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Early Childhood Education

  • Let’s Talk: Professional Development Modules

    The highest rate of vocabulary development (and corresponding acquisition of background knowledge) occurs during the preschool years. This makes preschool a crucial time for effective, content-rich instruction. Accordingly, the Institute has developed a series of Common Core State Standards (CCSS)-aligned modules, which are designed to strengthen the ability of early childhood educators to impart rich, academic content in fun, developmentally appropriate ways. The modules cover the academic domains of oral language development, early literacy, early science, and early mathematics.

  • Measuring School Settings: The Preschool Educational Environment Rating System

    The Preschool Educational Environment Rating System (PEERS) is a measure designed to examine the quality of instruction in preschool settings. Unlike other rating scales, it not only measures the environment, it also examines both how teachers construct their classroom for instruction and the quality of the enactment of instruction.

  • Positive Behavior in the Early Years

    This new program investigates what may be driving high rates of suspensions of poor children of color in early childhood classrooms. Our prelimnary work suggests that, aside from the important issue of unconscious bias, some problems arise from children’s lack of experience in using language to mediate behavior and the failure to provide teachers with alternatives to suspension.

  • Let's Talk - Overview

    Young children’s oral language development has long-term implications for their academic success; but there are profound differences in word learning and content knowledge between children living in poverty and those from more economically advantaged homes.

  • Implementing Large-Scale Change in a Midsize Urban District

    This program helped in the development of a high-quality, districtwide professional development plan for pre-K oral language development in St. Louis Public Schools, building on a unique labor-management partnership and a joint commitment to increasing both the quantity and quality of pre-K classrooms in this midsized urban school system.

  • Learning About the French Early Childhood System

    In 2001, the Institute organized a study trip to France, designed to enable participants to get an intensive look at the French preschool system, which has gained international attention for being both universal and of high quality.