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Changes in How We See Children

by Deb Curtis
July/August 2011
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/changes-in-how-we-see-children/5020020/

Which of these best describes how you see children?

• Children are inexperienced, vulnerable, and often get themselves into trouble; my first priority is their health and safety.

• Children say and do the darnedest things; they’re so cute and funny and always keep me entertained!

• Children need me to help them develop skills that will get them ready for school and life.

• Children are eager, curious, creative and competent learners, deserving of rich, challenging experiences to develop their fullest potential.

All of these statements have simple truths to them. Yet, how we see children is not so simple. Our view of children and childhood is rapidly changing in response to the pressures of modern life, new research on brain development and learning, as well as the belief that many young children in the United States aren’t ready for school. There are powerful messages coming from commercial, social, and political interests, as well as from many factions in our profession, suggesting solutions.

“Early Learning Matters” is a slogan that reflects the changes in how our culture sees children. Many state and community initiatives for early childhood education have names like Thrive by Five, Best Beginnings, and Project Liftoff. Federal policy has been ...

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