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Bringing Brain Science to Early Childhood

The Atlantic – Emily Deruy

“A group of scholars at Harvard University is spearheading a campaign to make sure the early-childhood programs policymakers put in place to disrupt intergenerational poverty are backed by the latest science. The idea sounds entirely reasonable, but it’s all too rare in practice, says Jack P. Shonkoff, the director of the university’s Center on the Developing Child and the chair of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. That’s because program grants and policies are generally structured in ways that incentivize “positive” results…On Wednesday, the center will publish a report that calls for an online and in-person network that uses recent advances in scientists’ understanding of the way young brains grow to create and test early-childhood interventions…In short, the idea is to invest in different people and programs who understand the science behind child development and give them the ability to test different interventions.”(more)

In China, We Send Our 2-Year-Olds To Preschool — And It’s Amazing

Babble – Tatum Hawkins

“When our family relocated from California to Shanghai, China, my daughters were 2-and-a-half years old and 8 months old. I found it so interesting that one of the first questions people we’d meet would ask us is where our oldest would be attending preschool. Not when or if, but where…Outside the U.S., it’s not uncommon for preschool to start earlier than 3 or 4 years old, and the children often attend all day, four to five days a week. Sending kids off to preschool is a no-brainer for many international parents…So we decided to take the plunge…As a parent, I love the international way of sending kids to preschool at a younger age, and for a number of reasons that I would never have considered before. Here are five of them…”(more)

Study shows the quality of early education programs matter

WLFI – Ali Ingersoll

““Early education is crucial,” Kathy Doody told News 18’s sister station WWLP. She is the early childhood program director at Buffalo State College. She says more and more people are seeing the value in early childhood education and that’s why programs are evolving and expanding. “We know that exposure to good education and early childhood really sets the stage for academic career,” said Doody.”(more)

Sesame Street to Continue Influence in Early Education With IBM Partnership

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“Sesame Workshop, the non-profit that produces Sesame Street and IBM are partnering to produce new personalized learning material for children in preschool grades. Sesame Workshop and IBM employees are currently working in classrooms and labs to develop “the next generation of learning tools.” Such learning tools will include products like “super-smart” toys that can adapt to a child’s developmental skills, learn-to-read apps, and classrooms tools for teachers to focus on individual student needs, said Variety Magazine.”(more)

White House Symposium Addresses STEM Education at An Early Age

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“Federal officials spoke of the importance of STEM education at an early age, especially for girls, at a White House Symposium on Early STEM in which they introduced a number of new initiatives, grants, and partnerships. Entrepreneurs, researchers, and educators all came together for the symposium in an effort to determine the best ways to introduce science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to young children whose brains are still developing. “This work on early STEM experiences is not just about ensuring a strong academic foundation,” Education Secretary John King said at the event. “It’s about the joy that comes in learning about and coming to understand how the world works.””(more)

Why early STEM education will drive the U.S. economy

CIO – Kenneth Corbin

“The Obama administration is continuing its push to advance math and science education this week, turning attention to early learning with the announcement of a slew of initiatives aimed at promoting the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, mathematics and engineering. The White House and Department of Education are positioning early STEM education as a key to the administration’s goal of elevating the nation’s competitive position, both by measure of student achievement and, in the longer view, by the economic and social benefits that follow from a workforce with a solid foundation in the subjects that are increasingly critical to the 21st century economy.”(more)