Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Professionalization of Early Education

Historically, we as a country have invested little in early education, including pre-kindergarten.  And while not attending any pre-kindergarten programs might not have hindered students in the past, that is no longer the case.  The knowledge attained, the language acquired, and the skills developed in these early programs are critical to increasing student success in the K - 12 grades.

Several school districts have transformed their preschool programs by aligning them with their elementary schools through changes in curriculum, teaching methods, and student tasks.  Such changes require both a shift in mindset and a capacity to resource pre-k programs appropriately.  This shift includes creating conducive learning spaces, allocating sufficient resources, hiring and supporting highly qualified teachers, and compensating them accordingly.
A recent article by Lillian Mongeau, The Underestimation of America's Preschool Teachers: One City’s Attempt to Professionalize Early Education Could be a Model for the Nation, speaks to efforts at improving early education in the US.

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