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New project hopes to learn which pre-K experiences lead to later school success

Education Dive – Linda Jacobson

Four-year-olds in Massachusetts are more likely to attend formal early-childhood education programs, such as Head Start or a pre-K class, than 3-year-olds, according to the early results of a new longitudinal early education study from researchers at Harvard University. The findings, from a household survey, could suggest that more options are open to 4-year-olds or that parents are more motivated to enroll their children in preschool the year prior to kindergarten, the researchers say. Three-year-olds are just as likely to spend time in center-based programs as they are informal settings, such as friend, relative and neighbor care; a family child-care home; or at home with a parent.”(more)

Preschool’s Hidden Value May Be in Combating Poverty

The U.S. News and World Report – Staff Writer

“It’s been hard to prove that attending preschool makes a difference for kids, academically. Many research studies have found that children who didn’t go to preschool catch up to those who did in just a few years. By third grade, there’s often no difference in math and reading scores between the preschooled and the non-preschooled child. Experts call it “fadeout.” That hasn’t sat well with advocates of early childhood education. They point to other studies that have looked beyond elementary schools’ test scores, and have found that preschooled children are more likely to graduate from high school, be employed and raise families in stable marriages.”(more)

Preschool teachers need better training in science

Science Daily – Staff Writer

” Preschool instructors appear to lack the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively teach their young students science — a problem that is likely contributing to America’s poor global performance in this crucially important subject.”(more)

Analysis: Education Is Falling Behind in Race Against Robots. Here’s What U.S. Schools Can Do About It

The 74 Million – Tim Taylor

“The growth of automation and the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence in the workplace are starting to create an upheaval so profound that some people are calling it the fourth Industrial Revolution. Our education system as currently structured is incapable of preparing the workers of today and the future for this major transformation. There is still time to reinvent our education system from pre-kindergarten through adulthood so that it can provide people with the lifelong learning they’ll need to stay afloat in turbulent times.”(more)

OPINION: The case for investing in high-quality early learning

The Hechinger Report – Lillian Lowery

“Imagine a preschool classroom where every child is engaged in positive social, emotional and developmental learning activities. Children would be smiling and happy, enjoying the interaction with their teacher and each other — whether they’re delighting in story time or constructing towering cities with colorful building blocks. Where parents are vigorously engaged in their child’s education while simultaneously seeking opportunities to better their own lives.”(more)

Less plastic, more trees: New effort seeks to reinvent preschool playgrounds and capture kids’ imaginations

Chalk Beat – Ann Schimke

“The idea is to create outdoor spaces that capture kids’ imagination, connect them with nature and keep them active in every season. Such efforts grow out of a recognition in the education field that healthy habits start early and boost learning. Step by Step staff members had talked many times about their stagnant play space. But it was hard to envision anything different until they attended a design workshop with experts from ECHO, a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation, Qualistar Colorado and the Natural Learning Initiative at North Carolina State University.”(more)