Extend the Learning
Great preschools embrace a focus on
the whole child, respect the unique
characteristics of individual children
and families, and are guided by the
principles of child development and a
scientific approach toward what works
in the classroom. Put into practice,
these premises are providing education
leaders with the research-based evidence they need to push back against
the constant pressure to teach young
children in the early grades with
methods better suited for older children.
Educators, be aware! Young students—from low-income families or
not—who have had a great preschool
experience are much more likely to
enter kindergarten confidently and joyfully, ready to learn and expecting to
play an active part in an engaging educational conversation. Teachers must
be ready for these students—ready to
provide the kinds of classroom experiences that will support and extend that
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Cynthia E. Lamy ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
is metrics manager for the Robin Hood
Foundation in New York, New York. She
is the author of American Children in
Chronic Poverty: Complex Risks, Benefit-Cost Analyses, and Untangling the Knot
(Lexington Books, 2012).