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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As I Sit Here: Thinking about Pre-k


As I sit here, preparing for a Teacher’s College conference, Seize the Moment: Rise to the Challenge of Pre-k, I can’t keep my mind from wandering to my years of teaching four year olds at a private nursery school and at P.S. 321, in Brooklyn, New York. At the time,so many years ago, I didn’t consciously think about the concepts of inquiry, investigation and exploration. I just assumed that those were the ways that four year olds learn. I didn’t, quite truthfully, have a philosophical or pedagogical background in pre-kindergarten instruction. I just seemed to understand and take for granted that four year olds needed many opportunites to explore, inquire, experiment and play, play, play. I was careful to set up centers that supported playful exploration. I brought in an old typewriter and this led to the children setting up an office.When we set up a fish tank in the science center, a fish study was born.

We made playdough each week. Not the cooked kind that could last for weeks. We made, instead, uncooked playdough so that the children’s hands could get right into the mixing bowl and feel what happened as each ingredient was added. We never used store-bought playdough. It was much more fun, and so much more learning took place, when we made our own mixture.

I have absolutely no memory of using any “program.” No Letter People. No Opening the World of Learning. No worksheets. I read stories. Lots and lots of stories. We sang songs. Many, many songs. Rhyming songs. Rhythmic songs. Clapping songs. ABC songs. We looked at our names. “Look, look, Johnny’s name starts just like mine!” “Yes, lets see if anyone else in the class has a name with Johnny and Jackie’s J.” We walked around the neighborhood and looked at familiar signs.

We wondered how many days it would be until Karen’s birthday. We counted the days on the calendar and each day noticed that it was one number less and getting closer to Karen’s special day.

danceThere was dancing!

dress upMake-believe and dress-up!finger paint Finger painting (remember that?) block buildersBuilding!

All of our learning was playful, inquiry-based, and explorative. That’s what pre-k should be. Children should be able to lose themselves in the fun and challenge of a self-chosen activity. Who said that a four year old has a limited attention span? Offer a child materials that are totally engrossing and engaging and there will be a groan of “oh no!” when the end of the period is announced.

So now I’ll return to  planning my workshops on “Inquiry and Investigation” and “Providing Big Opportunities for Little Scientists.” I hope that these forty minutes meetings with teachers will give me an opportunity to share my passion for creating pre-kindergarten classes that do not follow prescribed programs and unrealistic mandates but that do follow children’s natural curiosities and enthusiasms.

At the Museum


“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso

“Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder where you are” A group of three year old children sat by a painting in the National Gallery in London, looking up at the stars painted in the sky and sang quietly along with the museum educator who was sitting cross-legged in front of them. As they gazed at the large painting of a nativity scene the educator asked them if they could see the little baby. Many waving hands pointed to the image of the baby Jesus in the cradle. “Let’s sing the baby to sleep.” She cradled an imaginary baby in her arms and softly began singing “Lullaby, and goodnight, go to sleep my baby.” The children didn’t need to be invited to join her. They cradled their own babies and sang along. Storytelling punctuated with singing (the baby intermittently needed a lullaby and the stars continued to twinkle) kept these toddlers engaged and interacting with the art.

My husband Simon and I walked on, looking at a variety of paintings. We had been to London a few times before and felt as though we were visiting old friends. Van Eyck’s The Marriage of Arnolfini, Holbein’s masterpiece The Ambassadors and my favorite, Piero’s musical angels in The Nativity.Piero The Nativity

We continued to wander until we suddenly came upon a class of nine year olds, led by another museum educator. As they entered the gallery, walking towards the selected painting, we noticed that two boys were walking backwards. I was intrigued and stopped to see what was happening.

(c) The National Gallery, London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationThe two boys stood to the side of the painting, unable to see it. The other children sat on the floor facing the painting by Gaspard Duchet, Landscape of the Union of Dido and Aeneas. “I want you to use your best words to describe the painting to Tom and Ahmed. Let your words help them to see the painting with their minds.” The children looked and looked carefully, trying to notice the smallest details, using more and more descriptive language. The two boys, Ahmed and Tom, were encouraged to ask questions of their classmates. “Is the horse on the right or left side of the painting?” “Is there a mountain in the painting?” After a few minutes Ahmed and Tom were asked to turn around and look at the painting and tell if it looked as they imagined it to look.

These children were all totally engaged with the painting and with the challenge of assignment. They discovered a connection between the use of descriptive language and their visual experience. What a brilliant exercise this was. When the group stood up to leave the gallery I stopped the teacher to ask her if this was a designated “gifted” class and she assured me that it was a regular class of nine year olds who were having a good time looking at art. Yes indeed.

It was then 12:30, our reserved time to go downstairs to see the exhibition of Late Rembrandt paintings. Rembrandt-self-portrait-age-63-NG221-c-face-halfThis exhibition was one of the reasons for our trip to London. As expected, the galleries were quite crowded. However, there was a hush in the air, almost as though everyone was visiting a cathedral. Well, it was a holy place, a cathedral for art. Rembrandts masterpieces were shown the respect that they deserved. What was interesting was that during our week in London we visited a few other blockbuster exhibits – drawings by Egon Schiele at the Courtauld Institute, Late Turner at the Tate Britain and the incredible German artist Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy.

All of these exhibitions were crowded. At all of the exhibitions the gallery visitors, just like the three year old and nine year old school children, displayed respect and a sense of reverence for the art. It was impressive and inspiring.

Celebration! A book on Inquiry-based Choice Time!

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
e. e. cummings

small_celebration-balloonsEver since I left my own classroom in 2000, I thought that I would write a book about Choice Time. I felt (and feel) quite passionate about that time of the day when children mix inquiry and exploration with play. I talked with friends about this not-yet written book. When I worked with teachers in their classrooms and met with them in planning meetings, I talked about writing this book. I even wrote something on my blog bio about this unwritten book. All of this talk and thinking, however, didn’t lead me to feel confident enough to sit down and start writing.

This year, though, I finally sat down and began to write in earnest. Why now? Perhaps it was the urging and support of family and friends. Maybe a significant birthday loomed over me. The persistent confidence of Zoe White most certainly helped me to believe in myself and in the importance of what I had to say. I also think that the disturbing test-driven climate in education made me realize that this book is so important to get out before inquiry and exploration have no connection to a child’s school experiences.

So, I started writing. I worked really hard on drafting a table of contents that I think will speak to the many issues teachers face in setting up and facilitating exciting and relevant centers that allow children to use so many of Malaguzzi’s hundred languages to explore their world. I then wrote a complete chapter on Dramatic Play in pre-k through second grade classes. Zoe checked it over and gave me some editing advice and then she sent it out to Heinemann, where she works as an editor. They thought enough of what I had to say to take the next step and sent the chapter out for peer review.

The reviewers were very positive and yesterday I found out that Heinemann has offered to publish my book on an Inquiry-based Choice Time!

Now I’m ready to get to work. My next chapter to write will be on the classroom science center. It would be SO helpful to me if you could write in on the blog and share information about your science centers. What science programs are you using? If you don’t have a science center, what is preventing you from keeping one a part of your center time? All of this information will be very helpful in terms of my writing a chapter that will truly support early childhood teachers.

So, I’m sharing my almost breathless excitement with all of you! I want to thank the editors at Heinemann for recognizing the importance of exploration and play in the education of young children. I know that there’s a lot of hard work ahead in creating the book of my dreams but for now, I want to shout “yippee!” and celebrate!

Down the Rabbit Hole?

alice-300x240On April 19, 2013 I posted the blog entry, “Common Sense” where I recounted a meeting between a group of kindergarten teachers and retired Kindergarten teachers with the man who was the Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Chancellor at the New York City Department of Education. Our goal was to urge him to help restore developmentally appropriate practices in kindergartens in public schools across the city. In addition we wanted an end to the endlessly  inappropriate assessments that were taking much time away from the teacher’s meaningful interactions with students. To his credit, he did extend the 20 minutes originally allotted to us and listened to our examples and our frustrations. To my amazement, though, he told us that he actually had not given much thought to kindergarten!

Now this official is the president of the prestigious Bank Street College of Education and he has co-authored an op ed essay that includes the statement, “Play is also fun and interesting, which makes school a place where children look forward to spending their time. It is so deeply formative for children that it must be at the core of our early childhood curriculum.” I feel like Alice who has just slid down the rabbit hole. Is this the same person who just a little more than a year ago admitted that he hadn’t really thought about kindergarten?

When I fumed about what I saw as a politically advantageous flip flop,  a Bank Street professor, pointed out that Diane Ravitch made a change in her viewpoints when she realized what was right for children. When I mentioned this to my husband his response was, “Diane Ravitch came out and said that she originally was mistaken in her thinking and actions. This man has said nothing about having a change of heart and apologizing for his negligence when working in a powerful position at the Department of Education.

I’m waiting for him to say something that will make me feel more comfortable about his essay and that will stop this fuming feeling that I have.

Read the essay and let me know what you’re thinking about my reactions to this perfectly written description about the needs of early childhood contrasted with what happened to early childhood education in the hands of the Department of Education these past few years.

The Opinion Pages | OP-ED CONTRIBUTORS

The Building Blocks of a Good Pre-K

OCT. 21, 2014

WITH the introduction of universal pre-K in New York City, we have created a new entry point into our public school system. This raises a key question: What do we want our children’s first experiences in school to be? What does a good education look like for 4-year-olds?

This summer, Bank Street College of Education led training for 4,000 of New York’s pre-K teachers, including both veterans and hundreds of people who started teaching pre-K for the first time last month. Worried teachers talked about how the pressure to achieve good outcomes on the third-grade state exams has been trickling down to early childhood classrooms in the form of work sheets, skill drills and other developmentally inappropriate methods.

The problem is real, and it is not unique to New York City. Earlier this year, Daphna Bassok and Anna Rorem, educational policy researchers at the University of Virginia, found strong evidence that current kindergarten classrooms rely too heavily on teacher-directed instruction. Their study, “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?” revealed that the focus on narrow academic skills crowded out time for play, exploration and social interaction. In a 2009 report for the Alliance for Childhood, “Crisis in the Kindergarten,” Edward Miller and Joan Almon reported that kindergarten teachers felt that prescriptive curricular demands and pressure from principals led them to prioritize academic skill-building over play.

This is a false choice. We do not need to pick between play and academic rigor.

While grown-ups recognize that pretending helps children find their way into the world, many adults think of play as separate from formal learning. The reality is quite different. As they play, children develop vital cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional skills. They make discoveries, build knowledge, experiment with literacy and math and learn to self-regulate and interact with others in socially appropriate ways. Play is also fun and interesting, which makes school a place where children look forward to spending their time. It is so deeply formative for children that it must be at the core of our early childhood curriculum.

What does purposeful play look like? When you step into an exemplary pre-K classroom, you see a room organized by a caring, responsive teacher who understands child development. Activity centers are stocked with materials that invite exploration, fire the imagination, require initiative and prompt collaboration. The room hums.

In the block area, two girls build a bridge, talking to each other about how to make sure it doesn’t collapse and taking care not to bump into the buildings of children next to them. In an area with materials for make-believe, children enact an elaborate family scenario after resolving who will be the mommy, who will be the grandpa and who will be the puppy. Another group peers through a magnifying glass to examine a collection of pine cones and acorns. On the rug, children lie on their stomachs turning the pages of books they have selected, while at the easel a boy dips his brush into red paint and swoops the paint mostly onto his paper.

The teacher observes and comments. She shifts from group to group, talking with children about their work (“I see that you made a big red circle.”); helping children resolve a conflict (“You both want to be the mommy. What should we do?”); posing an open-ended question to stimulate exploration and problem-solving (“What do you notice when you use the magnifying glass that is different from when you use your eyes?”); and guiding children to manage themselves (“When you finish your snack, what activity would you like to choose?”).

Barbara Biber, one of Bank Street’s early theorists, argued that play develops precisely the skills — and, just as important, the disposition — children need to be successful throughout their lives. The child “projects his own pattern of the world into the play,” she wrote, “and in so doing brings the real world closer to himself. He is building the feeling that the world is his to understand, to interpret, to puzzle about, to make over. For the future we need citizens in whom these attitudes are deeply ingrained.”

Earlier in the 20th century, the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky made the related argument that children’s thinking develops through activity-based learning and social interactions with adults and peers. When teachers base their curriculums on Dr. Vygotsky’s ideas, there are significant benefits for children’s capacity to think, to plan and to sustain their attention on difficult tasks.

Play has long-lasting benefits. What is referred to as self-regulation in preschool becomes resiliency in high school. The University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth has found that this trait, which she famously calls grit, can make or break students, especially low-income students. Over the past three years, the New York City Department of Education developed a framework to support the core behavioral elements that drive college and career readiness. Many of them — persistence, planning, the ability to communicate and the capacity to collaborate — have their roots in early childhood.

Next fall, there will be more students in pre-K in New York City than there are in the entire school system of Atlanta or Seattle. To his credit, Mayor Bill de Blasio has not only pushed for expanding access but has also insisted on improving quality and put real money into training and materials. This is a strong start. But we still need to help parents, administrators and policy makers see what the children themselves know intuitively: Classrooms that pulse with meaningful play are our smartest investment.

Shael Polakow-Suransky, who served as senior deputy chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2011-14, is the president of Bank Street College, where Nancy Nager is a professor of education and child development.

The Journey

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.
Auguste Rodin

Hilly RoadThis week I had the pleasure of having dinner with three very dedicated, hard working New York City early childhood teachers. Two of them, fairly new to teaching, were full of questions about the inquiry process. At some point during our delicious meal, one of the teachers commented on my wealth of knowledge. I practically choked on my food, thinking of all that I’m still learning about teaching and children and also about the long and bumpy road that I traveled from 1968 until 2014.

It wasn’t until I graduated from college with a degree in Sociology, that I realized teaching was what I truly wanted to do with my life. New York City was desperate for new teachers and, after taking 12 credits of rather simple-minded education courses, I was considered to be ready for the classroom. It was the middle of a semester, and at the advice of my teaching friends, I purchased forty postcards and sent them out to schools all over the borough of Brooklyn. I didn’t realize what was about to happen.

Starting at six in the morning my phone began ringing nonstop. “Can you come to sub today?” The voices of the school secretaries usually had a rather frantic sound to them. After traveling to all corners of this large borough, to totally unfamiliar neighborhoods, I too began to have a frantic pitch to my voice! The life of a new substitute teacher, particularly in unfamiliar schools, is not the “Life of Riley.” After a few weeks I began to wonder if I was making the right career choice. I’m ashamed to say that I was also beginning to wonder if I actually liked children very much!

Just at my point of giving up, I received a call from the assistant principal of P.S. 321, a pulic elementary school in my neighborhood. I was told that if I would substitute teach every day, in any class that needed me, I could take over a kindergarten class in April because the teacher was moving from New York. For what seemed like eons, I came in each day just like a trouper. On one particularly miserable day  the children in the “gifted” fifth grade class decided that they did not like my lessons and they began throwing sponges and erasers at me. I was demoralized and didn’t think that I could make it in to substitute teach the next day.  When I spoke with the assistant principal to tell her that I wouId take the next day off, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that if I didn’t continue subbing when and where they needed me, the kindergarten position would be given to another candidate.

I came to work.

Eventually, I had my own class. On my first day with the kindergartens (a morning class and an afternoon class) I proceeded to spill a large container of red paint all of the pretty new pink dress that I foolishly wore to work! I had many lessons to learn!

The next year I taught second grade. I was given some teaching guides, a very helpful paraprofessional, and was told that my children were in the middle of the grade, not ready for second grade work. I, however, was fired up and ready to make this a wonderful year for these 34 seven year olds. But how would I do that? I wasn’t quite sure. Each day I would show up for work no later than 7 a.m. I carefully tied together the legs of two desks and lined each pair up in a nice neat row. If everything were straight and orderly, then it would show that I was in control. Oh, I had so much to learn. Years later, if I saw one of those students, all grown up and walking down the street, I hid from their sight. What must they think of me? What kind of memories could they have from that straight-row year?

What kept me sane that year and the next year when I taught first grade? Well the children of course. They seemed oblivious to how insecure I was and seemed to give me their complete love. Then I had the added support of my colleague, Connie Norgren. Connie and I sat together at our first teacher’s meeting and have been close friends ever since. Connie has truly been my mentor teacher. She just naturally knew what was right for children and she followed her beliefs with her practice. Also, Jennifer Monaghan, the PTA President had faith in me and got PTA funds to support a summer reading course that I took that first year.

In 1970 my husband received a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany and I spent that year reading about 100 novels as I passed the days in the sleepy town of Hesse Lichtenau. When we returned to NY in 1971, I became pregnant and in 1972 gave birth to my marvelous daughter, Simone. When Simone was three years old she was accepted into a wonderful local nursery school, The Storefront School, run by two Bank Street trained teachers. They allowed me to pay for part of the tuition by working half-days in their school . THAT is when I really started learning how to teach young children. I felt as though I were drinking up all that they were modeling in their interactions with their students and in their planning.

Since then I’ve had many different experiences. I’ve taught with some wonderful teachers at P.S. 321 and under three different visionary administrators – William Casey, Peter Heaney and Liz Phillips. I had the privilege of learning from Lucy Calkins when her work, at its beginning stages, was still very inquiry-based. I’ve made three important trips to Reggio Emilia to learn from their educators and children. I could keep adding to this list and it continues to grow.

Why have I subjected you to this long history? It’s to show that teaching is an ongoing journey. Except for a lucky few, many of us don’t naturally know just what to do. We learn and we learn and we learn. And we continue this trip because we love the wonderful payoffs. It’s not a monetary reward but it’s much greater and more important than money. It’s a feeling of being part of something that is more special than one can imagine – the social, emotional and intellectual growth of children. As the Chinese proverb says, “To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

An Inquiry-Based Classroom

screwdriverIt is not the answer that enlightens but the question.
Eugène Ionesco

I recently had the good fortune to view an early screening of the film Good Morning Mission Hill and to hear the director, Amy Valens, talk about the Mission Hill School and her experience of filming in their classrooms. Afterwards, I had a discussion with an administrator of a school in Brooklyn, New York where I am currently doing professional development with the kindergarten and first grade teachers. I have been trying to convince the early childhood staff that the children will learn more and be much happier if the teachers can embrace a culture of inquiry. Except for a few classes, it has been an uphill battle. Sometime, midway through our discussion, this lovely young administrator looked at me with frustration and said, “What do you actually mean when you refer to an inquiry-based classroom?”

We definitely had a failure to communicate. This confusion probably was due to my misguided assumption that I was laying down a strong foundation of understanding before encouraging teachers to make physical and instructional changes. I returned home perplexed and obsessed with thinking about this conversation. It kept me up for most of that night.

The next morning I sat at my computer and began to think about the concept of describing an inquiry-based classroom some more. I created an outline of what I might expect from a classroom where inquiry, exploration and play would intrinsically be the foundation for an early childhood curriculum. With the help of my two wise friends, Julie Diamond and Shelley Grant, I came up with a few bullet points that outlined some understandings that I believe a teacher should have in order to create an inquiry based classroom.

This outline is by no means complete. It’s a work that is very much “in progress.” I am hoping that my blog readers will comment and add suggestions for revising this list. I welcome your thoughts! In this time of standardized testing, evaluations, and finger pointing we need to redirect and bring the attention back to what children, teachers and schools REALLY need.

Some Characteristics of an Inquiry-Based Classroom

The teacher has an understanding that the child comes to school as a fully formed person, not as an empty vessel that needs to be filled.
∗ This implies respect for who the child is and for all the knowledge that the child brings to school from his/her background.
∗ The teacher will develop a curriculum that begins with what the children already know and builds on the child’s sense of wondering.

The teacher understands that as an educator of young children, it is important to be flexible and that the daily schedule is conducive to the age of the children being taught,
∗ Young children need large blocks of time for exploring, building, pretending, etc.
∗ Children shouldn’t be rushed from one activity to another.
∗ Inquiry and Choice time (or whatever you are calling the work/play time) should be at the heart of your program, particularly for pre-k, and kindergarten. Because of that, it needs to be scheduled early in the day.
∗ In the first and second grade too, Inquiry and Choice Time shouldn’t be left for the end of the day because children will be tired from a day of academics and, therefore, will most likely not get the most out of this rich part of your program.

The teacher understands that the child’s curiosity should be scaffolded and nurtured throughout the day.∗ There are opportunities for questioning and explorations all day, throughout the curriculum.

∗ As an example, if the teacher plans to teach the spelling of the sight word “it,” the children might be asked what they notice about the word, what will help them to remember it, etc. Perhaps one child might say, ”It starts with the same letter that Inge’s name starts with only it’s the small “i. ” The teacher acknowledges that as a valid strategy for remembering the word. Another child might add that “it” is a small word because it only has two letters.
∗ Rather than beginning with drilling the spelling of a new word, the children are encouraged to bring to the lesson what they already know and to share it with the class.
∗ Teachers are taking notes on observations throughout the day. These notes are reflected after the school day and used to plan new lessons and centers based on this valuable information.

The teacher understands that it’s important to be teaching the children not the subjects. There are many opportunities for children to engage in self-initiated experiences and for children to feel encouraged to innovate on an idea or project
∗ There should be an area in the room where children can keep on-going projects, for example an art project or a Lego construction.
∗ Children should be encouraged to return to a center another day to continue work on a project.
∗ The block center should be away from traffic and should be large enough for a group of children to comfortably work there together.
∗ The teacher makes sure that there are appropriate tools, materials, books and blank paper (even blank booklets) in each center.
∗ It should be clear where materials belong. Labels with drawings or photos can be taped on shelves to show children where to get and return materials.

Failure should be seen as a part of learning and as an opportunity to take a risk.
∗ If a child is having a behavior problem, the teacher should speak privately with the child. Public behavior charts are basically shaming charts. They are up with the expectation that someone will “be bad.” Children who don’t get their name moved to a “red light” are anxious about being good. Children who have difficulty with self-control become known as the naughty children. There’s basically nothing positive that comes of these charts (they might keep a class in check on the short term but they do so much damage and little teaching in the long term.) As Alfie Kohn writes, “ Reward charts — with or without punishments — shouldn’t be used because children aren’t pets to be trained. Rewards, like punishments, are basically ways of doing things TO people (to make them obey), whereas the only way to help kids grow into decent, responsible, compassionate people is to work WITH them (to solve problems together).”
∗ It’s much more productive to concentrate on “acts of kindness” where a child observe a classmate performing an act of kindness, shares this with the class and it gets posted on the bulletin board. This encourages empathy and community.

The children should feel part of a community and a member of a joyful class. The children should feel a sense of shared ownership of the classroom.
∗ Time is set aside for class meetings where children share their observations, questions, and the work that they have completed or works in progress.
∗ These meetings are opportunities for children to take part in meaningful dialogues.
∗ The teacher enters into the conversation both as a facilitator and as a model.
∗ The teacher never refers to himself/herself in the third person when speaking to a child or to the group. We are, as teachers, modeling social behavior. I don’t think that anyone would sit with a group of friends and say, “Mrs. Dinnerstein enjoyed that book.” Bring back the “I to class conversations!”
∗ The children and teacher decorate the room with the children’s work and not with commercial charts, borders and other materials that can better be produced in the classroom. Someone sitting in a factory in, say, Michigan, does not know the children in your class.
∗ It’s much more effective to have children and teachers collectively come up with class rules.
∗ Children can create number and color charts if it appropriately comes up in class discussions.
∗ Having their own work decorating the room, such as their own alphabet chart hanging across the front of the room, gives the children pride in their work and in their classroom.
∗ The room is organized into clear areas. (In my classroom, I integrated tables into each center, giving the classroom the look of a laboratory for learning and experimenting rather than having tables clustered together.)
∗ Children understand how to use the materials in each area because the teacher has explicitly taught how materials are cared for and where they are stored. The teacher also teaches the routines for going to centers or activities, and cleaning up when the period is ended.

Our Country, Our Future


The Network for Public Education will hold a historic event in one month’s time. You may choose to attend in person at the Brooklyn New School in New York or view it via Livestreaming. A live-stream of the event will be available on Saturday, Oct. 11, starting at Noon Eastern time, 9 am Pacific time at

PUBLIC Education Nation will deliver the conversation the country has been waiting for. Rather than featuring billionaires and pop singers, this event will be built around intense conversations featuring leading educators, parents, students and community activists. We have waited too long for that seat at someone else’s table. This time, the tables are turned, and we are the ones setting the agenda.

This event will be livestreamed on the web on the afternoon of Saturday, October 11, from the auditorium of Brooklyn New School, a public school. There will be four panels focusing on the most critical issues we face in our schools. The event will conclude with a conversation between Diane Ravitch and Jitu Brown.

Testing and the Common Core:
New York Principal of the Year Carol Burris will lead a discussion with educators Takeima Bunche-Smith, Rosa Rivera-McCutchen and Alan Aja.

Support Our Schools, Don’t Close Them:
Chicago teacher Xian Barrett will moderate a panel featuring education professor Yohuru Williams, Hiram Rivera of the Philadelphia Student Union, and a representative of the Newark Student Union.

Charter Schools:
North Carolina writer and activist Jeff Bryant will host a discussion that will include New Orleans parent activist Karran Harper Royal, New York teacher and blogger Gary Rubinstein, and Connecticut writer and activist Wendy Lecker.

Authentic Reform Success Stories:
The fourth panel will be led by Network for Public Education executive director Robin Hiller and will include New York teacher Brian Jones, and from Cincinnati, Greg Anrig.

Diane Ravitch and Jitu Brown, In Conversation
The event will finish off with a conversation between leading community activist Jitu Brown and Diane Ravitch, who will talk about where we are in building a movement for real improvement in our schools.Caro

This event will be broadcast live on the web, and can be viewed from anywhere in the world, at no cost. No registration is required.

If you happen to be in the New York area, you can join the studio audience at the Brooklyn New School, at 610 Henry St. Brooklyn, for the live event.

The Network for Public Education is hosting this event. It is NOT sponsored by the Gates, Walton or Bloomberg foundations. It is sponsored by YOU, each and every one of the people who care about our children’s future.

Can you make a small donation to help us cover the expense of this event? We are determined to create the space not ordinarily given to voices like these. But we need your participation. Please donate by visiting the NPE website and clicking on the PayPal link.