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Inquiring into Early Childhood Education. Focusing advocacy efforts NAECTE Nov. 3 rd , 2010 Anaheim CA. Focusing advocacy efforts. How do we benefit from collective knowledge and wisdom? How do we improve the school experiences of our most vulnerable children?

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Inquiring into Early Childhood Education

Focusing advocacy efforts

NAECTE

Nov. 3rd, 2010

Anaheim CA


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Focusing advocacy efforts

  • How do we benefit from collective knowledge and wisdom?

  • How do we improve the school experiences of our most vulnerable children?

  • What are foundational processes for young children?

  • What if we really used research to guide our practice?



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Improving school experiences for vulnerable children

  • In order to change the outcomes, we have to change the experiences

  • We need new lenses through which to examine practice and promote the teacher as researcher

  • We need to move beyond an evaluative approach to a collaborative, inquiry-based approach.


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Percent Retained in NC by Ethnicity and Gender (K-3) in 2007-08





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Inquiry focused on the impact of race and poverty on the classroom experiences of minority boys

  • Arbitrary rules

  • The easily injured child

  • Links between literacy and relationship

  • MOVE!!!


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Re-Think Foundational Processes

  • Attachment

  • Self-Regulation

  • Memory

  • Representation


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Using Research to Guide Practice

Prescriptive and Didactic Curriculum

  • Teachers may feel a need to provide a narrower, more prescriptive and didactic curriculum for African American and Latino children as a means of directly addressing the achievement gap (Lee & Ginsburg, 2007).

  • This strategy may be backfiring by giving African-American and Latino/Hispanic children less time to explore materials on their own and fewer scaffolded teaching interactions, inadvertently exacerbating the achievement gap by reducing children’s autonomy and minimizing the press for higher-order thinking (Early et al., in press).


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Teaching Approaches by Grade Level


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Using Research to Guide Practice

Exposure to academic oral and written language

  • Low-income children hear fewer words and are engaged in fewer extended conversations. Children in higher income homes will be exposed to 45 million words compared to only 13 million words for a child in a low income family (Hart & Risley, 2003)

  • The difference in reading materials in the home accounts for approximately 89% of the reading achievement gap between poor and non-poor students at age 14 (Fryer & Levitt, 2002).



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Using Research to Guide Practice

Research suggests that when parents, families and communities are engaged in deep and meaningful ways in actually shaping, defining and developing their children’s schools and educational experiences, child outcomes improve.

(McCarty, 2002; Murrell, 2002; Native Hawaiian Education Council, 2002; Scheurich, 1998)


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Using Research to Guide Practice

Connections between home and school

Minority families were found to have limited involvement in traditional at-school activities (e.g., Back-to-School nights, PTA, volunteerism, school governance committees). However, they…

  • Taught their children to value education

  • Offered verbal support to do well in school

  • Assisted with homework

  • Involved their children in other youth groups, such as church groups

    (Lopez, 2001)


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How do we get our teachers where we need them?

  • Generate the inquiring mind

  • Promote professionalism

  • Help them articulate their practice

  • Let data and research drive practice

  • Do unto others…..parallel processes


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Contact Information

  • Sharon Ritchie

  • FPG Child Development Institute

  • UNC-Chapel Hill

  • www.firstschool.us

  • [email protected]


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