A Portrait of Preschool Teacher as Artist by Tom Hobson

In a profession that routinely suffers the slings and arrows of disrespect—it’s “just babysitting,” many say of early care and education—it’s exhilarating to find someone who’s shooting them right back.

When he’s not teaching two- to five-year-olds in a physically and emotionally safe environment in which children experiment with friendships, explore emotions, and discover their own power, Tom Hobson, a minority male in a deep-pink ghetto, eloquently weighs in at his blog.

A self-described idealist, he believes that early educators have the power to dramatically change society’s view of children and education, pushing up “child-lead, emergent, . . . Read full article →

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Defending Childhood: The Heat is On

I left the country for a week and a half and all hell broke loose. Robert Pondiscio took to the “Common Core Watch,” the bully pulpit for the conservative Fordham Institute, and asked if the blessed academic standards were too hard for kindergarten. Little did he know the wrath he would incur among those who know better.

The occasion for his musings—and supreme irritation—was the publication of Reading in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose, a report of Defending the Early Years (DEY Project) and the Alliance for Childhood. The paper, which I had Read full article →

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Protecting Kindergarten: A High-Priority Project

Ever since Daphna Bassok and Anna Rorem declared kindergarten the new first grade—they studied two data sets straddling the introduction of No Child Left Behind—the defenders of childhood have been working over-time to limit the collateral damage. Leading the charge is Nancy Carlsson-Paige, the author of Taking Back Childhood, and nationally renowned development expert (a.k.a. proud mom of two artistic young men who benefitted mightily from her holistic, child-centered application of theory into practice).

Carlsson-Paige’s third baby is the DEY Project, short for “Defending the Early Years,” a noble, Sisyphean endeavor in these hostile times for children’s . . . Read full article →

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Marian Wright Edelman: We Can End Child Poverty Now

When Marian Wright Edelman appears in my inbox, I know I’m in for a passionate, data-packed dose of righteous indignation. Why in the world’s second-largest economy—as of December, when China surpassed us—can we not muster the will to ensure that all our children are housed, fed, and educated?

Why indeed? How can we spend $400 billion on F-35 fighter jets, when we can fund the National School Lunch Program—now serving 31 million students annually—for nearly a quarter of a century? Edelman, whose photograph sat on my bedroom bulletin board, a moral compass for an adolescent coming of age, cites . . . Read full article →

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