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Early education narrows the achievement gap with younger starts and longer stays

Phys Org – Staff Writer

“New research from UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) reveals high-quality early education is especially advantageous for children when they start younger and continue longer. Not only does more high-quality early education significantly boost the language skills of children from low-income families, children whose first language is not English benefit even more. “These findings show that more high-quality early education and care can narrow the achievement gap before children reach kindergarten,” said Noreen M. Yazejian, principal investigator of FPG’s Educare Learning Network Implementation Study. “Children from low-income families can improve their standing relative to their middle class peers.” Yazejian said previous research has shown language skills are most malleable for children before age 4, which in large part explains high-quality early education’s powerful effects. Her study examined children’s receptive language skills—the ability to hear and understand words—because these particular skills are an excellent predictor of later academic success.”(more)

Nine ways to use language skills to get a job and boost your career

The Guardian – Georgie Bradley

“If you want to be able to use a language within a specific field, it’s essential to combine subjects, as a straight language degree may not command a big enough premium on the job market. Adam Marshall, executive director, policy and external affairs, British Chamber of Commerce, London says: “Companies look at language as part of a wider skills base – very few recruit on this alone. Pure language degrees are often seen as less valuable by prospective employers than degrees that combine other core skills.'”(more)

Nestle expanding research on child health and nutrition

Food Business News – Chad Orzel

“The research effort is on at Nestle S.A. The Vevey-based company earlier this week said it will expand its research on child health and nutrition to 10 countries, including the United States, China and Mexico, by the end of 2016. The research consists of two ongoing studies being conducted by Nestle: the Kids Nutrition and Health Study (KNHS) and Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS). According to Nestle, the studies provide snapshots of eating patterns, nutrient intakes, child lifestyle and behavioral factors, and healthy weight indicators of children up to 12 years of age. “Nestle will rely on FITS and KNHS learnings to continually improve the nutritional profiles of our products that address unmet nutritional needs, as well as communications, programs and services to inform health care providers, parents and caregivers” said Timothy A. Morck, vice-president of scientific and regulatory affairs at Nestle USA.”(more)

Science Is Essentially Human; Or Why Better STEM Education Isn’t A Threat

Forbes – Chad Orzel

“In the short bio that serves as a tagline here, I promise to write not only about physics, but science and academia as well. Fareed Zakaria has conveniently provided me with a hook to do just that, with a much-shared Washington Post piece headlined “Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous.” (“STEM” of course is the trendy acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.”) Zakaria’s piece is promoting his new book In Defense of a Liberal Education, and working where I do, I see a lot of these. Zakaria’s particular “defense” isn’t especially good or bad, as such things go, just a little more well-connected than most. As is very common with such things, he engages in a bit of rhetorical jiu-jitsu, giving examples of politicians disparaging the idea of majoring in arts or anthropology then decrying “this dismissal of broad-based learning,” as if suggesting students major in “practical” subjects was equivalent to saying they should never take even a single class in “impractical” subjects. In fact, what’s being questioned by calls for more and better STEM education is not the idea of broad-based education, but a different kind of narrowness, in which most students who go on to work in business and public policy do everything they can to avoid science classes.”(more)

Social studies education facing ‘crisis’ as class time is slashed, departments closed

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“It’s no secret that for years Social Studies (as well as the arts, science and physical education) have been given short shrift in many public schools around the country as academic emphasis has been placed on math and English Language Arts, the subjects for which there are high-stakes standardized tests. Now, Gorman Lee, president of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies, is warning that social studies education is facing a “serious civic crisis.” The state council is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit educational organization that advocates for social studies education. It is an affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies, which serves as an umbrella organization for elementary, secondary, and college teachers of history, civics, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and law-related education.”(more)