Sunday, February 12, 2012

ramblings and such

A recent article from the New York Times has given me a lot to think about. The achievement gap is growing and the divide becoming increasingly wide. This is beyond an education concern or a political concern - it is a moral concern. The article addressing the growing education gap appropriately points to the importance of early childhood experiences.

...affluent children spend 1,300 more hours than low-income children before age 6 in places other than their homes, their day care centers, or schools (anywhere from museums to shopping malls). By the time high-income children start school, they have spent about 400 hours more than poor children in literacy activities.
This thought remained with me this weekend while I attended the NYCAEYC early childhood conference and had the privilege to hear one of my favorite authors Ann Lewin-Benham speak. She said that we can not expect rich language if we do not provide early opportunities for rich experiences, conversation, and reflection. Her talk focused on this cycle of experience-conversation-and reflection being an important, active process that shapes young brains and thinking.

I'm trying to think about how to extend this conversation into our school community. I'm thinking of extending our current documentation panels in the hallway, which portrays the richness in language and conversation that has emerged from the animal tracking experiences to parents...finding a way to build on this important conversation.

Yes this is a bit of a rambling but one that invites you to read the excellent NYT article if you haven't already.

Rambling done.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed! The time spent by parents with their children in the suburban school districts (i.e., higher income bracket) is hugely different. I speak with teachers within City of Roch schools and my children's teachers in our suburban district, and the difference is HUGE! I'll be the first to admit my children are over loaded with activities, but I have the flexibility to be there for them and work with them on homework and additional expectations. My friends at the City Schools have trouble getting students to attend school and take exams, much less passing the exams.



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