"At a time when there are quite vocal challenges to the wisdom of providing early care and education to children and families in need, Pianta and his coeditors have assembled leaders in the field to report on the state of the science and practice. This comprehensive handbook conveys current knowledge about all dimensions of early childhood education: its history, developmental processes that underlie practices, exemplary instruction, and systems to put practices in place in states and communities. The Handbook is the definitive work of its kind and will be a great resource for practitioners, policymakers, and education scientists."--Samuel L. Odom, PhD, Director, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Early childhood education has seen a dramatic explosion of research and programs over the past 20 years. This handbook not only examines the research of the past, it anticipates what we may discover in the future. Taken as a whole, these chapters address one of the most important questions we face as a nation: 'How can we improve the lives of children and families--particularly those living in poverty or those raising children under challenging conditions?'"--Samuel J. Meisels, EdD, President, Erikson Institute
"This handbook accomplishes two impressive feats. It brings together in one place a rich array of chapters that reflect the contemporary realities and knowledge base in early childhood education--and the writing is consistently clear and crisp. The volume promises to become a definitive reference and required reading for researchers, policymakers, program administrators, and students in early childhood education."--Deborah Lowe Vandell, PhD, Professor and Chair of Education, University of California, Irvine
"This handbook signals a new era--one in which early education is the foundation of a transformed public education system in the United States. Chapters on policy set the stage for the focus on learning and instruction, bolstered by chapters on development and on serving diverse learners. This volume will become an essential part of the preparation of educators, researchers, and policymakers striving to create a 21st-century education system that promises equality of opportunity for all children."--Ruby Takanishi, PhD, President and CEO, Foundation for Child Development, New York
From the Inside Flap
Early childhood education receives more attention and funding today than ever before, yet the quality of available programs varies widely. What interventions are most effective for promoting young children's school readiness? How can educators partner successfully with diverse families to help close the income- and race-based achievement gap? What are the obstacles to dissemination of evidence-based child care and preschool practices, and how can these obstacles be overcome? Bringing together foremost experts, this forward-thinking book reviews the breadth of current knowledge about early education and identifies important priorities for practice and policy. Part I describes the contemporary landscape of early education in the United States: what programs are in place; how they are utilized, administered, and funded; and their educational aims. Part II presents cutting-edge research on curricula and teaching methods that work. Coverage encompasses strategies for fostering specific skills--including language, literacy, and early mathematics and science--and for enhancing academic development overall. Next, Part III turns to the critical areas of social development and the family context of early education. Chapters describe exemplary approaches to supporting young children's executive functioning, self-regulation, social-emotional learning, and mental health. Rounding out the volume, Part IV addresses ways to better serve children with special needs, as well as how to strengthen the roles of early educators through professional development, higher education, and certification. Comprehensive and authoritative, this volume combines an impeccable research grounding with a strong applied focus. It belongs on the desks of researchers, teacher educators, and graduate students in early education, early literacy, child development, and special education; school and child care administrators; and education policymakers.