Early childhood

All that happens before a child reaches 5 years of age.

2 Gen Cville – helping families out of poverty, 2 generations at a time

My friend Rebecca has worked in community development in our city for nearly two decades. She knows and loves the children and families that she serves, and her heart breaks for them as she sees the same pattern repeated again and again: low-income mother-headed households with no way out. The Money: How hard is it? In one …

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What do we mean by Character?

Character Matters Educational journalist Paul Tough has written an important book on education, early childhood, and character called How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character. It appears on my recommended reading list. Tough makes a compelling case for the role of early experiences in forming character, which in turn powerfully shapes …

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The Economist: In the Beginning Was the Word

The Economist Gets it Right “Pre-school programmes are known to develop children’s numeracy, social skills and (as the term “pre-school” suggests) readiness for school. But they do not deal with the gap in much earlier in development . . . And it is this gap, more than a year’s pre-schooling at age four, which seems …

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Data Visualization: Inequality, Parenting and Brain Development

1. Parenting Quality by Income Quintile (from the Brookings Institution) The statistical distribution is almost a perfect correlation between parenting quality and income quintile. 2. Relative Economic (Im)mobility by Income Quintile (from the Pew Charitable Trust) Children in the top and bottom income quintiles are most likely to be income immobile. 3. Brain Development over …

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The Crisis of Empathy and Moral Ecology

“How are you today?” a caller asks Dave Ramsey. Ramsey responds without hesitation, “Better than I deserve.” What do you deserve? In Where is the Love? Nicholas Kristof laments the erosion of empathy for the poor, which he receives in the form of comments on his blog and Facebook page. Behind comments like, “Why should I have to …

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Pre-K is important, but not as important as parents

Last week two important pieces appeared in the New York Times concerning early childhood: Quality Preschool Is the ‘Most Cost-Effective’ Educational Intervention on the Motherlode blog, and Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K on the front page. The latter article attracted letters to the editor from experienced educational leaders. This one was particularly salient: To the Editor: The …

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