve the poverty rate among the
      nation’s children. At the time, 26 percent of children lived in poverty
      – a number that was higher than any other European country and
      mortified many Brits. Ten years later, the rate is 12 percent, while
      the rate in the U.S. is on track to hit 22 percent, according to recent
      data from the nonprofit Foundation for Child Development.
      How did Britain do it? Waldfogel goes into rich detail about the
      multitude of policies that were changed to help families with young
      children. These included generous paid maternity leave, better benefits
      for single parents on welfare, improvements in the quality of child
      care, universal access to preschool and improvements in elementary
      schools.
      The Child Development article, led by Greg Duncan of the University of
      California at Irvine, showed that babies, toddlers and preschoolers who
      grow up in poverty are more harmed by its effects than older children.
      Other studies have shown that the effects of poverty on brain
      development are linked to cognitive ability in later years. But Duncan
      demonstrates that the impact of being poor is still evident, 37 years
      later, in incomplete schooling and jobless rates.
      The harm starts at birth, with poverty elevating the stress parents
      feel, which can cause an increased likelihood of harsh parenting
      practices. These have the greatest impact during the early childhood
      years when the mother-child relationship serves as the foundation for a
      child’s ability to regulate his emotions.
      That regulation, in turn, has an effect on children’s achievement,
      behavior, and health.Meanwhile, with little money to spare, parents
      cannot afford to financially support emergent literacy with books and
      high-quality child care or preschool.
      All three readings lead to one conclusion: It’s beyond time to give all
      American children – especially those in poor circumstances -- exposure
      to language-rich and cognitively stimulating environments in their
      earliest years. This doesn’t mean just increasing access to preschool,
      though that would help.
      (More than 5 million children under age 6 live in poverty, according to
      Kids Count, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Head Start, the
      federal preschool program for poor kids, is available to about a
      million children birth to age 5. State-funded pre-k, where it’s
      available, covers another million. That means we’re leaving more 3
      million children out – and that’s not including families with moderate
      incomes who still find preschool and child care unaffordable.)
      An education system aligned with the latest science would help poor
      parents increase their incomes so they can provide for their children.
      It would create better parental leave and “extended time off” policies
      to help parents find time to care for their children and learn along
      with them.
      And it would offer a comprehensive early childhood system with
      effective teachers who help children develop and learn, starting at
      birth and including preschool if parents wish, and extending all the
      way up through the early grades of elementary school.
      Yes, the recession and the federal budget deficit make this difficult.
      But there’s no better time to revamp public policies to match up with
      our new understandings.
      Cognitive and social development starts in the womb and requires
      sustained, high-quality nurturing throughout childhood. We can keep
      waiting for more books that make us feel like we live in a backward
      country. Or we can start transforming policies to revise our education
      system with children’s earliest years in mind.
    • BBracey@aol.com
      Correct Link http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/guest-bloggers/how-ed-policies-ignore-science.html#more ... From: bbracey@aol.com To:
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 2, 2010
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        Correct Link

        http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/guest-bloggers/how-ed-policies-ignore-science.html#more

        -----Original Message-----
        From: bbracey@...
        To: bbracey@...; wwwedu@yahoogroups.com;
        net-gold@...; K12AdminLIFE@yahoogroups.com;
        mls-digitaldivide@yahoogroups.com; mlsalumni@...;
        sigde@...
        Sent: Mon, Aug 2, 2010 7:27 am
        Subject: Ed Policies Ignore Science on How/When Children Learn


        This articile has clickable links on the Washington Post Site.


        From ABC to PHD

        "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." --
        Einstein Learn everything you need to stay sane during the school years
        with veteran education writer Valerie Strauss and her guests.

        Ed policies ignore science on how/when kids learn

        http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/guest-bloggers/how-ed-policies-ignore-s

        My guest is Lisa Guernsey, director of the Early Education Initiative
        at the New America Foundation.

        By Lisa Guernsey
        Our education system starts at age 5, pays little attention to
        children’s development and achievement until third grade, and is strewn
        with remedial programs to get older children back on track.
        Meanwhile, studies keep pouring forth that highlight the importance of
        children’s earliest years – birth to age 8 – in developing the mental
        capacity that enables life-long learning.
        In short, our education policies don’t align with the latest science on
        how and when children learn. American public education is out of whack.
        Two new books drive home this point: Mind in the Making: The Seven
        Essential Life Skills All Children Need and Britain’s War on Poverty. A
        third piece of reading -- a landmark study in the journal Child
        Development published this spring – also makes the argument for getting
        smarter about policies that affect young children and their later
        achievements in school.
        Now, I don’t mean to get too heavy. I know summer is for beach reading
        about the girl with the dragon tattoo, not education and child policy.
        So let me summarize as quickly as I can:
        Mind in the Making is, in essence, a parenting book. But author Ellen
        Galinsky, the president and co-founder of the nonprofit Families and
        Work Institute in New York City, doesn’t talk about diapers and baby
        food.
        She bases her arguments on dozens of experiments on how and when
        children form ideas about the way the world works and what they need to
        learn. The science makes clear that children need adults in their lives
        who recognize that abilities are not preordained by genetics. When
        parents and caregivers engage in one-on-one conversations with
        toddlers, for example, they help children develop the language skills
        needed to succeed at reading, writing and communicating in their later
        years.
        Britain’s War on Poverty, by Jane Waldfogel of Columbia University, is
        a book for policy wonks. It tells the story of a country getting it
        right.
        In 1999, the United Kingdom pledged to halve the poverty rate among the
        nation’s children. At the time, 26 percent of children lived in poverty
        – a number that was higher than any other European country and
        mortified many Brits. Ten years later, the rate is 12 percent, while
        the rate in the U.S. is on track to hit 22 percent, according to recent
        data from the nonprofit Foundation for Child Development.
        How did Britain do it? Waldfogel goes into rich detail about the
        multitude of policies that were changed to help families with young
        children. These included generous paid maternity leave, better benefits
        for single parents on welfare, improvements in the quality of child
        care, universal access to preschool and improvements in elementary
        schools.
        The Child Development article, led by Greg Duncan of the University of
        California at Irvine, showed that babies, toddlers and preschoolers who
        grow up in poverty are more harmed by its effects than older children.
        Other studies have shown that the effects of poverty on brain
        development are linked to cognitive ability in later years. But Duncan
        demonstrates that the impact of being poor is still evident, 37 years
        later, in incomplete schooling and jobless rates.
        The harm starts at birth, with poverty elevating the stress parents
        feel, which can cause an increased likelihood of harsh parenting
        practices. These have the greatest impact during the early childhood
        years when the mother-child relationship serves as the foundation for a
        child’s ability to regulate his emotions.
        That regulation, in turn, has an effect on children’s achievement,
        behavior, and health.Meanwhile, with little money to spare, parents
        cannot afford to financially support emergent literacy with books and
        high-quality child care or preschool.
        All three readings lead to one conclusion: It’s beyond time to give all
        American children – especially those in poor circumstances -- exposure
        to language-rich and cognitively stimulating environments in their
        earliest years. This doesn’t mean just increasing access to preschool,
        though that would help.
        (More than 5 million children under age 6 live in poverty, according to
        Kids Count, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Head Start, the
        federal preschool program for poor kids, is available to about a
        million children birth to age 5. State-funded pre-k, where it’s
        available, covers another million. That means we’re leaving more 3
        million children out – and that’s not including families with moderate
        incomes who still find preschool and child care unaffordable.)
        An education system aligned with the latest science would help poor
        parents increase their incomes so they can provide for their children.
        It would create better parental leave and “extended time off” policies
        to help parents find time to care for their children and learn along
        with them.
        And it would offer a comprehensive early childhood system with
        effective teachers who help children develop and learn, starting at
        birth and including preschool if parents wish, and extending all the
        way up through the early grades of elementary school.
        Yes, the recession and the federal budget deficit make this difficult.
        But there’s no better time to revamp public policies to match up with
        our new understandings.
        Cognitive and social development starts in the womb and requires
        sustained, high-quality nurturing throughout childhood. We can keep
        waiting for more books that make us feel like we live in a backward
        country. Or we can start transforming policies to revise our education
        system with children’s earliest years in mind.
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