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Teaching the Whole Child: Instructional Practices That Support Social-Emotional Learning in Three Teacher Evaluation Frameworks - How can teacher evaluation systems help teachers develop students’ social-emotional competencies? This paper first identifies instructional practices that promote student social-emotional learning which in turn promote student academic learning, then shows how three popular teacher evaluation systems (the Danielson Framework for Teaching, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System observation instrument, and the Marzano observation protocol) feature practices that influence not only student academic learning but also student social and emotional competencies. (Nicholas Yoder, American Institutes for Research, August 2013)...

Early Childhood Experiences: Laying the Foundation for Health Across a Lifetime - One in a series of briefs on the "social determinants of health" from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the relationship between early childhood experiences and long-term health outcomes. The authors describe how the home environment (e.g., family income, maternal education and health) affects young children's cognitive and behavioral development. In turn, children from impoverished environments who fall behind in the early years are more likely to experience health problems as adults, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking, substance abuse and depression. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, March 2011)...

Persistent Fear and Anxiety Can Affect Young Children’s Learning and Development - The relationship between early childhood poverty and later achievement is explained by this paper from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, which summarizes the research showing that persistent stress and anxiety during the early years can, among other negative impacts, inhibit healthy brain development and the ability to learn. To counteract these consequences, the authors recommend expanding home visiting programs and targeting training for early education and child welfare professionals to address children's social and emotional needs that may result from poverty and other traumatic family experiences. (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2010)...

A Second Year in Head Start: Characteristics of Children Who Entered the Program at Age Three - This study of Head Start participants found that among children who enrolled in the program in fall 2006 and stayed for two years, the second year was associated with additional gains in vocabulary and early reading, writing and math skills as well as in their social-emotional development. However, even with such progress, about 20 percent of these children were identified as having a learning disability by the end of their two-year Head Start experience and more than one-third were overweight or obese. (Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation/Administration for children and Families, December 2010)...

The Foundations of Lifelong Health are Built in Early Childhood - This report discusses the importance of the early years on long-term physical and mental health outcomes. The authors identify key research-based "foundations of health," such as stable and responsive relationships, safe physical environments and appropriate nutrition that family members, caregivers, teachers, policy makers, and communities can focus on. (Harvard University, 2010) ...

Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs - This report articulates standards for evidence-based best practices that early childhood professionals can adopt to help prevent childhood obesity. The standards are organized by age groups and cover such program components as snacks and meals, nutrition education and physical activity. (2010) ...

Reaching Staff, Parents, and Community Partners to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Head Start - Research shows that Head Start, with its comprehensive approach to early education, including a significant family involvement component, could be part of an effective strategy for obesity prevention, especially among low-income children and families. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2010)...

Early Childhood Mental Health Services: Four State Case Studies - This document describes state models for addressing each of four components contributing to an effective early childhood mental health service system. (Kimberly Sopko, Project Forum/National Association of State Directors of Special Education, December 2009)...

Indicators for Social-emotional Development in Early Childhood - This paper describes seven key indicators to gauge social-emotional development among young children. For each indicator, the authors provide a definition, how it might be used, possible sources for data and challenges to collecting and/or using the data. The paper also offers guidance on how to prioritize among the data points. (National Center of Children in Poverty, November 2009) ...

Can Teacher Training in Classroom Management Make a Difference for Children’s Experiences in Preschool?: A Preview of Findings from the Foundations of Learning Demonstration - The preliminary results from an evaluation of the "Foundations of Learning" pre-k curriculum demonstrated positive impacts on children's social-emotional development. Teachers who received training on the curriculum, in-class consultations and stress management workshops demonstrated more positive emotional classroom climate and stronger time/behavior management than teachers who did not receive the training. Similarly, children in these classrooms were more engaged and demonstrated more self-control than children whose teachers did not receive the training. (MDRC, September 2009)...

What Works? A Study of Effective Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Programs - Based on visits to six effective early childhood mental health programs across the country and a scan of 35 states' policy and practices, Georgetown University researchers found that successful programs have three core components: a solid infrastructure, well-trained mental health consultants, and high-quality services. Researchers also found that of equal importance are the readiness of early childhood programs and staff to work with consultants and the quality of the relationships they develop. Further, the report's website links to resources from the six model programs, such as job descriptions, training agendas, agreements with ECE providers, parent outreach materials and evaluation instruments. (Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, August 2009)...

Social-emotional Development in Early Childhood: What Every Policymaker Should Know - This brief suggests that young children are more at risk for mental health disorders when they are poor. The authors document failures in health, child welfare and early childhood systems to provide adequate treatment and screening services for young children and their parents. The conclusion of the brief includes recommendations for policy makers and a list of evidence-based prevention, screening and intervention strategies. (National Center of Children in Poverty, August 2009)...

Mental Health Problems in Early Childhood Can Impair Learning and Behavior for Life - This working paper suggests that mental health problems can be addressed and even prevented when children are exposed to stable and nurturing relationships with adults. The paper calls for more coordinated and comprehensive policies that address the range of environments in which children live and play--from homes to pre-k classrooms--and support the range of adults who care for them--from parents to pediatricians. (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2008)...

Effects of a School-Based, Early Childhood Intervention on Adult Health and Well-Being - An article published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine discusses the latest findings from the Chicago Child-Parent Center longitudinal study. Results from the 19-year follow-up continue to show that participants, who are now 24 years of age, are more likely to have health insurance and less likely to show depressive symptoms. At the same time, they are more likely to complete high school and attend four-year colleges, and less likely to be arrested or incarcerated. (Arthur Reynolds, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, January 2007)...


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