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New research shows quality early childhood education reduces need for later special ed

The Conversation – David Philpott

“If a formula existed for giving children something that reduced the need for, or intensity of, later special education that can be both emotionally and financially costly, wouldn’t it be excellent? Such a formula does exist. It’s called quality early childhood education. I was part of a team of special education researchers that examined the impact of early childhood education in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. More than 50 years of data were offered to us by longitudinal studies that tracked children who received this quality education and compared their development to children who did not.” (more)

Senators Introduce Bill to Support Early Childhood STEM Education, STEM Equity

The Journal – Sara Friedman

“Leadership in the House Science, Space and Technology Committee is putting its support behind a bipartisan Senate effort to boost research in STEM education initiatives for young children under the Building Blocks of STEM Act legislation. The new bill directs the National Science Foundation to equitably distribute funding for early childhood education in its Discovery Research PreK-12 program. This program seeks to improve the learning and teaching of STEM in the classroom.” (more)

Editorial: Florida’s STEM push is paying dividends

The Florida Times-Union – Editorial

“WalletHub, the personal finance website, recently unveiled another of its frequent rankings. This time the focus was on states’ STEM companies and workforce — those firms and jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math — and offered mixed reviews for Florida. The rankings were determined by states’ “human capital” — for example, the number of STEM professionals, the ratio of science and engineering grads in the overall workforce, eighth-graders’ scores on science and math exams — and the “innovation environment” — which was based on things like the number of tech companies relative to the total number of businesses, spending on research and development and the number of patents issued within the states.” (more)

Seven reasons to teach Mandarin

TES – Katharine Carruthers

“Language learning in UK schools is in decline. GCSE take-up of these subjects in some areas has dropped by as much as 50 per cent, and the trend continues at A level: the number of students studying German A level, for example, has dropped by 45 per cent since 2010, while French – still the most popular foreign language – has also been in steady decline. But there’s one language that’s bucking the trend. It’s one that could open up a new world of opportunity to students. It’s the most widely spoken first language in the world. It is Mandarin.” (more)

New Studies Show Benefits of Arts-Focused Field Trips

Education Next – Jay P. Greene

“Lost in the shuffle of that busy week, some graduate students and I released two new studies of the medium-term effects of students receiving multiple arts-focused field trips to the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. We randomly assigned school groups to a treatment that involved three field trips per year to visit an art museum, see live theater, and listen to the symphony, or to a control condition. Among the treated students, some received 3 experiences over 1 year and some received 6 experiences over 2 years.” (more)

Boys’ attention and prosocial behaviour linked to earnings 30 years later

The Conversation – Francis Vergunst

“New research, published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, shows that boys from low-income backgrounds who were inattentive in kindergarten had lower earnings at age 36 while boys who were prosocial earned more. The study was based on analysis of nearly 1,000 boys from low-income neighbourhoods of Montréal. The boys were assessed by kindergarten teachers at age six for inattention, hyperactivity, aggression, opposition and prosocial behaviours (such as being kind, helpful and considerate) and followed up for 30 years. The childhood behavioural assessments were then linked to their tax return records in adulthood.” (more)