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Redefining Parent Engagement

by Margie Carter
November/December 2015
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/redefining-parent-engagement/5022634/

This summer I read a terrific little book by Michael Gramling (2015), The Great Disconnect in Early Childhood Education: What We Know vs. What We Do. I highly recommend it to anyone trying to figure out why publicly-funded ECE programs have not successfully addressed the achievement gap for children living in poverty. In the foreword to the book, Elizabeth Jones points out:

“The gap between rich and poor children in America hasn’t narrowed, as promised; it has widened. Public funding backfired. Preschools funded for the poor are caught in the canned curriculum and testing mania. The preschool experiences of privileged children are more likely to be developmentally appropriate (building on what all recent research now verifies) than are preschool experiences of young children who start out behind — and fall further and further behind…. Early intelligence grows through choices and complexity and self-esteem and negotiating with others — not through memorizing prescribed lists of facts.”

Along with his mates at Defending the Early Years (DEY, see References below), Gramling outlines some key problems that have led ...

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