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Children experience toxic stress if there is pronounced activation of their stress-response systems, in situations in which they do not have stable caregiving. Due to…
Children experience toxic stress if there is pronounced activation of their stress-response systems, in situations in which they do not have stable caregiving. Due to their exposure to multiple poverty-related risks, African American children may be more susceptible to exposure to toxic stress. Toxic stress affects young children’s brain and neurophysiologic functioning, which leads to a wide range of deleterious health, developmental, and mental health outcomes. Given the benefits of early care and education (ECE) for African American young children, ECE may represent a compensating experience for this group of children, and promote their positive development.
On the basis of the data collected from 144 practitioners, we studied impact of the Palm Beach County Quality Improvement System (QIS) on practitioners. We found that (a…
On the basis of the data collected from 144 practitioners, we studied impact of the Palm Beach County Quality Improvement System (QIS) on practitioners. We found that (a) the duration of early learning coaching, (b) the intensity of career advisors, (c) quality workshops and conferences, (d) college courses, and (e) scholarship for books and supplies in relation to taking college courses are related to improving practitioners' job skills and level of certification and degree in early childhood care and education. We found that additional income to practitioners through the WAGE$ program is effective in retaining them. We also found that the professional development program has differential impact on practitioners of various racial and ethnic groups and that more encouragement and support should be given to African-American and Hispanic practitioners to engage in professional development and pursue advancement in the level of certificate and degree. All these findings have implications for the policy of early care and education in general and for other quality improvement initiatives for early care and education in particular.
Despite their documented benefits, evidence-based practices (EBPs) for early childhood social learning are not systematically implemented. Teachers are key players in the…
Despite their documented benefits, evidence-based practices (EBPs) for early childhood social learning are not systematically implemented. Teachers are key players in the implementation process of intervention programs and instructional practices. This is a viewpoint about teachers’ attitudes towards EBPs and their role in the successful implementation of EBPs for early childhood social learning.
The viewpoint draws on theoretical models of intervention implementation and innovation adoption to explore the importance of individual factors for EBPs implementation and to inform the understanding of the relationship between teachers’ attitudes and EBPs implementation in the context of early childhood social learning. Additionally, it is informed by the literature on research-informed teaching to identify novel opportunities of cultivating positive views towards EBPs for early childhood social learning.
According to implementation science, in addition to macro-level social and organisation factors, micro-level individual factors that pertain to professionals’ attitudes towards EBPs are related to successful adoption and implementation of EBPs in organisations. Hence, it is important that the investigation of the adoption and implementation of EBPs for early childhood social learning considers the role of teachers’ attitudes towards EBPs. A conceptual model is proposed to explain that research-informed teaching could contribute to fostering positive attitudes towards EBPs for early childhood social learning by raising awareness of the value and potential of research to transform pedagogy.
This viewpoint draws on EBPs implementation science to identify important factors of EBPs adoption and implementation for early childhood social learning that have not been considered extensively and offers a conceptual framework to help understand how research-informed teaching could be an innovative avenue of promoting EBPs implementation in education.
Family engagement is a central tenet of high-quality early education practice. However, the ways in which programs interact with families have varied significantly over…
Family engagement is a central tenet of high-quality early education practice. However, the ways in which programs interact with families have varied significantly over time and in relationship to program type. This chapter extends traditional notions of family involvement by emphasizing the potential of early care and education programs to effectively support parents and other primary caregivers in enhancing daily interactions with their children. Specifically, home visits are described as an important mechanism to influence parent-child interaction particularly when intentional, evidence-based curricula are employed. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on developing and implementing such home visiting models. In this chapter, we describe a specific example of the integration of the Promoting First Relationships (PFR) parent-child interaction curriculum (Kelly, Zuckerman, Sandoval, & Buehlman, 2008) into home visits in both home and center-based Early Head Start practice. Implementation aspects for enhancing existing family engagement strategies with an intentional home visiting curriculum are discussed with recommendations for future programming and research.
This chapter examines the context for the implementation of the global commitment to early childhood education (ECE) within the framing of the sustainable development…
This chapter examines the context for the implementation of the global commitment to early childhood education (ECE) within the framing of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) under SDG 4.2. We first define the concept of ECE as broadly understood in the field of education and in practice related to a focus on education of children. The essay adopts chronological age of children served outside of the formal school system, which has traditionally been recognized as basic education, to represent the population captured under ECE in both pre-school and pre-primary settings. UNICEF identifies those ages 3–6 to fall into this category. We present an exploration of the challenges and opportunities presented by multiplicity in multilateral agencies and other agencies driving the international initiatives around advancing ECE and the means by which they promote education opportunities for children. We offer a comparative perspective on the delivery, types, and funding mechanisms of ECE services in both developing and developed country contexts, which informs the possibilities for the realization of the SDG goal of inclusive quality education for all. An examination of the socio-cultural and economic context of accessibility to inclusive and equitable quality ECE is also presented. An overview of settings within which ECE is provided is interrogated within differing national contexts. We conclude with challenges and opportunities for sustained accountability, monitoring and evaluation of SDG 4.2 interventions from a comparative perspective.
The purpose of this paper is to deconstruct the extant scholarship on quality in early childhood education and to emphasize the importance of extending the literature to…
The purpose of this paper is to deconstruct the extant scholarship on quality in early childhood education and to emphasize the importance of extending the literature to explore the potential influence that a teachers’ educational background may have on kindergarten readiness for African American children in urban early learning settings.
Research has identified high-quality early education as a significant contributor to the academic success and development of young children. This paper examines current conceptualizations and trends in early childhood education related to the needs of African American children.
Our assessment indicates that the early learning of African American children in urban settings warrants further consideration by educational stakeholders. Specifically, the process and structural quality of urban early learning environments requires more culturally responsive approaches to policy and practice.
Improving the early learning opportunities of African American students in urban settings has practical and social implications that substantiate the value of the process and structural quality assessments. Recommendations for policy and practice are centered on a growth-based model of opportunities. Policy recommendations include creating urban teacher credentials and sustaining urban education, while practical recommendations include creating opportunities for vicarious experiences, affirming interactions and engaging in multicultural discourse.
Father involvement is a salient predictor of children’s development and recent studies suggest that African American fathers who are highly involved across infancy and…
Father involvement is a salient predictor of children’s development and recent studies suggest that African American fathers who are highly involved across infancy and toddlerhood have children who enter school better prepared to succeed. Little is known, however, about the specific dimensions of fathering (e.g., language stimulation) that contribute to the positive development of African American children during the early childhood period. Even less is known about psychological and contextual barriers to positive father involvement among African American men with very young children. The first part of this chapter briefly reviews empirical research that has delineated links between multiple dimensions of father involvement and child development in African American families. The second part of the chapter explores emerging evidence on the associations between fathers’ psychological functioning, father involvement and child development, and concludes with suggestions for future research, practice, and policy.
Inequalities in education have existed since the beginning of formal education. Educational disparities often emerge as you compare groups of students based on race…
Inequalities in education have existed since the beginning of formal education. Educational disparities often emerge as you compare groups of students based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, and geography. This chapter seeks to stress the important role that early childhood experiences, including specific structures and processes during these foundational years play in potentially preventing the educational gaps of Black students. This requires intentional shifting from solely focusing on educational gaps to one that focuses on specific practices and policies that must be implemented to ensure that Black children are afforded the opportunities to meet their potential.
High rates of union dissolution and repartnering among parents means that today’s youth are increasingly likely to spend some time living with a stepparent. Although…
High rates of union dissolution and repartnering among parents means that today’s youth are increasingly likely to spend some time living with a stepparent. Although family structure has been linked to adolescent well-being, most work has compared those in stepfamilies with those in intact families, so it is not clear which aspects of stepfamily life are more or less consequential for adolescent behaviors among those exposed to a co-residential stepfamily.
To examine stepfamilies more closely, we focus explicitly on youth who had ever lived with a stepfather using mother and child data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (n = 1,754). We specifically explore how structure and stability, timing of exposure, and sibling configuration influence risk-taking, operationalized as sexual debut and drug use at age 16.
We find that timing and sibling composition seem to be unrelated to risk-taking, but stepfamily structure and stability are highly salient. Adolescents currently in a cohabiting stepfamily and those who have experienced the dissolution of a prior stepfamily are more likely to engage in sex (and sometimes use drugs) than their counterparts living with only their stepfather in a married-parent family.
The findings highlight the importance of stability, more so than structure, timing, or sibling configuration, in understanding adolescent risk-taking. The results provide further evidence that children in stepfamilies have unique vulnerabilities and opportunities for resilience, and should be evaluated independently from samples of children from intact families to avoid a deficit approach in modeling and theorizing.
The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the impact of an “Early Steps Physical Education Curriculum” (ESPEC) in children's attitudes and awareness toward a healthy…
The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the impact of an “Early Steps Physical Education Curriculum” (ESPEC) in children's attitudes and awareness toward a healthy lifestyle in early childhood. ESPEC was a part of a five-European country intervention program named “Early Steps” project. Early Steps project was a European Union funded initiation that targeted at improving children's healthy lifestyle and social development. The main philosophy behind the “Early Steps” project was the use of physical education activities to help children acquire the basic knowledge of social interaction skills, and healthy and active lifestyle. The ESPEC was designed to improve children's awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The curriculum comprised of 24 physical education lessons, which aimed through the acquisition of several motor skills at making children in early childhood engage more actively in a healthy lifestyle. Results showed that children developed several healthy habits through their participation in play experiences provided by the “ESPEC for healthy lifestyle.” Such findings could lead to the conclusion that (a) children's attitudes toward a healthy lifestyle can be influenced positively and enhanced in a carefully organized physical education program and (b) curriculum-based initiatives that aim at improving children's attitudes and behaviors, such as the “ESPEC for healthy lifestyle” program, can be implemented effectively in early childhood education.