“As researchers concerned with promoting young children’s healthy development and well-being—ones who regularly partner with communities and states working on early childhood policy and practice—we know all too well that…children are ‘too small to fail.’ But our work, and the work of our colleagues, also makes clear: If children are too small to fail, then the influence of adults on their success is too powerful to disregard. If our concern is children, why focus on adults?” So write Nonie K. LeSaux and Stephanie M. Jones on the Harvard Educational Publishing Group blog.
“Because the quality of children’s early learning environments and experiences depends upon the educators and leaders on the ground. Any effort to expand high-quality early education begins with the adults tasked with delivering on its promise…
Strengthening and expanding early education—putting our collective knowledge into real-life action—means addressing the needs and capacities of the adults with whom we entrust children’s care and development.”
And in the best-selling book, From Teaching to Thinking, Ann Pelo and Margie Carter echo the need to support early educators in deep ways: “In the face of suffocating press of accountability requirements, we align ourselves with the courageous educators and administrators living from a place of hope rather than despair. We strive to tell a story about education and its purposes that invigorates our commitments to justice and to joy…This story holds a vision of education to which we are eager to be held accountable, as it invites us to reimagine our work.”
Naturally, children are eager for connective relationships, they are curious, they are thinkers. This foundational text is a pedagogical companion for educators that strengthens their own development as thinkers, researchers, innovators, and constructors of knowledge so that they can pass on this way of being to the children in their care.
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I was able to find the original posting of this piece on the blog. But, as usual, very little focus is directed at the central issue: pay and benefits. All the rhetoric in the world about skills and knowledge of early childhood caregivers and teacher is totally meaningless until we provide salaries and benefits that not only attract competent and knowledgeable people, but also enable them to stay and to continue to increase their knowledge and skills. I get so tired of intellectuals continually telling us how to increase the quality of our field without fully recognizing this central issue.