Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.
Even before President Obama announced his plans for early care and education in his State of the Union Address, the National Association for the Education of Young Children had sent a message to Congress, "Call to Action for the 112th Congress", which provides a helpful outline for assessing the President's new plans.
For example, here are two excerpts of relevance to the current debate:
"When assessment is directed toward a narrow set of skills, programs may ignore the very competencies that have been shown, to build a strong foundation for success in areas including, but not limited to, academics. As recently as 2008, the National Academies of Science issued cautions about the use of child outcomes assessments for high-stakes purposes....
"Provide joint professional development for teachers of young children in schools, child care programs, state-funded prekindergarten, Early Head Start, and Head Start — particularly preschool, kindergarten, and first grade teachers — in all areas of child development (including cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and approaches to learning)..."
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Be warned! Obama's idea and taktic is very socialistic and will never work. Please read between the lines and watch FOXS NEWS... that channel will give you a TRUE update on the "suppossed to be leader."
I am not particularly impressed by this document. In my opinion, NAEYC have been extremely lax in protesting against the the move to content standards and early academics in ECE programs. I notice in this document they have even changed the accepted terminology from developmentally appropriate to developmentally reasonable. The problem is, who decides reasonable? Developmentally appropriate is clearly based on the developmental needs of the child. Until NAEYC come out strongly against the focus on academics during the first eight years, produced by NCLB, I will not support such a document. The threat of moving Head Start into the public schools makes this issue even more critical.