Early Childhood at the Table: A Forum on Social Mobility

Early childhood is not a hot topic in the nation’s intellectual salons. Which makes the Boston Review’s “New Democracy Forum” on promoting social mobility nothing short of a revelation. Since early fall, I’ve been lugging around the magazine, whose cover is graced by an adorable infant and a cover line that asks: “IS THIS CHILD DOOMED to a life of low wages, poor health, and crime? Sensationalistic, you bet, but could the cause be better?

Hosting this salon is Nobel prize-winning economist James Heckman, whose praises I often sing, and who, once again, delivers . . . Read full article →

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Tech 2.0: Getting it Right

Everybody’s talkin’ technology, indeed. My post a couple of weeks ago unleashed a lively discussion in the LinkedIn Early Childhood Education, Child Care, and CCR&R Professionals Forum (What a mouthful. It’s a wonder that this field develops any cohesive identity!).

Here were the questions I posed: How is the use of “screen time” by adults affecting young children’s development? Their acquisition of language? Their sense of self with others? Their driving need, as the late psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner once said, to have someone who’s really crazy about them?

Your responses ranged all over the map—from . . . Read full article →

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Education Reform: NY-Style

This week, I spent three hours at a public hearing of New York State’s Education Reform Commission, hosted by the Bank Street College of Education. I listened, along with a respectable, if not overflowing, audience—this was smack in the middle of the work day—to testimony that covered the waterfront: from system structure, to teacher quality, to early education, technology, parent engagement, and equity. I was riveted (mostly), my wonkish cravings fed delicious helpings of politics and policy, New York-style (read: intense). You can check out the webcast in your spare two seconds of time—one young mom I know . . . Read full article →

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Everybody's Talkin' Technology

I was late to my usual speed walk the other morning. A good thing, as all of the children of my neighborhood were out and about, in NYC’s Riverside Park, doing their stuff in the clear autumn air. A group of squirming elementary school kids gathered in a field, huddled with their teacher, ready to begin a soccer game. A toddler pushed a swing she could barely reach, enjoying her power and mastery. A baby sat in her stroller, drinking in the world of dogs, people, birds, and changing colors. The common denominator, with the exception of the school-aged group: . . . Read full article →

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