A Vision for Universal Preschool Education

A Vision for Universal Preschool Education

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Decades of research point to the need for a universal preschool education program in the U.S. to help give our nation's children a sound cognitive and social foundation on which to build future educational and life successes. In addition to enhanced school readiness and improved academic performance, participation in high quality preschool programs has been linked with reductions in grade retentions and school drop out rates, and cost savings associated with a diminished need for remedial educational services and justice services. This 2006 book brings together nationally renowned experts from the fields of psychology, education, economics and political science to present a compelling case for expanded access to preschool services. They describe the social, educational, and economic benefits for the nation as a whole that may result from the implementation of a universal preschool program in America, and provide guiding principles upon which such a system can best be founded.show more

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About Edward Zigler

Edward Zigler received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1958, and came to Yale in 1959. During his 45 years at Yale, he has served as Director of the Child Development Program, Chairman of the Psychology Department, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Child Study Center at the Yale University School of Medicine. He founded and is Emeritus Director of the Edward Zigler Center for Child Development and Social Policy at Yale (formerly the Yale University Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy), the first center in the nation to combine training in developmental science and public policy. There are now over 40 centers based on Dr Zigler's model in universities throughout the country. As Professor Emeritus, Dr Zigler remains as active as ever in his scholarly and public education endeavors, continuing to research, write about, and speak on topics related to child development, early childhood education, and social policy. In addition to being one of the founders of the field of applied developmental psychology, Dr Zigler's research on the social and cognitive aspects of early childhood development, child care, and early intervention has helped to promote and shape the field's application of research findings to optimizing the lives of young children and their families. Dr. Zigler has had widespread influence on many national programs and policies. He helped to plan several national projects and policies, including Head Start, Follow Through, the Parent and Child Centers, Early Head Start, the first national Office of Child Care, the national Child Development Associate (CDA) certification program, the Family and Medical Leave Act. He also created the School of the 21st Century, which has been adopted by more than 1,300 schools in 20 states, and cofounded the CoZi model, which is a combination of Dr James P. Comer's School Development Program and Zigler's 21st Century School model. He is an advisor to numerou Walter S. Gilliam is the Director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy and an Assistant Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine. He is a fellow at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), and the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families (Zero to Three). Dr. Gilliam's research involves early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of prekindergarten and child care services, and the impact of early childhood education programs on children's school readiness. His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. Dr. Gilliam has led national analyses of state-funded prekindergarten policies and mandates, how prekindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness and educational achievement, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental studies on methods to improve early education quality. Dr. Gilliam actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers. His work has been covered in major national and international news outlets for print (e.g., The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, etc.), radio (e.g., National Public Radio), and television (e.g., NBC Today Show, CBS The Early Show, ABC World News, CNN, FOX, etc.). Stephanie M. Jones is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Fordham University. She completed her graduate work in the Psychology Department at Yale University and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. Her research is focused on tracking the longitudinal impact of broad ecological risks, such as poverty and exposure to community violence, on social-emotional problems and competencies in early childhood and adolescence. Dr Jones is also currently involved in a number of policy relevant evaluation studies of pre-school and school-based programs targeting emotional and behavioral problems of children at risk.show more

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. The universal preschool movement; 2. School readiness: defining the goal for universal preschool; 3. Economic returns of investments in preschool education Arthur J. Reynolds and Judy A. Temple; 4. The need for universal prekindergarten for children in poverty with Marguerite Malakoff; 5. The need for universal preschool access for children not living in poverty with Marguerite Malakoff; 6. Program quality, intensity, and duration in preschool education; 7. A whole child approach: the importance of social and emotional development; 8. Parent involvement in preschool Christopher C. Henrich and Ramona Blackman-Jones; 9. Professioal development issues in universal prekindergarten Kelly L. Maxwell and Richard M. Clifford; 10. What the school of the 21st century can teach us about universal preschool with Matia Finn-Stevenson; 11. A place for head start in a world of universal preschool with Sally J. Styfco; 12. A model universal prekindergarten program; Summary and recommendations.show more

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