Common Core Standards and Early Childhood Education


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On October 27, 2011, Erikson Professor Gillian McNamee presented as part of a panel discussion of the Common Core State Standards at the 2011 Chicago Public Schools Policy Forum Series.

Michael Cohen, president of Achieve, and Noemi Donoso, chief education officer of Chicago Public Schools, also presented.

This panel was the first in the three-part series called “What You Need to Know about the Common Core Standards and the PreK–12 Learning Continuum.” Erikson president Samuel J. Meisels will discuss early childhood assessments at the next panel on November 8.

During her talk, McNamee explained the complex nature of young children’s learning and the way it fluctuates over time. Stating it simply, she said, “It does not progress in the neat trajectory that standards suggest.”

McNamee also emphasized the importance of expanding the standards to all areas that comprise effective teaching: content knowledge across all subjects, an understanding of human development, and a pedagogy that allows time for discussion and reflection.

Finally, McNamee stated that when assessing young children’s progress, we should monitor, not test. “We have to get close to the learning without trampling it,” she said.

The series is presented by Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, Catalyst Chicago, and the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research.

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Common Core Standards and Early Childhood Education

  1. 1. Common Core Standards and Early Childhood Education Gillian D. McNamee, Ph.D.
  2. 2. Early Learning Standards <ul><li>The first link in an aligned “P – 12” educational system </li></ul><ul><li>Early childhood education works </li></ul><ul><li>Preschool benefits tend to fade </li></ul><ul><li>Need for sustained high-quality teaching practices across early childhood years (pre-k to 3rd) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Standards and Early Learning 3 4 5 6 7 8 Learning Trajectories of Children Ages 3 - 8 Standards
  4. 4. Effective Teaching for Learning Content Knowledge What Do We Want Children to Learn Pedagogy How Do We Teach and Monitor Progress Human Development Who Are We Teaching National Academy of Education (2005)
  5. 5. Common Core & Effective Teaching Visual & Performing Arts Health & Physical Development Science Social Studies Content Knowledge Math English Language Arts
  6. 6. Common Core & Effective Teaching <ul><li>Human Development </li></ul><ul><li>Individual learning profiles and needs </li></ul><ul><li>Languages, culture, and family </li></ul><ul><li>Social Emotional Learning Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Friendships, cooperation, and community </li></ul>
  7. 7. Common Core & Effective Teaching <ul><li>Pedagogy </li></ul><ul><li>Time—allow time to investigate questions, concepts, and ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation—sustained engaging dialogues in learning experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection—revisit learning experiences for new insights, depth </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor learning, not test it </li></ul>
  8. 8. Summary Content Knowledge Pedagogy Human Development Effective Teaching for Learning <ul><li>Develop and fine tune standards in all three components of effective teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Use standards to inform and support (not attack and dictate) powerful teaching and learning </li></ul>