School is for learning to live, not just for learning


OpalIn 2012, when I was part of a study group visiting the schools and meeting with the educators working in schools in Reggio Emilia.
The diverse group of 68 educators gathered together with the intention of using what we saw in the schools to help spark a discussion focused on developing a greater view of the possibilities for educating children. The group consisted of teachers of very young children, elementary school teachers, college teachers, administrators, and consultants. The tangible outcome of our discussions can be found in the recently published book, The Teacher You Want to Be. Our Statement Of Beliefs and an introduction by Alfie Kohn begin the book, followed by fifteen essays and interviews.

One of the study group participants was Susan Mackay, the director of the prestigious Opal Charter School and the Portland Children’s Museum in Portland Oregon. Susan is inspiring because she not only has a clear vision of what education should be, but she allows it to happen in her child-centered school, where the many positive advantages of a constructivist education are visible. Her recent TED talk, School is for learning to live, not just for learning, says it all in her articulate and passionate presentation. I hope that you will take a few minutes to listen to this video. It’s so much worth your time.

Just click onlink to hear Susan’s TED talk. (I guess it’s obvious that I’m not up to date about using technology!)

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Fungus, or what we’ve been doing with all those mushrooms

Lately, I’ve been both depressed and angry at the inappropriate curriculum that has been imposed on young children. Then, every once in awhile, I encounter a teacher who is defying the move towards test prep, test prep, test prep and academic pushdown at the expense of joy, inquiry, exploration and play. I’ve decided to start sharing the work of some of these teachers. I hope it make you feel good. Sharing it is good for my soul.

This week I’ll begin with a study that was done by the wonderful Amy Meltzer. Amy teaches kindergarten at a Jewish Day School, the Lander Grinspoon Academy in Northhampton, Massachusetts. Amy refers to the school as a Gan. When I looked it up it seems to be (and I hope I have this correctly!) the Hebrew for an enclosed garden.

Believe it or not, she and her class did a study of Fungus! Here is Amy’s blog post about her study.



Many, many people have wondered why we study fungus in the Gan. It’s not a typical unit of study in many elementary schools, but in my opinion, it ought to be. First of all, fungi are just amazing. They pop up overnight in the strangest and often most overlooked places, and they are both complex and beautiful. They are in great abundance in the wild in the Fall, when we typically delve into a science topic in our Writing Workshop. Many varieties can be purchased at supermarkets, farmers markets and asian markets, allowing children to investigate, compare and contrast numerous varieties. As nature’s recyclers, they help teach important lessons about conservation, awareness and life itself. (If you haven’t already read it, check out the article in last week’s Sunday Times Magazine about mushrooms.)

We are visual creatures; to us, forests seem places made of trees and leaves and soil. But all around me now, invisible and ubiquitous, is a huge network of fungal life, millions of tiny threads growing and stretching among trees, clustering around piles of rabbit droppings; stitching together bush and path, dead leaves and living roots. We hardly know it is there until we encounter the fruiting bodies it throws up when conditions are right. But without fungi’s ceaseless cycling of water, nutrients and minerals, the forest wouldn’t work the way it does. Perhaps the greatest mystery of mushrooms is that they are the visible manifestations of this essential yet unregarded world.


Our unit began with a trip to Arcadia, to see a variety of mushrooms and begin to learn about their important work – clearing the forest floor and helping to turn dead matter into rich soil. As a nice surprise, our guide happened to speak Hebrew! The children each took at least one photograph of the amazing specimens we saw that day. The pictures are on display in the Gan.


We then began our close observations of the most well known mushroom, the white mushroom – the ones that come in blue plastic boxes and wrapped in cellophane in the supermarket. We practiced working like scientists, trying to document what we noticed in our science journals.






IMG_2229After becoming well acquainted with your average mushroom, we headed down to Tuesday Market and visited the booth of New England Wild Edibles.



Thanks to some generous contributions, we were able to purchase five varieties of mushrooms to study. This time, we recorded our observations in clay – but not until we had a chance to do some free exploration with this new medium!





Our mushrooms are being fired and should be ready to come home at the end of the week.

As we continued to document what we know and observe in our science journals, we added a bit of whimsy into our study. After looking at images of some of the most beautiful mushrooms on the planet, we designed imaginary mushrooms – featuring the parts of a real mushroom – but with imagined colors, shapes and designs. Aren’t they gorgeous?






Speaking of whimsy, we are singing this song every day. Debbi Friedlander taught at our school many years ago and stopped by last year for an impromptu concert. We hope she’ll return this year some time.

And of course, many of you have seen our new “class pet”, a shiitake mushroom growing log from MycoTerra farm. We’ve already harvested a few dozen mushrooms, and today we’ll be picking some to make spore prints.

This week, we are winding down our mushroom unit with a little foray into yeast, part of the fungus family. We watched a very cute video which described yeast cells as “yeast monsters” who burp carbon dioxide. We are trying to catch and grow some wild yeast in a mixture of flour and water to create our own sourdough starter.


I could probably spend a whole year learning about fungus, but all good things must come to an end wind down at least a little.


I’ll keep looking for early childhood teachers who take their students on exciting journey’s of exploration. It’s good for my soul!

PLAY ON THE MOVE: A conference dedicated to the import

Jimmy playing houseThe Association for the Study of Play
2016 International Conference of The Association for the Study of Play (TASP)
American Association for the Child’s Right to Play (IPA/USA)
Graduate School of Education
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ
March 16-19, 2016
Play on the Move
Link to Proposal Form

After over two decades of play being systematically pushed out of the lives of children, youth and adults, we are at a tipping point. From multiple articles in The New York Times to research reports in neuroscience journals, play is being (re)discovered and is moving to the forefront of conversations on everything from invigorating classroom practice and addressing global conflicts, to understanding brain chemistry and advancing inter-species relations.

What does this moment offer? What doors are opening for the further study of play? What can we do to make a difference?

The 2016 TASP/IPA conference is an opportunity for the field to come together and explore the current state of play, including theoretical, empirical, and applied work that informs our knowledge of play throughout the lifespan and across contexts.

We hope to generate momentum to move the importance of play further into the public domain. The organizing committee has chosen the theme of Play on the Move and we are eager to bring together a diverse group of researchers, practitioners, and advocates, both those new to play and those who have made it their life’s work. We are particularly excited to expand the reach of TASP and IPA to emerging fields and arenas of practice that could enrich and be enriched by our experiences together at the 2016 annual meeting.

Proposals are encouraged from all academic disciplines related to play and from play practitioners and advocates. Submissions from undergraduate researchers and graduate students are encouraged. All proposals will go through a peer-review process.

Below is a brief description of the possible formats sessions may take:
Individual Papers – These sessions will be arranged by the program committee around research themes comprised of four related papers within one session.

Organized Session – A group of papers or presenters submitted together and organized around a common theme with a chair and an optional discussant.

Workshop/Performance – These interactive or performance- based sessions will focus on current issues in play centered on research, practice and/or advocacy.

Roundtables – These sessions will include informal presentations of student research, research in progress, pilot studies, and play-oriented programs. Presenters will discuss their research/practice with small groups of interested participants.

Posters – Participants wishing to share their work in a visual medium may submit posters presenting new research and scholarly work. The sessions will provide opportunities for presenters to discuss their work informally with interested participants.

To submit a proposal, please complete the proposal form. You will need to have:
• contact information of all the presenters
• title of proposal
• presentation abstract of 200 words or less
• program description of 50 words or less
• bios for all presenters
• audio-visual needs
• preferred day of presentation
Please note that all presenters will be required to register for the conference.

If you have any questions or are having trouble submitting your proposal
please contact:
Carrie Lobman
[email protected]

The Teacher You Want To Be

12039638_1172012686147732_4765401342733201865_nIt’s almost here! On October 22, Heinemann will publish The Teacher You Want to Be, the book that grew out of a 2012 study tour to Reggio Emilia that Matt Glover and I organized. The tour gathered together a group of educators to visit Reggio’s world-famous pre-schools and their new elementary school. We used our observations to jump-start some meaningful conversations that would broaden our thinking about the teaching of literacy.

Our group discussions while we were in Italy, both with the teachers and parents from the Reggio schools and by ourselves in the evening, were thought provoking and exhilarating. We returned to the US determined to keep the conversation going among ourselves and with the public. All of the participants were invited to write personal reflections on their trip experiences. These reflections formed the basis of our Statement of Beliefs, thirteen beliefs describing how children should be learning and how schools and educators can best approach teaching. Each belief is quite descriptive, dealing with what we see as the major issues challenging American education.

Heinemann then got on board and decided that these beliefs were so important that they deserved to be reflected upon by some of our most important minds in education and shared with the public. Now we are almost ready with the final product. The Teacher You Want To Be is a beautiful publication, edited by Ellin Keene and Matt Glover, with an introduction by Alfie Kohn. The book consists of essays written by study group participants (Kathy Collins, Vicki Vinton, Stephanie Jones) and by Katherine Bomer, Deborah Meier, Sir Ken Robinson, Peter Johnston and Gay Ivey, Heidi Mills, Ellin Keene, Dennie Palmer Wolf, Tom Newkirk, Katie Wood Ray, Jose Vilson, and an interview with Simone Dinnerstein, and Jeremy and Adrian Greensmith (my grandson!). This publication was lovingly nurtured from beginning to end by Vicki Boyd and Zoe Ryder White.

I’m so pleased to share the Statement of Beliefs with you and hope that you are as excited as I am to read the essays that these beliefs inspired. I hope that teachers and administrators, book discussion groups, college education classes and anyone interested in improving the state of education, will read this book and keep this vital discussion alive.

Beliefs, Explanations and Issues

Belief 1 (Teachers as researchers)
We believe that teachers are researchers and that instructional decisions are best when based on what teachers have learned and documented by observing and listening carefully to students throughout the day.

Explanation Issues and Concerns
The decision of what should happen in a classroom each day can best be made by teachers who know their students well. Teachers are researchers, engaged in a pedagogy of authentic listening and observation, using what they learn from students today to influence what happens tomorrow. These decisions should be made with intention and with a strong belief in the rights of children to use natural learning strategies such as storytelling and wondering. Teachers, not programs, should make instructional decisions for children. Increasingly we see schools where the expectation is that all students be taught the same thing, same day, at the same time. How can we realistically expect students across classrooms (or even within a classroom) to have the same needs, and therefore, be taught the same lesson at the same time? Even within one classroom, there is a range of abilities and interests. We should expect classroom instruction to recognize and reflect this range of abilities and interests. Education that is “standardized” is not responsive to unique human beings who have particular strengths, gifts, interests and challenges.

Belief 2 (Teachers as learners)
We believe that the way teachers approach their own learning should parallel the way children approach their learning, and school is the place where both teachers’ and students’ learning is characterized by engagement, purpose, and self-direction.

We believe children should be actively engaged in their learning, exploring areas of interest and curiosity. They should be self-directed, be able to work interdependently, and have opportunities for authentic choices that engage them in deep thinking. Teachers, as learners, should engage with their professional growth in the same way. We can’t expect students to learn with purpose, choice, and engagement if educators don’t hold themselves to the same expectations. There should be congruence between how teachers and students approach learning. Educators often hear the call for helping students become collaborative, self directed, inquisitive problem solvers. Unfortunately, in many instances students are in educational environments that don’t foster these habits of mind. It is difficult to create environments that nurture these habits of mind in students if teachers find themselves in a pedagogical climate that doesn’t support their own intellectual growth and development. “Practice what we preach” is more effective than “do what we say, not what we do.”

Belief 3 (Appreciative view of children)

We believe educators should have a positive and expectant view of children, with an understanding that children enter school with personal histories and particular strengths that teachers should recognize and use as the foundation for working with them.

Educators should have an appreciative view of children. Children should be viewed through a lens of strengths rather than deficits and next steps should be based on where they are at that particular moment. Naturally, there will be a range and the pathways to learning will need to be differentiated. Teaching decisions and instructional decisions should be based on a child’s current development, not on the pacing calendar of a program.

Successful learning environments are predicated on the teacher’s knowledge that the vast majority of children don’t benefit from being labeled and grouped. This labeling promotes a “bell curve” mentality in adults. Children are all too aware of where they fall on the curve. Intellect isn’t something we’re born with. It’s something we develop alongside intellectual mentors, both teachers and other children. We increasingly see educational decisions and curricula that assume all students have the same needs and are in the same place in their learning at one particular time. This thinking, combined with high stakes tests and rigid pacing calendars, leads to a deficit view of children and teachers. School communities should engage in a process of value articulation and have regular opportunities to check practice against those values. Time should be taken to consider these goals as a community and to support one another in continually revisiting their image of children.

Belief 4 (Struggle is where learning happens)
We believe children, families and teachers should see challenge, struggling, and mistakes as positive, creative opportunities for learning and growth.

Students and teachers should understand that much learning is involved in the approximations any learner makes toward an ideal practice. When children engage in learning that is meaningful, challenging, and in their zone of proximal development it will lead to children encountering challenges and difficulty, and also works towards understanding. Struggling is a synonym for productive learning as long as the struggle is not overwhelming. The key is to create educational experiences that aspire towards high levels of challenges in environments where children feel comfortable enough to make mistakes.

Neuroscience is clear that optimal environments for learning support a state of relaxed alertness in which the brain is most open to making new connections. This research supports the need to focus on social and emotional intelligences to develop other kinds of intelligences. True inquiry and deep thinking assumes that answers and understanding will not always come easily, and that approximations should be welcomed and honored. Too often, teachers try to make learning easy for children, presenting materials and lessons that don’t challenge students to problem-solve or think out of the box. This can lead to learning environments where the goal is primarily getting a right answer rather than one that supports critical and creative thinking that allows and encourages children to take risks while working out challenges. If our goal is to support deep understanding, then students need to have opportunities to think deeply over sustained periods of time.

Belief 5 (Engagement)
We believe students desire and have a right to autonomy, self-direction, and choice in their development of lifelong learning and engaged citizenship, and that teachers should design learning environments that foster rich opportunities for engagement.

Explanation Issue
Human beings are prewired to explore. Curiosity is a natural state of mind that drives the need to be in relationship with and make meaning of the world around us. School should be a place that supports the sustaining of such habits of mind. Environments should be designed to foster opportunities that support and encourage this disposition. When teachers provide space and time for children to independently problem-solve and orchestrate their strategies for self-chosen purposes, children learn how to transfer what they’ve learned in school to outside of school situations. They become flexible learners who can apply understandings and strategies both in and out of school. The mere acquisition of skills can occur with low levels of engagement, but the skills will not be as firmly embedded if students aren’t engaged in their learning. Increasingly, we see educational systems that promote the attainment of skills solely for the sake of attainment. Students see little meaning of relevance towards long-term intellectual growth. Disengaged children often view schoolwork as something that doesn’t easily cross the border between the school day and their every day lives.

Belief 6 (Ownership of Learning)
We believe both teachers and students should share ownership of the learning experience, whereby they collaboratively make meaningful decisions that impact the course of learning day by day.

This belief isn’t meant to naively suggest that we’re calling for hands off teaching. Quite the contrary. When teachers believe that children are capable of deep thinking and problem solving, they are more willing to share ownership and control of learning with students. Children then develop a sense of agency and a belief that they have important thinking to contribute. There should be a balance of ownership in the classroom that can occur only when actively engaged teachers are willing to trust in the innate abilities of children and share the learning process with their children. The learning process in schools is often controlled by the teacher, the program, and/or the curriculum, leaving little opportunity for children to have any ownership or control over their learning. Instructional pathways that are predetermined for large groups of children allow for few real choices and decisions on the part of the children, and therefore encourage passive, rather than active, learning, and send the message that “learning” is something that one cannot have control over. In life we need individuals and groups to be excited about pursuing different interests and passion. If schools promote conformity and sameness, why would we expect adults to behave any differently?

Belief 7 (Intellectual Stimulation)
We believe children have a desire to interact with challenging questions and inquiries of real importance to themselves, to their community, and to the world.

Children of all ages, even very young children, have the capacity to chew on big questions and are continuously making theories, whether we ask them to or not. By creating environments that support habits of research and collaboration, children will develop attitudes that allow them to sustain a sense of wonder, value multiple perspectives, and develop an increasingly sophisticated capacity for critical thinking and innovation. When students are in environments where they are encouraged to ask and pursue meaningful questions, their learning is deeper and more likely to transfer between home and school and across content areas. Elevating the scale of children’s work from isolated tasks to authentic, significant projects that matter in their lives and communities increases the probability for meaningful learning. Children quickly realize the difference between meaningful, authentic learning situations and contrived situations that only serve the purpose of acquiring a predetermined skill. When schools frequently focus on controlling bodies rather than fostering intellectual growth, school experiences are pushed toward that of discipline, punishment, and compliance rather than questioning, engagement and intellectual growth. The goal of curricular programs and resources should be to stimulate independent thinking, deep and complex questioning and problem solving.

Belief 8 (Joy)
We believe that learning is based in relationships, and that interactions between teachers, families and students should be joyful, compassionate, and authentic.

School should be a place of wonder, joy, intellectual risk-taking and well rounded fun. The sounds of a classroom should include a balance between teacher and student voices, laughter, and conversations, both formal and informal. We’re not suggesting classrooms without structure or planning. Instead, we believe the learning environment should be joyful and fun because those are conditions that encourage academic risk-taking, vibrant interactions with others, and higher levels of engagement. True learning and deep understanding are often the byproduct of a joyful learning environment.
We increasingly see schools where the experience for teachers and students is primarily one of assessing, evaluating and sorting. In these situations students may reach external benchmarks, but at the unfortunate cost of growth and development, connection and community.

Belief 9 (Teacher Professional Growth and Collaboration)
We believe that teachers develop professionally through meaningful inquiry and collaborative opportunities with colleagues, characterized by sharing observations of students, exploring instructional possibilities, and reflecting on their growth as learning teachers and teacher-leaders.

Schools should be vibrant, stimulating and creative places that support creative thinking for teachers as well as for students, and to this end teachers must have regular and frequent opportunities built into their schedules to meet with colleagues and other professionals so that they can collaborate, reflect and explore the implications of what they’re observing in their classrooms. Professional development is then self-directed and collaborative making use of critical friends as they take an analytical stance towards both learning and teaching. Because learning is socially embedded for all humans, we should build up opportunities for educators to work together as a way to support professional development. Too often teachers’ planning time is spent on the minutia and paperwork that supports a system built on data and accountability, rather than on the needs of children. Additionally professional development time is often devoted to training teachers to implement a program rather than on building their own capacity as thinkers and learning designers. Many researchers have identified capacity building as a critical factor in creating meaningful learning for students.

Belief 10 (Interdependent Learning/Student Collaboration)
We believe children grow theories about the world around them through their collaborations and interactions with one another.

Children need constant opportunities for collaboration and social interaction. A socio-constructivist approach should be embedded throughout the school day. Spaces and routines should be organized to facilitate discussion and social interactions where children are engaged in a collective journey together. To often students look to the teacher for all of the answers, and frequently they are looking for a single right answer. Children should be encouraged to build on their collective knowledge and experiences as they become independent thinkers and learners. A central goal should be to facilitate learning and create an environment where, through collaboration, engaged children become dynamic thinkers and problem solvers who question, interpret, form theories, and find significance in the world around them.

Belief 11 (Family)
We believe positive and integrated relationships between families and educators are crucial and plentiful opportunities for collaboration among students, teachers and families are essential.

Teachers should develop empathy for the struggle inherent in learning and work in solidarity with children and families. Children benefit when schools and families are harmoniously engaged in the learning experience. Learning occurs within relationships when connections are made between children, families, and educators.
The tenor of the language schools and teachers choose to use is important and has the power to invite or exclude children and families from becoming enthusiastic participants in the world of school.

Belief 12 (Head and Heart)
We believe teachers have the opportunity to learn more about children’s ideas, experiences, and interpretations when we offer them multiple means of expression.

We believe that all effective and engaging learning occurs through both the mind and the body. Cognitive thought is embedded in social and physical explorations occurring in inspiring environments. All learning occurs through the body. Constructive experiences engage the whole child, body and mind, hands and heart. Today we see learning, particularly deep, meaningful learning, as embodied, encompassing both thought and feelings. A carefully designed, aesthetically intentional environment plays an essential role in the social and physical engagement of the mind, body, and feelings. With a focus on narrow skill attainment, schools often lose sight of how learning occurs and neglect to foster student aesthetic, artistic, and social development. Children should be seen and nurtured globally due to the interdependence of all aspects a child’s development.

Belief 13 (Time)
We believe children need time, both within a school day and across a school year, to deeply explore topics of importance and interest.

Learners of any age need prolonged periods of time to interact with ideas in order to become fully engaged with them. The time needed also varies from child to children. In order for children to become self-directed learners, children need to have ample time to work on long term projects, as well as have some control over how they spend their time. When children’s days are too fragmented it is difficult for them to stay with an idea if they don’t have the time needed for deep engagement.
When the school year is too rushed, it is difficult for children to stay with an idea or project for sustained periods of time. How the school day flows should reflect what we know about child development and learning, not the artificial structures of pre-packaged curriculum and schedules.

Ringing the Bell for Play Inside the Classroom

block rocket

This article, written by Motoko Rich, was printed in the New York Times yesterday, June 9th. I didn’t agree with everything in it (I do think that when they are truly engaged in an activity, five year olds have an attention span much longer than 5 minutes.) but generally, it was wonderful to see the NYTimes publishing an article about the importance of play in kindergarten. Finally! Perhaps common sense and an understanding of the social, emotional and intellectual needs of young children is returning!

Kindergartens Ringing the Bell for Play Inside the Classroom

Call it Kindergarten 2.0.

Concerned that kindergarten has become overly academic in recent years, this suburban school district south of Baltimore is introducing a new curriculum in the fall for 5-year-olds. Chief among its features is a most old-fashioned concept: play.

“I feel like we have been driving the car in the wrong direction for a long time,” said Carolyn Pillow, who has taught kindergarten for 15 years and attended a training session here on the new curriculum last month. “We can’t forget about the basics of what these kids need, which is movement and opportunities to play and explore.”

As American classrooms have focused on raising test scores in math and reading, an outgrowth of the federal No Child Left Behind law and interpretations of the new Common Core standards, even the youngest students have been affected, with more formal lessons and less time in sandboxes. But these days, states like Vermont, Minnesota and Washington are again embracing play as a bedrock of kindergarten.

Logan Lowry, left, and Douglas Corales playing an educational game on Chromebooks in Melissa Maenner’s kindergarten class at Hilltop Elementary. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times
Like Anne Arundel County here, Washington and Minnesota are beginning to train teachers around the state on the importance of so-called purposeful play — when teachers subtly guide children to learning goals through games, art and general fun. Vermont is rolling out new recommendations for kindergarten through third grade that underscore the importance of play. And North Carolina is encouraging teachers to evaluate paintings, scribbles or block-building sessions, instead of giving quizzes, in assessing the reading, math and social skills of kindergartners.

But educators in low-income districts say a balance is critical. They warn that unlike students from affluent families, poorer children may not learn the basics of reading and math at home and may fall behind if play dominates so much that academics wither.

“Middle-class parents are doing this anyway, so if we don’t do it for kids who are not getting it at home, then they are going to start at an even greater disadvantage,” said Deborah Stipek, the dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford.

Across the country, many schools in recent years have curtailed physical and art education in favor of longer blocks for reading and math instruction to help improve test scores. The harder work even began in kindergarten.

Most recently, more than 40 states have adopted the Common Core, standards for reading and math that in many cases are much more difficult than previous guidelines. In some school districts, 5-year-olds are doing what first or even second graders once did, and former kindergarten staples like dramatic play areas and water or sand tables have vanished from some classrooms, while worksheets and textbooks have appeared.

A study comparing federal government surveys of kindergarten teachers in 1998 and 2010 by researchers at the University of Virginia found that the proportion of teachers who said their students had daily art and music dropped drastically. Those who reported teaching spelling, the writing of complete sentences and basic math equations every day jumped.

The changes took place in classrooms with students of all demographic backgrounds, but the study found that schools with higher proportions of low-income students, as well as schools with large concentrations of nonwhite children, were even more likely to cut back on play, art and music while increasing the use of textbooks.

Experts, though, never really supported the expulsion of playtime.

Using play to develop academic knowledge — as well as social skills — in young children is the backbone of alternative educational philosophies like those of Maria Montessori or Reggio Emilia. And many veteran kindergarten teachers, as well as most academic researchers, say they have long known that children learn best when they are allowed ample time to go shopping at a pretend grocery store or figure out how to build bridges with wooden blocks. Even the Common Core standards state that play is a “valuable activity.”

But educators point out that children are also capable of absorbing sophisticated academic concepts.

“People think if you do one thing you can’t do the other,” said Nell Duke, a professor of education at the University of Michigan. “It really is a false dichotomy.”

Therese Iwancio playing a game with her kindergarten class at Cecil Elementary school in Baltimore. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times
M. Manuela Fonseca, the early-education coordinator for Vermont, said her state was trying to emphasize the learning value of play in its new guidelines.

“Before we had the water table because it was fun and kids liked it,” she said. “Now we have the water table so kids can explore how water moves and actually explore scientific ideas.”

Still, teachers like Therese Iwancio, who works at Cecil Elementary School in Baltimore’s Greenmount neighborhood, where the vast majority of children come from low-income families, say their students benefit from explicit academic instruction. She does not have a sand table, play kitchen or easel in the room.

“I have never had a child say to me, ‘I just want to play,’ ” said Ms. Iwancio, who has taught for two decades.

On a recent morning, she asked children to read aloud from a simple book. On the wall hung a schedule for the day, with virtually every minute packed with goals like “I will learn sight words” or “I will learn to compose and decompose teen numbers.”

Jayla Stephens, 6, said she liked school because “you get to do a lot of work and you will get better.”

In neighboring, more affluent Anne Arundel County, 321 kindergarten teachers last month attended training sessions on the new curriculum. Required each day: 25 minutes of recess, 20 minutes of movement, 25 minutes in play centers. The district is buying sand or water tables, blocks, play kitchens, easels and art supplies for every classroom that does not have them.

Teachers were given tips on how to be more creative in academic lessons, too, like tossing a ball printed with different numbers to teach math.

“We don’t think that rigor negates fun and play,” said Patricia J. Saynuk, the coordinator of early-childhood education.

Traci Burns, who has taught kindergarten for the last five years at Annapolis Elementary School, said she was looking forward to retrieving previously banished easels.

“With the Common Core, this has been pushed and pushed and pushed that kids should be reading, sitting and listening,” she said. “Five-year-olds need to play and color. They need to go out and sing songs.”

At Hilltop Elementary, a racially and economically diverse school in Glen Burnie, Melissa Maenner said she had found that teaching kindergartners too many straightforward academic lessons tended to flop.

“They are 5,” Ms. Maenner said. “Their attention span is about five minutes.”


child writing

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them
Bob Dylan

What will the children remember, years from now, about their year in kindergarten? When their days are filled with lessons in reading, writing, mathematics, and phonics, will they have fond memories of an exciting Fundations lesson? With days devoid of play, indoors and outdoors, will they lovingly remember the experience of reading “back-to-back” and then “shoulder-to-shoulder”?

I have become obsessed with this question of what children will remember after spending the year visiting kindergartens, speaking with teachers, and listening to parents. I finally decided to contact some former students and parents of students and ask them if they could write down one kindergarten memory. My former students are now in their twenties, perhaps a few almost hitting thirty! I wondered, “Would they actually remember anything at all after all of those years?”

Let me share some of what they shared with me.

Zeke (graduating college this month)
I think my most vivid memory is waking across the Brooklyn Bridge replica we made. It was a lot of fun learning about the various bridges and building the replica. building a bridge

Milah (Just graduated from college)
When I think about kindergarten I remember performing plays, Billy Goat Gruff, writing poems, and Peter the turtle :):):)peter edited

Kaitlin (kindergarten, 1994)
I remember choice time and playing at the fake kitchen/home area. And I remember smearing shaving cream on the desks. That was fun!‬ Jimmy playing house

Julia (kindergarten, 1990)
I remember singing! I think we sang Blue Skies, and I think maybe the Banana Boat Song? I remember visiting the fire station on Union Street and getting to slide down the pole. I remember playing in the school yard. I think the singing is what sticks out most for me.Connie, me and kids- joyful singing

Jimmy (Kindergarten, 1990)
I remember building block time with Nick and David. Of course my fav was nap time on our phenomenal blue mats.blocks

Sara (kindergarten, 1996)
I remember looking at meal worms. We had a big tank with a bunch of bugs and we could pick them up with tweezers if we wanted to.
I also remember days when I would choose something like puzzles at Choice Time because I thought I wanted to do something quiet by myself, but then I’d be bored halfway through and regret my decision. It was always better to choose the ‘special activity’ or the one all your friends chose.
There was a giant refrigerator box for time out. It had a pillow on the bottom and cut outs on the side.

I remember Backwards Day, which I always thought could be more backwards. And I remember eating my pudding (dessert) first at lunch and it gave me a stomach-ache.
I also remember nap time, because what adult doesn’t reminisce about nap time.

The Quiet, Cozy Reading Room

Lionel (graduating college this month)
I do remember our trip to Madiba, and feeling like a celebrity because the restaurant was near my parent’s house (..?). It’s funny what kids get really excited about, but I’m sure I received some special attention from my classmates because it was close/my family was there. I remember eating roasted corn with our student teacher (was her name Liz? I don’t remember now…I remember quite clearly that she liked to eat mango, and told us stories about eating it messily) at the restaurant. That was just when they opened, now they’ve been in the neighborhood for ‘as long as I can remember.’ Funny.1-239  2000

Dan (kindergarten, 1990)
I remember being picked up by my Aunt on the day my brother was born, and some time later (a few weeks? months?) my mother bringing baby David into class so all of us students could take turns tracing him on large white paper!1990 class photo

Anna (kindergarten, 1994)
Your name went up on some board when you learned to tie your shoes? I was trying to learn and was struggling, and I really wanted my name to be on the board, but was also very conscious of it not being on the board. When I finally learned, I felt very accomplished.

I remember sitting at a table drawing something and you telling me I did a good job and feeling very warm and happy.drawing

Sophie (kindergarten, 1994)
I loved the Quiet Corner! I remember it being a little structure made out of cardboard, very dark and full of pillows, where we could go when we wanted to spend some time being quiet. It was lovely! And it has stayed with me.

I also remember Author of the Week; each student got a week during which all of the books they’d written during class were displayed on a bookcase near the front of the classroom. I think one period was spent having the rest of the class interview the author of the week about the stories she’d written. That was awesome.

Ross (kindergarten, 1993)
My strongest memory of kindergarten is of singalong time, particularly “Here Comes the Sun.” I remember loving the song and the act of singing/listening. I would later (re) discover the Beatles and develop a much broader love for their music, but it all started then (and possibly with “An Octopus’s Garden” too?).

David (Just graduated from college)
I remember doing a lot of singing in that class. In particular, the song Love Can Build a Bridge. We would sit on the rug and sing along to the cassette, and Akira would sing the vocal “flair” parts. We even recorded it on cassette – I remember the microphone hanging down from the ceiling over the rug and we all sang into it. I still have that cassette somewhere.

Daniel (Just graduated from college)
When I think of my favorite kindergarten memories, I immediately think of choice time. Although for me there was never much “choice” involved because my heart belonged to blocks. With those wooden blocks I was able to build bridges, skyscrapers and even spaceships. I could feel the structural integrity of my creations, even if that meant sitting on them until they collapsed. Why was this satisfying? I don’t know. All I knew was that crayons and books couldn’t hold a candle to blocks!block builders

Gillian (kindergarten, 1994)
My sister was born while I was in Kindergarten – December 1993. my mom brought my infant sister into class a few months later for “choice time.” Not sure why but with some kids, crayola markers and a giant roll of paper we traced her body. She was a squirmy baby and I’m not sure how it worked or why tracing an infant seemed like a good idea but I remember that my friend Basam was particularly gentle and caring with her. I’m sure there were other kids involved but I can only remember Basam and my mom. The drawing was on a huge roll of paper and had a strange misshapen baby outline surrounded by other less human scribbles. We had the drawing for a long time – it was important to me and my parents – bizarre archive- I’m not sure if it’s still somewhere in their house. Hoping it is.

Some parents also shared their memories of their child’s kindergarten year –

I remember the first curriculum night. I don’t know what I expected but I was blown away by the range and depth of the techniques used to support literacy. I guess I had some fantasy of phonics and memorizing the alphabet, and I remember my mind being blown about how language emerges in different ways with different kids. I have forgotten all but the feeling of excitement that someone (you) actually had a method to the madness. The one thing that has stayed with me (probably because it was a visual) that you had an outline of a word – that the pure shape of a word was one of the many ways to begin decoding. I will never forget that.

I have a memory of a writers’ workshop publishing party. This may have been from first grade and I am sure that I have embellished it in my mind for comic effect. The kids happily publishing real life, unvarnished reflections of the messy side of Park Slope home lives. Literally revealing the ‘dirty laundry’ at home. All the parents dressed up and on good behavior while their kids were publishing accounts that were not so dressed up. ‘Out of the mouths of babes.’ I remember being a little disappointed and relieved that Vicky only ever wrote about rainbows. There was not much insight there, except that I think that she really liked doing the illustrations and she knew that she had a good solid 6 pages of copy (blue, green, yellow, orange, red, violet).vicky reading


One thing that comes to mind immediately is the self-portrait that my son drew with his bird on his head. I loved the self-portraits the children made. Hanging along the walls of the classroom , they made the room belong to the children. I also loved them because drawing was a medium in which my son felt “good at something”. He was shy then and seemed to stand back while the girls in the class danced around, comfortable in their outfits and friendships. I often felt that boys were pushed to the back at 321 (I also have daughters), in efforts to compensate for previous limitations.

I also remember the play “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, with its imaginative props. There was a lot going on in that classroom.


Renee, I can’t distinguish between kindergarten and 1st grade because you looped with the kids, but here are a few memories:
· The class singing Pete Seeger’s “Sailing Down My Golden River” for a performance for parents. As a result, that song, whenever I hear it, brings me to tears.
· Moriah Shapiro doing some kind of performance (maybe year-end) and you announcing that we’d all be seeing her on Broadway in a few years.
· Realizing that David had learned to read by identifying words (as opposed to sounding them out) when we took him to DC and, as the metro train pulled into a station, he said, “Look Mom, it’s Friendship Heights.” Humorously, he currently lives about two stops away from that station.
· Last but not least, the bridges project. Wherever we traveled during and afterward, David would identify the kind of bridge we were seeing. I recall accompanying the class on the trip to the Brooklyn Bridge and still have on my fridge a dog-eared photo of the entire class on the bridge. Eerily, it shows the two world trade towers in the background.


Unfortunately, I can’t add anything to what Susan has said here. It’s so long ago! But I can say that choice time was a brilliant thing, and clearly left an impression on David. (I believe we told you the story of how “choice time” was the punch line he used in an improv skit recently and he was surprised that it fell flat – because, as he discovered, he was the only one who had experienced it.)

Giving the kids the notion from an early age that at least part of their time is self directed, fun learning is such a gift to them.


Singing, playing outdoors, building with blocks, reading in the refrigerator-box cozy room, napping, poetry, dramatic play, Choice Time, our turtle, trips, bridge study, plays, Backwards Day, and more singing, singing, singing…a rainbow of kindergarten memories.


What kind of memories will we give to the children who attend kindergarten during the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top years? Let’s think about that and then take some positive action to stop this craziness. Let’s return childhood to children. They will turn out to be wonderful young adults! As William Crain wrote in Reclaiming Childhood (Henry Holt and Company, 2003) ” ...Schools should respect the child’s spontaneous interests and natural ways of learning. They should repect the child’s enthusiasm for physical activities, creative projects, the arts, and play, and they should give children opportunities to learn through these activities.”


Leveled Books in Kindergarten?

It’s been 16 years since I’ve taught kindergarten and I often wonder how my teaching would have been compromised if I hadn’t left the classroom. I don’t consider myself to be a renegade but then again, there are some things that I just could never bend to do. One of them is leveling books in kindergarten. Perhaps I left teaching at just the right time because I would most likely be in a constant battle with the school administration.



reading together on the rug

My last year as a kindergarten teacher was just when my colleagues in kindergarten were introducing leveled libraries. I absolutely refused. I argued to my principal that this might be the last year that children would not feel labeled and compared (yes, children do understand who is a “good” reader and who isn’t) to their classmates.

Here is how I made peace with this push towards turning kindergarten into Pre-first grade as I attempted to hold on to my beliefs. I read a beautiful storybook to the class and, as we always did, we discussed the book. I followed by reading a Level B book .The discussion after the reading was, as expected, rather limited. I asked the children to think about their reactions to the two books. “Would you prefer to hear one as a bedtime story?” “What made you pick that book.” They all not surprisingly, picked the storybook as a book that they would like to hear read to them.

Then I focused them on the print in both books. Children noticed how small the print was in the storybook and how many words were on each page. Then they pointed out that the Level B book only had a few words on each page and that the print was bigger than in the storybook. I told them that the Level B book was not a book that is usually picked for hearing a story to read aloud. It was a book that children picked if they wanted to learn to read the words in books.

I had by my side a stack of books from Level A to Level D. I put them in a basket and asked the children to come up with a good label for these books. They decided on “Learning To Read The Words Books.” I told them that I would add the basket to our library and if anyone wanted to work on one of those books, they could find a partner to work with or they could tell me and I would find time to read the book with them. As the year went on, some children worked on reading those books and some didn’t.

I looped up to first grade with my class. By the end of the first grade year, everyone was reading, but at different levels. In first grade I did level the books and I discussed the importance of reading just-right books. In my heart of hearts though, I knew that children would probably thrive if they weren’t pushed so hard and so early, into print and that there are children who might begin reading later than first grade. A dear friend of mine who is a teacher, a poet and a voracious reader told me that she didn’t begin reading until the end of second grade.

Teachers, parents, administrators and politicians are all getting rather hysterical about pushing, pushing, pushing children. I think of flowers that grow up tall but also blossom out. I’m for nurturing children as they blossom. Leveling books in kindergarten? Bah!


making a mesaSome years ago (these sweet children are about to graduate from college!) my first grade class was engaged in a study of waterways. This was a year-long investigation and adventure that we took together with our 4th grade buddies. We visited the pond in Prospect Park, the Gowanus Canal, and the ocean at Breezy Point. Along with the 4th graders, we took an exciting ride on the MetroNorth train, and followed the Hudson River all the way to the Croton Reservoir.

Along with a representative from the Department of Environmental Protection, the children did water-testing experiments in class, took a walk around the neighborhood to observe how water is tested at various water-checking stations located on different streets and we also visited the water control center at the reservoir in Central Park.

Our “big bang trip” was a boat ride in Jamaica Bay with five instructors from the New York Aquarium. The instructors set up five different exploration stations and the children spent time at each one.

colin on the boat

Our assistant principal, Richard Goldstein a former science teacher, spoke to the children about different landforms and how they interact with and form the various waterways. He helped the children make mini-landforms in small plastic boxes. The next day at the suggestion of the children, we followed this up at Choice Time by creating various landforms in our sand/water table, mapping the landforms and then pouring down “rain” creating rivers and islands.waterway #1

waterway mapwaterway-process descriptionSometimes there was a disagreement about how the landforms should be constructed , but the children were encouraged to do some research to settle their disputes!


Collaboration, sometimes conflict, creativity, research…all taking place at one center during Choice Time in a first grade class!

Nature and Nurture: the best of pre-k

standing on tree stump

Every new object, clearly seen, opens up a new organ of perception in us.                                                                                                                                                                                                              Goethe

As New York City rushes to open up hundreds of pre-kindergarten classrooms, I’m thinking that we need to stop and shine a spotlight on examples of good early childhood practices. In my worst nightmare, I imagine a disaster scene of three and four year old children being drilled on their ABC’s, given workpage pictures to color (stay in the lines!), and learning proper school behavior (let’s clap for Julius. He’s in the green zone. Marcus, maybe you can be a good boy and have your card moved up from the red zone next week.)

Luckily, I had the pleasure of stopping by Amy Binin’s pre-k class at the Brooklyn New School a few weeks ago. 1601297_702899816431136_2948489232921810240_nAmy and I met in 1996 when we were both part of a group of New York City public school teachers who were visiting the pre-schools in Reggio Emilia. I never had the pleasure of working in Amy’s class but, when I was consulting with kindergarten, first and second grade teachers at the school a few years ago, I would stop in for a chat when we both had time.

Last week as I was preparing a presentation on “Inquiry and Investigations” for a Teachers College conference on pre-kindergarten (Seize the Moment: Rise to the Challenge of Pre-K), I looked up the dictionary definition of curiosity:an eager desire to know: inquisitiveness. Sir Ken Robinson made a connection between creativity and curiosity when he wrote “You can’t just give a creativity injection. You have to create an environment for curiosity and a way to encourage people and get the best out of them.” One of my early childhood  idols, Vivian Gussin Paley, advised “The key is curiosity, and it is curiosity, not answers,
that we model.”

Amy understands the importance of curiosity. She provides opportunities for children to explore and discover and she listens very carefully so that she can plan her curriculum around their big interests. Here’s a short version of what has been happening in Amy’s class this year.

In October Amy took the children on a neighborhood walk. She gave the children bags and baskets for collecting interesting finds along the way. ***collectingWould this walk open us a path towards an inquiry investigation? Amy had a feeling that something would come from this experience but she was not sure of the direction it would take them.

When they returned to class, the children became fascinated with the different seed holders that they found. They could shake some of them and hear the seeds inside but they weren’t sure of how to get them out. **opening a podAmy didn’t give them any answers. She let them figure out the best way for themselves. Little did she know that the most successful strategy was to place the seed holder under a block from the construction center, put a foot on top of the block and jump real hard. It worked! Obviously this method needed adult supervision.***Screen_Shot_2015-01-29_at_9.59.15_PM

Many seeds were collected when the pods were opened and the children found different ways of examining them.

Some children decided to match up the seeds with the seed holders. Other children arranged the seeds, twigs and pods in pleasing designs. Children brought them to the light table to arrange them along with the different leaves that they collected.***arranging

***arranging with teddy bear counters***leaves on light tableAt lunchtime children became aware of the seeds that they found in their fruit. The little apple seeds and tiny orange seeds looked quite different from the big seed in the middle of a plum!

In preparation for Halloween, they cut open a pumpkin and found seeds inside there too! They cooked the pumpkin and the seeds.cutting the pumpkin

On their next walk they collected more branches. Back in the classroom, the children became interested in the wood that they collected from the trees. They noticed that when they snapped off the “tree skin” from some of the sticks, the spot where the bark had been became smooth and light. Now their challenge was to get the skin off the sticks!

They sanded…. sanding

and they peeled the sticks.peeling tree trunk

The class revisited the site of their first walking trip and  discovered a tree with a hole in it. What could be in there? They put their hands inside and to their surprise they scooped out wood dust. ***What's in the hole?They brought this back to school and compared it with the dust they made while sanding and peeling the bark.This discovery sparked an interest in wood. To build on this interest, Amy and a class parent set up a woodworking center. Lots of wood sawing followed!

Amy and the children added branches to the block building center and the children began building their own trees. building tree with branches

A center for observational drawing was set up. When children look closely and draw what they observe, it helps them to reflect on what they are seeing. The children drew the seed pods, the bark and the leaves that they collected. ***copying itchy ball***Itchy ball drawingdrawing barkOne child brought in a bird’s nest to share and to add to the observation center. ***drawing nest holding stuffed animal

***drawing of the nestClay is a very sensual and natural material for young children to manipulate. To support the classroom nature study, Rachel Schwartzman, the art teacher, gave the children opportunities to process their understandings by creating trees in the art studio.clay tree

rachel 7The class took a field trip to vist a Natural Play Space in Prospect Park. climbing on treeclimbing in the tree!While they were there, they built a house of twigs! ***building with branchesThey found a row of tree stumps and became fascinated with the circular lines on the stumps. ***looking at tree stumpsTo follow up on this interest, parents who were purchasing Christmas trees asked the tree-seller for the bottom stump of the tree and these tree stumps were brought to class. Some were in the science center but they also made their way to the block-building area of the classroom.

Amy read many books to the children about trees and about the animals that lived in the trees.

The study was culminated with the construction of a large tree that included nests, birds and squirrels. ***making a tree?The children now have decided on a plan to change the tree as the seasons change.

Look into nature and then you will understand everything better.

Albert Einstein

Investing in Early Childhood Education

Jimmy playing houseResearch strongly supports investment in early childhood education.

If you agree with this statement, you can add your name to the list of educators by clicking on this

As policymakers debate investing in quality early childhood education programs, they should note the widespread agreement among researchers about the value of such programs. An extensive body of research in education, developmental psychology, neuroscience, medicine and economics shows that quality early childhood education programs produce better education, health, economic and social outcomes for children, families, and the nation. As researchers, we urge policymakers to make decisions based on the full body of scientific knowledge about early education and child development. We provide this research summary to support and guide future investment in quality early childhood education programs.

Quality early childhood education can reduce the achievement gap. Too many American children start school inadequately prepared to succeed. Gaps in cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional skills due to unequal opportunities become evident well before children enter kindergarten. The resulting achievement gap widens as children progress through school, despite strong efforts at remediation. The long-term consequences include high rates of school failure, grade repetition, inappropriate special education placements, and dropout; involvement in risky behaviors and crime; and, even higher risk for adult chronic disease including hypertension, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. These problems are not limited to the poor: many children who fail a grade and drop out are from middle-income families. The costs of remediation, social dependency, poor health, and lost productivity are very high to individuals and our nation.

Access to quality early childhood education is essential. The early learning programs and child care that many parents can afford are not of good enough quality to appreciably affect early disparities in development. Inequities in access to high-quality early education may actually make them worse. From actual observations of children’s experiences we know that much of the education and care provided in preschools, center-based
settings, and child care homes is not of sufficient quality to produce strong outcomes for children. Inadequate quality characterizes the preschool experiences of children from both middle-class and lower-income families.

Develop the whole child with quality programs. Physical and emotional health, early learning, and socialization are key elements of healthy development that must be addressed in quality early childhood education delivered by well-trained teachers using proven curricula. Children benefit most when teachers engage in interactions that stimulate learning while being emotionally nurturing. These interactions foster engagement in and enjoyment of learning. Critical to assuring quality are continuous improvement systems that support teachers in the implementation of evidence-based curricula focused on specific areas of learning and socio-emotional development. In-classroom coaching and mentoring is a successful approach to providing this support. In addition, salaries commensurate with comparably prepared K-12 colleagues could stem the flight of teachers away from early childhood education.

Quality programs include health and home. Evidence-based health and parent engagement activities contribute to greater success. Early screenings and follow up promote healthy cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical development. By modeling positive parent-child interaction and offering parents opportunities to practice with feedback, programs can augment the positive effects of preschool on child development and later education achievement.

Quality programs can be brought to scale. Large-scale public preschool programs have produced substantial impacts on children’s early learning. Recent analyses integrating evaluations of preschool programs find that children make substantive gains in cognitive abilities and later school success in preschool programs including Head Start and state/local pre-K programs. At-scale preschool systems including those in Tulsa, Boston, and New Jersey have produced even larger gains in language and math above and beyond comparison group children, many of whom were in other center-based programs. Benefits to children’s socio-emotional development and health have been documented in programs that focus intensively on these areas.

Quality programs produce quality life outcomes. Early childhood programs produce larger long-term impacts on life achievement than on IQ and achievement tests. Studies often find some convergence in test scores between children who did and did not attend preschool after children enter school. Despite the convergence on tests of achievement between children who receive quality early childhood education and those who do not, evidence points to important effects in other areas over time. Children who attended preschool show reductions in special education and grade retention. Evidence from long-term evaluations of both small-scale, intensive interventions and Head Start find long-term effects on important societal outcomes such as high-school graduation, years of education completed, earnings, and reduced crime and teen pregnancy, even after test-score effects become indistinguishable. Research is now underway focusing on why these long-term effects occur even when test scores during the school years converge.

Quality early childhood education benefits children from diverse family backgrounds and circumstances. Quality early learning can benefit middle-class children as well as disadvantaged children; typically developing children as well as children with special needs; and dual language learners as well as monolingual English speakers. Although early research focused only on programs for low-income children, more recent research indicates that middle-class children can benefit substantially and these benefits outweigh costs for children from middle-income as well as those from low-income families.

Investing in quality early childhood education pays off. Rigorous cost-benefit analyses show that the economic benefits of early childhood education outweigh the costs of providing access to quality programs. Available benefit-cost estimates based on older, intensive interventions, such as the Perry Preschool Program, as well as contemporary, large-scale public preschool programs, such as the Chicago Child-Parent Centers and Tulsa’s preschool program, find that their benefits far exceed the costs.

Critics of greater investment ignore the full body of evidence. Critics often cite data out of context, cherry-picking findings that highlight minimal effects within the larger findings of overall benefits. In addition, they claim the need to wait for larger-scale studies over many years to prove long-term effectiveness, knowing full well that such experiments are not possible without significant government investment and decades of research. Existing research findings are sufficient to warrant greater investment in quality programs now. Additional investments in research are essential and will be most productive if used to monitor quality and guide ongoing improvement of programs and systems.

This statement draws heavily upon a more detailed report on the scientific basis for preschool policy by: Yoshikawa, H., Weiland, C., Brooks-Gunn, J., Burchinal, M. R., Espinosa, L. M., Gormley, W. T., Ludwig, J., Magnuson, K., Phillips, D., & Zaslow, M. (2013). Investing in our future: The evidence base on preschool education. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Society for Research in Child Development and New York: Foundation for Child Development.

Quality data for preschool programs nationally from: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 2012. Table 61. Percentage distribution of quality rating of child care arrangements of children at about 4 years of age, by type of arrangement and selected child and family characteristics: 2005-06.

Founding Signatories:
J. Lawrence Aber
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

W. Steven Barnett
National Institute for Early Education Research
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Daphna Bassok
Curry School of Education
University of Virginia

William Beardslee
Harvard Medical School

David Berliner
Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education
Arizona State University

Karen Bierman
Department of Psychology
Penn State University

Clancy Blair
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

Barbara Bowman
Erikson Institute

Pia Britto
Child Study Center
Yale School of Medicine

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
Teachers College & College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University

Laurie Miller Brotman
Department of Population Health
NYU Langone Medical Center

Margaret Burchinal
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Douglas Clements
Graduate School of Education
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Linda Darling-Hammond
Graduate School of Education
Stanford University

Nell Duke
School of Education
University of Michigan

Greg Duncan
Department of Education
University of California, Irvine

Linda Espinosa
University of Missouri, Columbia

John Fantuzzo
Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Philip Fisher
Department of Psychology
University of Oregon
Ellen C. Frede
Acelero Learning

Vivian Gadsden
Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Eugene Garcia
Mary Lou Fulton College of Education
Arizona State University

Rochel Gelman
Center for Cognitive Science
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Elizabeth Gershoff
School of Human Ecology
University of Texas

William Gormley
McCourt School of Public Policy
Georgetown University

Robert Granger
Independent Consultant

Mark Greenberg
Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center
Penn State University

James J. Heckman
University of Chicago

Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek
Department of Psychology
Temple University

Aletha Huston
Department of Human Development and Family Sciences
University of Texas at Austin

Jacqueline Jones
Incoming President
Foundation for Child Development

Stephanie Jones
Graduate School of Education
Harvard University

Laura Justice
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University

Joan Lombardi

Sharon Lynn Kagan
Teachers College
Columbia University

David Kirp
Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California, Berkeley

Michael Lopez
Abt Associates

Katherine Magnuson
School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Kathleen McCartney
Smith College

Christine McWayne
Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development
Tufts University

Alan Mendelsohn
Department of Pediatrics
NYU Langone Medical Center
Pamela Morris
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

Susan B. Neuman
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

Deborah Phillips
Department of Psychology
Georgetown University

Cybele Raver
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

Craig Ramey
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Irwin Redlener
National Center for Disaster Preparedness
Columbia University

Arthur Reynolds
Institute of Child Development
University of Minnesota

Julie Sarama
Graduate School of Education
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Jeffrey Sachs
Earth Institute
Columbia University

Larry Schweinhart

Jack P. Shonkoff
Center on the Developing Child
Harvard University

Catherine Snow
Graduate School of Education
Harvard University

Deborah Stipek
Graduate School of Education
Stanford University

Ruby Takanishi
New America Foundation

Deborah Vandell
Department of Education
University of California, Irvine

Shannon Wanless
School of Education
University of Pittsburgh

Christina Weiland
School of Education
University of Michigan

Marcy Whitebook
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
University of California, Berkeley

Hirokazu Yoshikawa
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

Martha Zaslow
Signatories By State:

Annette Mohan, Assistant Professor

Scott Snyder, Center Director and Associate Professor, Center for Educational Accountability, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Cora Causey, Instructor of Early Childhood/Elementary Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Lois Christensen, Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Kay Emfinger, PhD, Program Director, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham

James M. Ernest, Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Joe Adams, Research Coordinator


Carie Green, Assistant Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Wei Hsiao, Associate Professor Early Childhood Education, University of Alaska at Anchorage

Karen Roth, Early Childhood Program Chair, University of Alaska at Anchorage

Hattie Harvey, Assistant Professor, University of Alaska at Anchorage

Erin Kinavey Wennerstrom, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Special Education, University of Alaska at Anchorage

Maureen Hogan, Associate Professor


Kathryn Chapman, Research Associate, Arizona State University

Michael Kelley, Associate Professor of Early Childhood, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University

Sungok Park, Assistant Clinical Professor, Northern Arizona University

David Berliner, Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University

Eugene Garcia, Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, Arizona State University
Gustavo Fischman, Professor, Arizona State University

Chris Herbst, Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Flora Farago, Graduate Student, Arizona State University

Carl Hermanns, Clinical Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Lucia Ciciolla, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology Arizona State University

Jeanne Wilcox, Professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University

Karen W. Burstein, Senior Scientist, Southwest Institute for Families and Children

David Yaden, Professor, University of Arizona

Melissa Barnett, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

Eva Marie Shivers, Director, Institute for Child Development Research & Social Change, Indigo Cultural Center


Sara McCormick Davis, Professor, University of Arkansas Fort Smith

Brenda Leger, Chief Academic Office, Kaplan Early Learning

John Burgin, Early Childhood Program Coordinator, University of Arkansas at Little Rock


Linda Darling-Hammond, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University

Greg Duncan, Department of Education, University of California, Irvine

David Kirp, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

Deborah Stipek, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University

Deborah Vandell, Department of Education, University of California, Irvine

Marcy Whitebook, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley

Faraz Farzin, Developmental Psychologist, Lumos Labs, Inc.

Alison Wishard Guerra, Associate Professor, UC San Diego

Lia Fernald, Professor, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

Anthony Henry, Professor of Child Development, Mt. San Antonio College

Julie Nicholson, Associate Professor of Practice, Mills College

Sue Martin, Professor, San Diego City College

Peter Mangione, Co-Director, Center for Child & Family Studies at WestEd
Ida Rose Florez, Senior Project Director, Center for Child & Family Studies at WestEd

Laura Sakai, Senior Researcher, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California at Berkeley

Claudia G. Pineda, Assistant Professor, Child and Adolescent Studies Department, Cal. State University, Fullerton

Rashmita Mistry, Associate Professor, Department of Education, University of California at Los Angeles

JoAnn Farver, Professor & Chair, Department of Psychology University of Southern California

Nastassia Hajal, Postdoctoral Scholar, Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, University of California,
Los Angeles

Sean F. Reardon, Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Claude Goldenberg, Professor, Stanford University

Jelena Obradovic, Assistant Professor, Stanford University

Gary Orfield, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

Catherine Coddington, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Los Angeles

Jennie Grammer, Assistant Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

Carola Suarez-Orozco, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

Karla Rivera-Torres, Graduate Student, University of California, Los Angeles

Sami Klebanoff, Doctoral Student, University of California, Los Angeles

Rachel Zwass, Teaching Assistant, Graduate Student Researcher, M.A., University of California, Los Angeles

Ximena Dominguez, Senior Research Scientist, SRI International

Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Dean, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

John Piacentini, Professor, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Carollee Howes, Professor, University of California at Los Angeles

Amanda Guyer, Associate Professor, University of California Davis

Dianne Thompson, Program Coordinator, Associate Instructor, University of California, Davis

Jade Marcus Jenkins, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Irvine

Anne Blackstock-Bernstein, PhD student, University of California, Los Angeles

Katherine M. Griffin, PhD Student, University of California, Los Angeles

Dean Coffey, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Southern California

Sandy Baba, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development, Institute for Human and Social Development

Maria Rosales-Rueda, Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine

Cheryl Williams-Jackson, Professor

Grace Yiching, Professor, Santa Monica College

Chiara Bacigalupa, Associate Professor, Sonomma State University

Margaret Bridges, Senior Research Scientist, IHD, UC Berkeley

Rosa Valdes, Director of Research and Evaluation, LAUP

Boukje Eerkens, Psychologist (Early Childhood)

Sarah Garrity, Assistant Professor, San Diego State University

Sascha Longstreth, Assistant Professor, San Diego State University

Claudia G. Pineda, Assistant Professor, Child & Adolescent Studies Dept., California State University, Fullerton
Tauheedah Karim, CDS, Head Start

Susan Bourrillion, Teacher

Ollia Yenikomshian, Program Coordinator, Children’s Center at Stanford

Kathleen Hebbeler, Program Manager, SRI International

Paula Swearingen, Educator, Los Angeles Southwest Community College

Sydney Gurewitz Clemens, Author and Consultant, Former Faculty

Elizabeth Memel, Instructor, Resources for Infant Educarers

Faraz Farzin, Developmental Psychologist

Sandra Estes, Educator

Sydney Gurewitz Clemens Author, former Instructor

Sally Large, Executive Director, Friends of St. Francis Childcare Center, Inc.

Kelly Campbell, Graduate Student Researcher, UC Berkeley

Helen M. Davis, Program Director, University of California, Los Angeles

Barbara Conboy, Associate Professor


Toni Linder, Professor Emeritus, University of Denver

Andrew Brodsky, President, Brodsky Research and Consulting

William Mathis, Managing Director, National Education Policy Center

Ed Wiley, Senior Manager, Seagate Technology

Kevin Welner, Professor, University of Colorado Boulder

William R. Penuel, Professor, University of Colorado Boulder

Kathy Escamilla, Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder

Alex Molnar, Research Professor, University of Colorado–Boulder

Sarah Enos Watamura, Associate Professor, University of Denver

Mary Khetani, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University

Cara Koch, Public Policy Director, American Association of University Women, Colorado Springs Branch

Sheridan Green, Senior Director of Research, Institute at Clayton Early Learning


Tina Pascoe, Co-Founder NFDC

Jane Goldman, Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Connecticut

Carla Horwitz, Lecturer, Yale University Child Study Center

Anne Mead, Researcher

Peter Behuniak, Professor in Residence, University of Connecticut

Pia Britto, Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine

Joanna Meyer, Research Associate, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

Amanda Berhenke, Assistant Professor of Education and Psychology, Albertus Magnus College

Casey Cobb, Associate Dean & Professor, University of Connecticut

Chin Reyes, Associate Research Scientist, Zigler Center in Child Development & Social Policy, Yale University

Clare Irwin, Research Associate, EDC

Karen L. List, Project Director PreK-3rd Grade Leadership Program, University of Connecticut

Harriet Feldlaufer

Andrea Brinnel, Early Childhood Specialist, CT Office of Early Childhood

Heidi Szobota, Director, Housatonic Community College

Kristen Koenig, Owner and Teacher of Preschools, Small to Tall Preschools

Darlene Zimmerman, Researcher

JoAnn Robinson, Professor, University of Connecticut


Roberta M. Golinkoff, Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor, University of Delaware

Charles MacArthur, Professor, University of Delaware

Allison Karpyn, Associate Director, Center for Research in Education and Social Policy, University of Delaware

Myae Han, Professor, University of Delaware

Mary Dozier, Professor, University of Delaware

Jason Hustedt, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware

Staci Perlman, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware

Devona Williams, President/CEO, Goeins-Williams Associates, Inc.


Barbara Becraft, Professor

Michael Brady, Professor and Department Chair, Florida Atlantic University

Nancy Brown, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Florida Atlantic University

Linda Stiles, Speech and Language Pathologist, Department of Children Youth and Families

Kristen Kemple, Professor, University of Florida

Rebecca Bulotsky Shearer, Associate Professor, University of Miami

Lucia Walsh, Graduate Student, University of Miami

Ilene Berson, Professor, University of South Florida

Lise Fox, Professor, University of South Florida

Pamela Hollingsworth, Senior Vice President of Program Development, Early Learning Coaltion of Miami-Dade/Monroe

Christine Hughes, Director of Research, Evaluation & Assessment, Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe

Wil Blechman, Vice Chair, The Children’s Forum

Padma Rajan, Vice President of Programs, Research and Evaluation, Early Learning Coalition of Duval

E.D. Brown, Professor, St. Saviour Foundation

Ada Cuevas, Director, Early Learning is The Answer School

Cindy McConnell, Director, First Discoveries


Deb Marciano, Associate Professor, Valdosta State University

Bonney Reed-Knight, Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University

Yanghee Kim, Associate Professor, Kennesaw State University

Elizabeth DeBry, Professor, University of Georgia

Anne Shaffer, Associate Professor, University of Georgia

Kacy Welsh, Senior Lecturer

Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett, Professor, The University of Georgia


Leah Muccio, Assistant Professor

Michael Hamilton, Pediatrician, Hawaii Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics


Deb Carter, Professor, Boise State

Esther Ntuli, Assistant Professor, Idaho State University


Barbara Bowman, Erikson Institute

James J. Heckman, University of Chicago

Joan Lombardi

Laurie Jeans, Assistant Professor

Julie Spielberger, Research Fellow, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Daniel Berry, Assistant Professor, College of Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Christopher Lubienski, Professor, Department of Education Policy, University of Illinois

Christine Li-Grining, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago

Marie Masterson, School of Education, Dominican University

Tracy Moran, Assistant Professor, Erikson Institute

Luisiana Melendez, Associate Clinical Professor, Erikson Institute

Tonya Bibbs, Assistant Professor, Erikson Institute

Geoffrey Nagle, President, Erikson Institute

Jon Korfmacher, Associate Professor, Erikson Institute

Jie-Qi Chen, Professor, Erikson Institute

Pamela Epley, Assistant Clinical Professor, Erikson Institute

Marc Atkins, Professor and Director, Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago

Terri Sabol, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University

P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University

Penelope Peterson, Professor and Dean, Northwestern University

Sandra Waxman, Professor, Northwestern University, Institute for Policy Research and Department of Psychology

Margery Wallen, Director, Policy Partnerships, Ounce of Prevention Fund

Julia Henly, Associate Professor, University of Chicago

Dana Suskind, Professor, Surgery and Pediatrics, University of Chicago

Kate Zinsser, Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago

Timothy Shanahan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago

William Trent, Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Kristen L. Bub, Associate Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Brooke Fisher, Research Program Associate, Illinois

Katharine Ryan, Professor, University of Illinois

Rodrigo Pinto, Professor, University of Chicago

Sebastian Gallegos, PhD Research Fellow, University of Chicago

Maria Josefina Vargas, Early Childhood Education Department Chairperson & Assistant Professor, St. Augustine College

Chip Donohue, Dean of Distance Learning, Erikson Insitute

Maria Kontoudakis, Student, Erikson Institute

Chris Young, Postdoctoral Researcher

Diana Rosenbrock, Professional Development Coordinator, Collaboration for Early Childhood

Debbie Mager, Teacher

Brian Bannon, Commissioner, Chicago Public Library

Linda Feil, ECE Training Coordinator

Patrice Thomas, ECSE Teacher/Case Manager, Chicago Public Schools

Candace Chambers, Clinical Provider

Judi Gibian-Mennenga, Adjunct Professor, Dominican University

Debora Pletzke, Professor, Concordia Chicago

Hendricks Brown, Professor, Northwestern University


Kelly Donahue, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine

Douglas R. Powell, Distinguished Professor, Purdue University

James Elicker, Associate Professor, Purdue University

Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, Clinical Assistant Professor, Purdue University

Mary Jane Eisenhauer, Associate Professor, Purdue University North Central

Linda Taylor, Assistant Professor, Ball State University


Charles Bruner, Executive Director, Child and Family Policy Center

Larissa Samuelson, Professor, DeLTA Center, University of Iowa

Carla Peterson, Professor, Iowa State University

Jessica Pleuss, Assistant Professor, Morningside College

Megan Foley Nicpon, Associate Professor, The University of Iowa

John Spencer, Professor, University of Iowa

Nathaniel Klooster, Graduate Student Research Assistant, University of Iowa

Susan Wagner Cook, Assistant Professor, University of Iowa

Betty Zan, Associate Professor, University of Northern Iowa

Susan Maude, Associate Professor, Iowa State University


Jill Jacobi-Vessels, Assistant Professor, University of Louisville

Malcolm Robinson, Professor, Thomas More College


Teresa K. Buchanan, Associate Professor, Louisiana State University

Angela Keyes, Associate Professor/Co-Project Director Quality Start Child Care Rating and Improvement System,
Tulane University

Sherryl Scott Heller, Director, Fussy Baby Network New Orleans and Gulf Coast, Tulane University

Charles H. Zeanah, Jr., Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Tulane University School of Medicine


Charles Dorn, Associate Professor of Education & Chair, Bowdoin College

Julie Dellamattera, Associate Professor, The University of Maine

Linda Labas, Early Childhood, University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion & Disability Studies

Susan Mackey Andrews, Director/Consultant, Maine Resilience Building Network


Martha Zaslow

Kathryn Van Eck, Leadership in Education for Adolescent Health (LEAH) Fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics

Kristin Voegtline, Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Sarika S. Gupta, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Nathan Fox, Professor, University of Maryland

Brenda Jones Harden, Associate Professor, University of Maryland

Christy Tirrell-Corbin, Director, Early Childhood Education, University of Maryland

Natalie Slopen, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland College Park

Natasha Cabrera, Professor

Heather Walter, Ed.S Candidate, The George Washington University

Kristine Calo, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Elisa Klein, Associate Professor, University of Maryland College Park

Christine Alexander, Project Manager/Instructor, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Center for Technology in Education

Sue Bredekamp

Donna Satterlee, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Eastern Shore


Kimberly Lucas, PhD Student, Brandeis University

William Beardslee, Harvard Medical School

Stephanie Jones, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

Michael Lopez, Abt Associates

Kathleen McCartney, Smith College

Christine McWayne, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University

Jack P. Shonkoff, Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

Catherine Snow, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

Elizabeth A. Gilbert, Early Educaiton Program Director, University of Massachsuetts at Amherst

Jody Figuerido, President, The Institute for Education and PD, Inc.

Randal Rucker, Chief Executive Officer, Family Service of Greater Boston

Deborah Abelman, Early Childhood Education Supervisor, Family Service of Greater Boston
Nancy Toso, Director of Training and Program Development, COMPASS for Kids

Todd Grindal, Associate, Abt Associates, Inc.

Catherine Darrow, Associate, Abt Associates, Inc.

Penny Hauser-Cram, Professor, Boston College

Mariela Paez, Associate Professor, Boston College

Kyle DeMeo Cook, Graduate Student Research Assistant, Boston College

Jacqueline Prince Sims, Graduate Student Research Assistant, Boston College

Dana Thomson, Graduate Research Assistant, Boston College

Amanda Tarullo, Assistant Professor, Boston University

Catherine Caldwell-Harris, Associate Professor, Boston University

Pamela Joshi, Senior Scientist, Brandeis University

Lindsay Fallon, Assistant Professor, Bridgewater State University

MaryCatherine Arbour, Associate Physician for Research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University

Barbara Beatty, Professor, Department of Education, Wellesley College

Tama Leventhal, Associate Professor, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development,
Tufts University

Paul L. Harris, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

David Takeuchi, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Graduate School of Social Work, Boston College

Richard Weissbourd, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Soojin Oh, Doctoral Student, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Center on the Develolping Child

Charles Nelson, Professor, Harvard Medical School

Margaret Sheridan, Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Günther Fink, Associate Professor, Harvard School of Public Health

Dana Charles McCoy, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

Brenda Phillips, Research Associate, Harvard University

Jocelyn Bonnes Bowne, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Professor Emerita, Lesley University

Charles Homer, Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for Children’s Health Quality

Donald Wertlieb, Professor emeritus Tufts University, Partnership for Early Childhood Development & Disability Rights

Claire E. Hamilton, Chair, Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, UMass/Amherst

David Henry Feldman, Professor and Chair, Tufts University

Rachel Chazan Cohen, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Brenda K. Bushouse, Professor, University of Massachusetts

Sally Galman, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Nancy Folbre, Professor emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Lisa Scott, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Darrell Earnest, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Ysaaca Axelrod, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Laura Valdiviezo, Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Nancy M Marshall, Senior Research Scientist, WCW, Wellesley College

Joanne Roberts, Senior Research Scientist, Wellesley College Centers for Women

Nina Aronoff, Associate Professor, Wheelock College

Diane Levin, Professor, Wheelock College

Catherine Donahue, Associate Professor, Wheelock College

Dr. Ellie Friedland, Associate Professor Early Childhood Education, Wheelock College

Eleonora Villegas-Reimers, Associate Professor, Wheelock College, Boston

William R. Beardslee, MD, Psychiatrist; Senior Researcher

Carolyn Layzer, Senior Associate

Joshua D. Sparrow, MD, Director, Strategy, Planning and Program Development, Brazelton Touchpoints Center & Associate Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School

T. Berry Brazelton, MD, Founder, Brazelton Touchpoints Center & Professor Emeritus, Harvard Medical School

Margaret Hannah, Executive Director, Freedman Center for Child and Family Development

Vicki Bartolini, Professor of Education, Wheaton College

Jana Kook, Research Associate, Education Development Center

Jess Gropen, Senior Cognitive Scientist, Education Development Center

Jacqueline Bourassa, Research Alliance Facilitator, Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and the Islands

Laura Valdiviezo, Professor

Nathanial Lurie, Research Analyst, Zero5

Diane Schilder, Senior Research Scientist, CEELO

Cecile Tousignant, ECE Consultant, Child Tools Consulting

Teresa Gonczy, Graduate Student, Harvard University

Rosalind Mann, Administrator, Metro North Children’s Learning Center

John Lippitt, Adjunct Professor, Tufts University & University of Massachusetts, Boston

Betty Bardige, Author and Consultant, A Wealth of Words

Lillian Renaud, Early Childhood Director, MetroWest YMCA

Amanda Wiehe, Professor


Nell Duke, School of Education, University of Michigan

Larry Schweinhart

Christina Weiland, School of Education, University of Michigan

Krystyna Nowak-Fabrykowski, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Central Michigan University

Mary Trepanier-Street, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan at Dearborn

Nichole Paradis, Endorsement Director, Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health

Laura Scharphorn, Research Associate, Center for Early Education Evaluation at HighScope

Nicole Talge, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michigan State University

Cortney Bamberger, Graduate Student, Eastern Michigan University

Cheryl Polk, President, HighScope Educational Research Foundation

Kristin Rispoli, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

Ryan P. Bowles, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Aviva Dorfman, Associate Professor, School of Education and Human Services, University of Michigan-Flint

Frederick Morrison, Professor, University of Michigan

Timothy Bartik, Senior Economist, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Carolyn Dayton, Assistant Professor & Associate Director, IMH Program, Wayne State University

Regena Nelson, Professor, Western Michigan University

Kanishka Misra, Assistant Professor

Leslie Griffith, Early Childhood Mental Health Therapist

Nancy Surbrook, Training and Technical Assistance Manager

Janie Ashcraft Winn, Educator

Rebecca Stoessner, Adjunct Faculty, Lansing Community College


Arthur Reynolds, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

Sharon Berry, Director of Training, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of MN

Richard Lee, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota

Judy Temple, Associate Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Arthur J.Rolnick, Senior Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Stephanie Carlson, Professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

Elizabeth Seebach, Associate Professor, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota

Sammy Perone, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota

Aaron Sojourner, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management

Emily McTate, Post-doctoral Fellow, Instructor in Psychology

Scott McConnell, Professor, University of Minnesota

Amy Susman-Stillman, Director, Center for Early Education and Development, University of Minnesota


Beverly Alford, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Mississippi

Carey Bernini Dowling, Instructional Assistant Professor, University of Mississippi


Linda Espinosa, University of Missouri, Columbia

Sarah Huisman, Associate Professor and Director of Early Childhood Program, Fontbonne University

Susan Claflin, Associate Professor, Missouri Western State University

Bruce Biddle, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri

Michael Amlung, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Missouri

Kathy Thornburg, Researcher


Julie Bullard, Professor, University of Montana Western

Mary Bolick, Director


Lisa Knoche, Research Associate Professor, Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools

Susan Sheridan, Professor and Director, Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools/University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Brandy Clarke, Research Assistant Professor, The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Victoria Molfese, Professor, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Juan Casas, Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Kathleen Rudasill, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

New Hampshire

Patricia Cantor, Professor, Plymouth State University

Eun Kyeong Cho, Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire

Leslie Couse, Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire

Lisa Ranfos, Assistant Clinical Professor, University of New Hampshire

Leslie J. Couse, Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire

Betsy Humphreys, Research Assistant Professor, Institute on Disability/University of New Hampshire

New Jersey

W. Steven Barnett, Director, National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Ellen C. Frede, Acelero Learning

Marie Ellen Larcada, ECE Editor, Retired, Teachers College Press

Rochel Gelman, Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Jim Squires, Senior Research Fellow, National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Kimberly Brenneman, Director, Early Childhood STEM Lab, National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Shannon Riley-Ayers, Assistant Research Professor, National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Alissa Lange, Assistant Research Professor, National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Milagros Nores, Researcher, National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Marta Tienda, Professor, Princeton University

Janet Currie, Professor, Princeton University

Lorenzo Moreno, Visiting Lecturer in Public Affairs, Princton University

Susan Golbeck, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

Stephanie M. Curenton, Professor, Rutgers University

Catherine Lugg, Professor, Rutgers University

Lori Connors-Tadros, Project Director, Rutgers University

Alisa Belzer, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

Dorothy Strickland, Professor Emerita, Rutgers University

Sharon Ryan, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Rutgers University

Beth Rubin, Associate Professor, Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education

Jennifer Austin, Associate Professor, Rutgers University, Newark

Michael Bzdak, Adjunct Professor, Rutgers University

Zeynep Isik-Ercan, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Early Childhood Education, Rowan University

Linda Stork

Grace Ibanez Friedman, Retired Associate Professor, St. John’s University

Kerry de Voogd, Program Director, STEM Academy for Young Kids

Barbara Hochberg

Kirsty Clarke Brown, Researcher, National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

New Mexico

Betsy Cahill, Associate Professor, New Mexico State University

Jennifer Benson, Clinical Psychology PhD student, University of New Mexico

Linda Goetze, Senior Researcher, University of New Mexico Center for Education Policy Research

New York

J. Lawrence Aber, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

Clancy Blair, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Teachers College & College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University

Laurie Miller Brotman, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center

Douglas Clements, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Jacqueline Jones, Incoming President, Foundation for Child Development

Sharon Lynn Kagan, Teachers College, Columbia University

Alan Mendelsohn, Department of Pediatrics, NYU Langone Medical Center

Pamela Morris, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

Susan B. Neuman, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

Cybele Raver, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

Irwin Redlener, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University

Julie Sarama, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Jeffrey Sachs, Earth Institute, Columbia University

Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

Nancy Gropper, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Helen Freidus, Professor, Bank Street College

Sheldon Shaeffer, Former Director, UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education

Andrew Ratner, Professor, City College of New York

Karen Gregory, Lecturer, City College of New York

Shael Polakow-Suransky, President, Bank Street College of Education

Eileen Mahoney, Associate Professor, Hudson Valley Community College

Ann Fantauzzi, Education Consultant/Researcher, Albany Health Management Associates

Jim Hoot, Professor, SUNY at Buffalo
Lisa McCabe, Research Associate, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University

Tatyana Kleyn, Associate Professor, City College of New York

Sherry M. Cleary, Executive Director, City University of New York

Kimberly Noble, Assistant Professor, Columbia University

Llenell Paz, Researcher, Columbia University / Pace University

R. Gabriela Barajas-Gonzalez, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone
Medical Center

Spring Dawson-McClure, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center

Toni Porter, Principal, Early Care Amanda Education Consulting

Deborah Rosenfeld, Research Associate, Education Development Center, Inc.

Marion Goldstein, Research Associate, Education Development Center, Inc.

Ashley Lewis Presser, Senior Research Associate, Education Development Center, Inc.

Regan Vidiksis, Research Associate, Education Development Center’s Center for Children and Technology

Joshua L. Brown, Associate Professor, Fordham University

Donald Hernandez, Professor, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Lisa Gennetian, Senior Research Scientistor, Institute for Human Development and Social Change, New York University

Lynn Cohen, Professor, LIU/Post

Michelle Maier, Research Associate, MDRC

Zoila Tazi, Associate Professor, Mercy College

Marjorie Rhodes, Assistant Professor, New York University

Fabienne Doucet, Associate Professor, New York University

Maia Connors, Doctoral Candidate, New York University

Erin O’Connor, Associate Professor, New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development

Barbara Schwartz, Associate Clinical Professor, New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and
Human Development

Bernice Reinharth, Ph.D, clinical psychologist, Private Practice

Patsy Cooper, Professor, Queens College, CUNY

Allison Friedman-Krauss, Doctoral Student, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development New York University

Jorge Saenz De Viteri, Early Childhood Education Specialist, STG International Inc.

Henry Levin, Teachers College, Columbia University

Susan Recchia, Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University

Sharon L. Kagan, Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University

Dina López, Assistant Professor, The City College of New York, CUNY

X. Christine Wang, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Maria Hantzopoulos, Assistant Professor of Education, Vassar College

Erin McCloskey, Associate Professor, Vassar College

Colette Cann, Assistant Professor, Vassar College

Donald J. Yarosz, Ed.D. Faculty, Walden University

Shira Mattera, Research Associate

Colleen Gibbons, Law Student

Chrishana M. Lloyd, Senior Research Associate

Cynthia Lamy, Researcher

Susan Ochshorn, Policy Researcher, ECE PolicyWorks

Abigail Jewkes, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Saint John’s University

Alexandra Ursache, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Columbia University

Patsy Cooper, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Queen’s College CUNY

Costas Meghir, Professor, Yale University

Karen McFadden, Assistant Professor, Brooklyn College, CUNY

Tatyana Kleyn, Assistant Professor, City College of New York

Monica Levy, Director, LeapSmart

Cristina Natale, Teacher, Queen’s College

Julie Barton, Children’s Center Coordinator

Liege Motta, Adjunct Professor, The City College of New York, CUNY

Renee Dinnerstein

Alexandra Miletta, Assistant Professor, Mercy College

Ellen Cerniglia, Associate Professor of Education, Touro College

Beverly Falk, Professor, The City College of New York

Sara Seiden, Lecturer, City University of New York

Joni Kolman, Assistant Professor, City College of New York, CUNY

Amy Snider, Professor, Pratt Institute

Fretta Reitzes, Director Wonderplay Early Learning Initiative, 92nd Street Y

Kathlene McDonald, Associate Professor, The City College of New York, CUNY

Robert Lubestsky, Associate Professor, City College of New York

Betsy Grob, Early Childhood Educational Specialist

Jennifer Gilken, Instructor, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Carol M. Gross, Instructor, Lehman College, City University of New York

Barbara Weiserbs, Associate Professor, Kingsborough Community College/CUNY

Florence Schneider, Professor

Laura Kates, Associate Professor, Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York

Cecilia Espinosa, Professor

Sharon Prince, Lecturer, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY

Glenn Moller, Lecturer-ECE, Kingsborough Community College

Patricia Dangler, Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education, Rochester City School District

Stephanie Dockweiler, President, QS2 Training and Consulting

Anne Mitchell, President, Early Childhood Policy Research

North Carolina

Margaret Burchinal, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ayrora Barker, Doctoral Student, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Lisa Schell, Parent Educator, Burke Co. Public Schools

Diana Leyva, Assistant Professor, Davidson College

Kenneth Dodge, Professor, Duke University

Karen Appleyard Carmody, Assistant Professor, Duke University

Helen Ladd, Professor, Duke University

Clara Muschkin, Assistant Research Professor, Duke University

Mary Knight-McKenna, Associate Professor, Elon University

Sam Oertwig, Scientist, FirstSchool, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sharon Ritchie, Senior Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Diane Early, Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Noreen Yazejian, Research Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Samuel L. Odom, Director, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Richard M Clifford, Senior Scientist Emeritus, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sandra Soliday Hong, Fellow, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Robert Carr, Graduate Research Assistant, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Terri Barrett, Professor, Lenoir-Rhyne University

RM Schell, PhD, BCBA-D, Director of Psychology, Riddle Developmental Center

Anna Gassman-Pines, Assistant Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

Sharon Palsha, Clinical Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, School of Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Deborah J. Cassidy, Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Frances A, Campbell, Senior Scientist, University of NC at Chapel Hill

Danielle Crosby, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, University of North Carolina
at Greensboro

Pam Winton, Senior Scientist and Research Professor

Allison B Landy, State Programs Director

Jeff Rosenberg, Early Childhood Educator/Administrator

Edward Fiske, Education writer

Michael Little, Educational Analyst, RTI International

Betsy Burrows, Director of Teacher Education, Brevard College

Chih-Ing Lim, Investigator, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Tracey West, Investigator, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Camille Catlett, Scientist, FPG Child Development Center

Kate Gallagher, Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University or North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anne Cash, Assistant Professor, College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Eva C. Phillips, Ready Schools Coordinator, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, Senior Scientist, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Holly Higgins Wilcher, Research Analyst and Professor

North Dakota

Kristen Votava, Graduate Director of Early Childhood Education,, University of North Dakota

Grace Onchwari, Associate Professor, University of North Dakota


Laura Justice, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University

Diana Lyon, Early Learning Coordinator, State Support Team Region 5

Sindhia Swaminathan, Graduate Student, Bowling Green State University

Eileen Anderson-Fye, Robson Associate Professor of Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University

Karl Wheatley, Associate Professor, Cleveland State University

Dinah Volk, Professor, College of Education, Cleveland State University

Jaclyn M. Dynia, Senior Researcher, Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy

Martha Lash, Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education, Kent State University

Kenneth Cushner, Professor, Kent State University

Belinda Zimmerman, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education and Literacy, Kent State University

Susan Mauck, Graduate Research Associate, Quantitative Research in Educational Studies Ohio State University

Jessica Logan, Research Scientist, The Ohio State University

Kelly Purtell, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University

Victoria Carr, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

Mary A. Fristad, Professor

Helene Arbouet Harte, Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College

Andrew Saultz, Assistant Professor, Miami University

Elizabeth Sailer, Educational Program Specialist, Ohio Department of Education

Christi Delloma, Middletown City Board of Education

Linda Jagielo, Professor


Diane M. Horm, GKFF Endowed Chair, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa

Amy Williamson, Assistant Professr, University of Oklahoma

Jodie Riek, Doctoral Students/Early Childhood Education Instructor, Oklahoma State University


Philip Fisher, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon

Ajay Singh, Research Scholar, Early Intervention Program, Department of Special Education & Clinical Sciences, University of Oregon

Laura Lee McIntyre, Professor, College of Education, University of Oregon

Beth Stormshak, Professor, College of Education, University of Oregon

Andy Garbacz, Assistant Professor, College of Education, University of Oregon

Andrew Mashburn, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Portland State University

Jacqueline Bruce, Research Scientist, Oregon Social Learning Center

Bridget Hatfield, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University

Megan McClelland, Katherine E Smith Healthy Children and Families Professor, Oregon State University

Leslie Leve, Professor, University of Oregon

Ilana Umansky, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon

John M Love, Independent Consultant, Retired

Amy Howell, Associate Professor, Central Oregon Community College

Hollie Hix-Small, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education, Portland State University

Christyn Dundorf, Instructor, Portland Community College

Eric Pakulak, Research Associate, University of Oregon


Karen Bierman, Department of Psychology, Penn State University

John Fantuzzo, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

Vivian Gadsden, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

Mark Greenberg, Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Penn State University

Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, Department of Psychology, Temple University

Shannon Wanless, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh
Richard Fiene, Retired HDFS/Psychology Professor, Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Penn State University

Robert Nix, Research Associate, Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Penn State University

Marsha Weinraub, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Temple University

Dominic Gullo, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Drexel University

David Bennett, Professor, Drexel University

Kara E. McGoey, PhD, Associate Professor, Duquesne University

Michael Robb, Director of Education and Research, Fred Rogers Center, St. Vincent College

Junlei Li, Professor, Fred Rogers Center, St. Vincent College

Brook Sawyer, Assistant Professor, Lehigh University

Kristin A Buss, Professor, Penn State University

Carolyn J. Griess, Lecturer, Penn State Harrisburg

Mark Feinberg, Research Professor, Penn State University

Sukhdeep Gill, Associate Professor, Penn State University

Suzy Scherf, Professor, Penn State University

Cristin Hall, Assistant Professor, Penn State University

Barbara Schaefer, Associate Professor of Education, Penn State University

Paul Morgan, Associate Professor of Education, Penn State University

Claudia Mincemoyer, Professor, Penn State University

Janet Welsh, Senior Research Associate, Penn State University

Keith Nelson, Professor, Penn State University

Cynthia Stifter, Professor, Penn State University

Lynn Hartle, Professor, The Penn State University, Brandywine

Gregory M. Fosco, Asistant Professor, The Pennsylvania State University

Cynthia Huang-Pollock, Associate Professor of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University

Amy Marshall, Associate Professor of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University

Ginger Moore, Associate Professor, The Pennsylvania State University

Toscha Blalock, Research Specialist, University of Pennsylvania, Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE)

Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Shannon Wanless, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Afton Kirk, Graduate Student Researcher, University of Pittsburgh

Michelle Sobolak, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh

Anna Guerrero, Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Patricia Crawford, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Cindy J. Popovich, Faculty Higher Education, University of Pittsburgh

Hila Lutz, Student

Ken Smythe-Leistico, Assistant Director

Roger D. Phillips, Developmental Psychologist & Evaluation Consultant, Independent Researcher/Evaluator

Erin Baumgartner, Doctoral Candidate, Pennsylvania State University

Tracy Larson, Assistant Director, Early Childhood Partnerships

Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Senior Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania

Jere Behrman, Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Glenna Crooks, Founder and CEO, SageLife, LLC

Jeanie Burnett, Professor of Education, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Michelle Neuman, Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania

Stephen Bagnato, Professor of Psychology & Pedatrics, University of Pittsburgh

Rhode Island

Lewis Lipsitt, Professor Emeritus of Psychology & Medical Science, Brown University

Paul Bueno de Mesquita, Professor, Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies

Paul LaCava, Associate Professor, Rhode Island College

Susan Zoll, Assistant Professor and Director, Institute for Early Childhood Teaching and Learning, Rhode Island College

Judi Stevenson-Garcia, Education Specialist, Rhode Island Department of Education

South Carolina

Joe Waters, Vice President, Institute for Child Success

Doyle Stevick, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policies, University of South Carolina

Susan Shi, Chair Emerita, Institute for Child Success

South Dakota

Andrew Stremmel, Professor, South Dakota State University

Gayle Bortnem, Professor, Northern State University

Gera Jacobs, Professor


Shelly Counsell, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, University of Memphis

Shirley Raines, President Emeritus, University of Memphis

Brian Wright, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education

Mimi Engel, Assistant Professor, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

David Dickinson, Professor, Vanderbilt University

Mary Louise Hemmeter, Professor, Vanderbilt University

Robin McWilliam, Director, Center for Child and Family Research

Martha Herndon, Professor, Child & Family Studies, University of Tennessee at Martin


Elizabeth Gershoff, School of Human Ecology, University of Texas

Aletha Huston, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Texas at Austin

Elizabeth Beavers, Assistant Professor, University of Houston Clear Lake

Christopher Brown, Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin

Marni Axelrad, Associate Professor, Board Certified Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychologist, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital

Karin Price, Associate Professor, Baylor College of Medicine; Texas Children’s Hospital

Lauren Decker, Senior Researcher, Edvance Research, Inc.

Cynthia Osborne, Associate Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT Austin

Linda McSpadden McNeil, Professor, Rice University

Dena Buchalter, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, Sheldon Independent School District

Jill A Smith, Assistant Professor, University of Houston-Clear Lake

Esther J. Calzada, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Susan Landry, Professor, University of Texas Houston Health Sciences Center

Juyin Helen Wong, Graduate Assistant, Texas A&M University

Jane Ann Brown, Program Coordinator Reading Intervention, Klein ISD

Preeti Jain, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Houston–Clear Lake

Arya Ansari, Graduate Student, University of Texas at Austin

Kimberly Cornwell, Director of Special Education Supports, University of Houston–Clear Lake

Rebecca Huss-Keeler, Associate Professor, University of Houston–Clear Lake

Angelica Herrera, Research Associate, SEDL

Hilda Medrano, Professor, The University of Texas Pan American

Jennifer Keys Adair, Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Austin


Mark S. Innocenti, Director, Research & Evaluation, Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University

Seung-Hee Son, Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Utah

Lori Roggman, Professor, Human Development, Utah State University

Ann M. B. Austin, Professor, Utah State University

Elisabeth Conradt, Assistant Professor, University of Utah


Lori Erbrederis Meyer, Assistant Professor, University of Vermont

Dianna Murray-Close, Associate Professor, University of Vermont

Jeanne Goldhaber, Associate Professor Emerita, University of Vermont

Nancy Smith, Administrator


Daphna Bassok, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Craig Ramey, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Chloe Gibbs, Assistant Professor, Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Claire Cameron, Research Scientist, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, University of Virginia

Jason Downer, Research Associate Professor, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, University of Virginia

Jessica Whittaker, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning,
University of Virginia

Sara Rimm-Kaufman, Professor, Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning, University of Virginia

Christine Harris-Van Keuren, Senior Research Scientist, Educational Policy Institute

Adam Winsler, Professor, Applied Developmental Psychology, George Mason University

Robert Pianta, Dean and Professor, University of Virginia

Amanda Williford, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Bridget Hamre, Research Associate Professor, University of Virginia

Eileen Merritt, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch, Research Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

Mable Kinzie, Professor, University of Virginia

Tina Stanton-Chapman, Associate Professor, University of Virginia

Lauren Stark, Research Assistant, University of Virginia

Amanda Schwartz, Educational Consultant

Sandy Wilberger, Co-Director, Virginia Commonwealth University Training and Technical Assistance Center

Sharon Raver-Lampman, Professor, Old Dominion University

Phyllis Mondak, Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Dorothy Sluss, Professor, James Madison University

Jen Newton, Assistant Professor, James Madison University

Cathy Bolen, ECSE Teacher, Bedford County

Mira Williams, Assistant Professor, James Madison University

Timothy Curby, Associate Professor, James Madison University

Mary Horsley, Teacher, Richmond Public Schools

Deana Buck, Program Leader, Early Childhood, Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University

John Almarode, Department Head, Assistant Professor, James Madison University

Deborah Jonas, Chewning Research Fellow, Virginia Early Childhood Foundation

Dorothy Sluss, Professor, James Madison University


Marilyn Chu, Associate Professor, Western Washington University

Mark Jackson, Professor of Children, Youth & Family Studies, Trinity Lutheran College

Richard N Brandon, Director; Sr. Research Fellow (Retired), Human Services Policy Center, University of Washington

Holly Schindler, Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Kristie Kauerz, Research Assistant Professor, P-3 Policy and Leadership, University of Washington, College of Education

Carlos Anguiano, Graduate Student, Washington State University, Pullman

Christopher Blodgett, Director, Washington State University

Beck Taylor, President, Whitworth University

Susan Spieker, Professor, University of Washington

Gail Joseph, Associate Professor, University of Washington

Monica Oxford, Research Professor, University of Washington

Washington, D.C.

William Gormley, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Deborah Phillips, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University

Ruby Takanishi, New America Foundation

Emiliana Vegas, Education Division Chief, Inter-American Development Bank

Florencia Lopez Boo, Senior Economist, InterAmerican Development Bank

Mary Eming Young, Co-leader, Early Childhood Interventions, HCEO Institute for New Economic Thinking, University of Chicago

Harold Alderman, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute

Laura Hawkinson, Researcher, American Institutes for Research

Taryn Morrissey, Assistant Professor, American University

Elaine Weiss, National Coordinator, Broader, Bolder Approach to Education

Emma Garcia, Economist, Economic Policy Institute

Cindy Hoisington, Learning and Teaching Division, Education Development Center, Inc.

Sandra Bishop-Josef, Researcher, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

Maxine Freund, Associate Dean for Research & Professor, George Washington University School of Education

Sara Anderson, Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgetown University

Toby Long, Associate Professor, Georgetown University

Hakim Rashid, Professor, Howard University

Louisa Tarullo, Associate Director of Research, Mathematica Policy Research

Kimberly Boller, Senior Fellow, Mathematica Policy Research

Sally Atkins-Burnett, Senior Researcher, Mathematica Policy Research

Sandra Barrueco, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, The Catholic University of America

Erica Greenberg, Research Associate, The Urban Institute

Ajay Chaudry, Author

Wai-Ying Chow, Research Scientist

Florencia Lopez Boo, Senior Economist

Erdal Tekin, Professor, American University

Kyle Snow, Senior Scholar and Director, Center for Applied Research, NAEYC

Yvette Murphy, Director of Advocacy & Outreach, Association for Childhood Education International

Banhi Bhattacharya, Director of Professional Development, Association for Childhood Education International

Diane Whitehead, Executive Director, Association for Childhood Education International

Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow and Cabot Family Chair of Economic Studies, Brookings Institution

Emily Vargas-Baron, Director, The RISE Institute

West Virginia
Melissa Sherfinski, Assistant Professor, West Virginia University


Katherine Magnuson, School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Jessica Quindel, Assistant Principal, Milwaukee Public Schools

Beth Graue, Professor, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin Madison

Anneliese Dickman, Policy and Program Researcher, Penfield Children’s Center

Deborah McNelis, Early Childhood Brain Development Specialist, Brain Insights, LLC

Dipesh Navsaria, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin

Melissa McGaughey, Manager, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute


Ruth Churchill Dower, Director, Earlyarts, UK

Ximena Pena, Associate Professor, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia

Diana Jarvis, Professor/Coordinator, Universidad de San Andrès. Ministerio de Educación CABA Argentina, Argentina

Soi Yee Kan, Lecturer, Malaysia

Kimberly Glasgow-Charles, Postgraduate Student, University of the West Indies, Jamaica

Bi Young Hu, Assistant Professor, University of Macau

Cecilia Lavena, Professor, Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina

Svante Persson, Senior Operations Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Panama

Simon Sommer, Head of Research, Jacobs Foundation, Switzerland

Leela Ramdeen, Education Consultant, Chair of Education Discussion Group, Trinidad

Maureen Samms-Vaughan, Professor of Child Health, Development and Behaviour, University of the West Indies, Jamaica

Lisa Ibrahim-Joseph, Education and Research Officer, Trinidad

Donna Jackson-Maldonado, Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Mexico

Eric Kimathi, Researcher, Norway

Kassahun Weldemariam, Pedagogical Leader

Raquel Bernal, Professor, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Bente Jensen, Professor, University of Aarhus, Denmark

Scott Hughes, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Education, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada

Ernesto Trevino, Center for Comparative Education Policies, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile

Steven Ludeke, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Masatoshi Jimmy Suzuki, Associate Professor, Hyogo University of Teacher Education, Japan

Florrie Ng, Professor, Japan

Rebecca Chelimo, Lecturer, Kenya Institute of Special Education, Kenya

Noor Jung Shah, Lecturer, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Patrick McIver, Asst. Professor, Catholic University of Daegu, South Korea

Maregesi Machumu, Lecturer, Tanzania

Ana Sofia Leon Lince, Professor, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile

Niels Peter Rygaard, Psychologist & Researcher, Fairstart Global, Denmark

Sylvia Choo, Doctor, Department of Child Development, KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Singapore

Sebastián Lipina, Professor, Unidad de Neurobiología Aplicada, Argentina

Eric Atmore, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Laxmi Paudyal, Manager, Kathmandu University, Nepal

Cecília Aguiar, Assistant Professor, ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal
Pam Lutze, South Africa
Carolyn Victoria Uy Ronquillo, Associate Professor, Woosong University, South Korea
Maresa Duignan, PhD, Ireland
Jessica Ball, Professor, University of Victoria, BC, Canada
Melina Furman, Assistant Professor, School of Education- Universidad de San Andrés- Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Juan Jose Llach, Professor, Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Maria E. Podesta, Professor and Researcher, University of San Andrés, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Alejandra Cortazar, Professor, University Diego Portales, Chile
Bruno Raposo Ferreira, Research Assistant and PhD Student in Development Psychology, ISPA-IU, UIPCDE., Lisbon, Portugal
Orazio Attanasio, Professor, University College London and IFS, London, UK
Marta Rubio-Codina, Senior Research Economist, Institute for Fiscal Studies, London, UK
Kristell Le Martret, Project Coordinator, Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, Quebec, Canada
Britta Augsberg,Research Economist, IFS, UK
Gabriella Conti, Assistant Professor, University College London, UK
Pedro Carneiro, University College London, UK
Torill Hindmarch, MA, OMEP Member, Akershus, Norway
Shahidullah Sharif, Researcher, Institute of Educational Development (IED), BRAC University, Bangladesh

Anyars Ibrahim, Doctoral Researcher, University of Warwick, UK, (Ghana)

Anastasia Misirli, Early Childhood Educator, Researcher, President of the Local Department of Patras of the O.M.E.P., 3rd Special Needs Preschool of Patras, University of Patras, Greece

Sharon Swartz, Teacher

Carmen Powell, Early Years Professional

Omar Anbar, Researcher

Carmen Emanuel, BAOBAB ECD, Republic of South Africa

Linda Bosman, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Sarah Cattan, Senior Research Economist, UK

Ron Spreeuwenberg, CEO, HiMama, Canada

Selvaraj Gabriel, Early Childhood Educator, Association of Early Childhood Educators, India

Becky Chun, Lecturer, Belize

Javier Saenz Core, Content Curator, Early Childhood Development Community, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

Charles Pascal, Professor, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Naznin Dhanani, Consultant, CMAS Canada, Canada

Amina Abubakar, Research Fellow, Lancaster University, UK

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