Advertisement

Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 249–264 | Cite as

The Changing Landscape of Early Childhood Education: Implications for Policy and Practice

  • Michael J. Haslip
  • Dominic F. Gullo
Article

Abstract

Early childhood education is changing rapidly due to the dynamic nature of positive and negative trends affecting the profession. In this article, the changing landscape of early childhood education is discussed and analyzed. Both the positive and negative forces contributing to the changing landscape are examined. The focus of this discussion includes changing demographics, changes in early childhood curriculum and instruction, increased focus on accountability, advances in research that inform early childhood education, influences affecting teacher preparation and professional development, and global trends affecting early education and care. We relate these trends to the need for holistic systems-thinking, integrated curricula, child-centered pedagogical standards, deeper commitment to social justice and a corresponding moral vision capable of inspiring educational policy, practice and research in the midst of a competitive global economy and the commodification of early childhood programs and curricula. By discussing practical examples and research findings to illustrate current positive and negative trends, this paper serves as a meaningful resource for all stakeholders. Taking recent dynamics into account, we provide a vision for evaluating change and analyzing major trends. Both implications and responses to the changes in the early childhood landscape are discussed.

Keywords

Early childhood education Curriculum and instruction Accountability Research Arts education Global trends Teacher preparation 

References

  1. Barnett, W. S., Carolan, M. E., Squires, J. H., Clarke Brown, K., & Horowitz, M. (2015). The state of preschool 2014: State preschool yearbook. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research.Google Scholar
  2. Benard, B. (2004). Resiliency: What we have learned. San Francisco: WestEd.Google Scholar
  3. Biggam, S. C., & Hyson, M. C. (2014). The common core state standards and developmentally appropriate practices: Creating a relationship. In C. Copple, S. Bredekamp, D. Koralek & K. Charner (Eds.), Developmentally appropriate practice: Focus on Kindergarteners (pp. 95–112). Washington, DC: NAEYC.Google Scholar
  4. Bresler, L. (Ed.), (2013). Knowing bodies, moving minds: Towards embodied teaching and learning (Vol. 3). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Buettner, C. K., Hur, E. H., Jeon, L., & Andrews, D. W. (2016). What are we teaching the teachers? Child Development Curricula in US Higher Education. Child & Youth Care Forum, 45(1), 155–175. doi: 10.1007/s10566-015-9323-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Catterall, J. S. (2009). Doing well and doing good by doing art: A 12-year national study of education in the visual and performing arts. Los Angeles: I-Group Books.Google Scholar
  7. Center for Public Education. (2012). The United States of education: The changing demographics of the United States and their schools. Alexandria, VA: Center for Public Education. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/The-United-State-of-education-The-changing-demographics-of-the -United-States-and-their-schools.html.
  8. Child Trends Databank. (2015). Family structure. Retrieved from http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=family-structure.
  9. Christina, R., & Nicholson-Goodman, J. (2005). Going to scale with high-quality early education: Choices and consequences in universal pre-kindergarten efforts. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dean, D. Jr., & Kuhn, D. (2007). Direct instruction vs. discovery: The long view. Science Education, 91(3), 384–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Denham, S. A., Ji, P., & Hamre, B. (2010). Compendium of preschool through elementary school social-emotional learning and associated assessment measures. Chicago: University of Illinois. Retrieved from http://www.isbe.net/learningsupports/pdfs/sel-compendium.pdf.
  12. Dewey, J. (1928). Body and mind. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 4(1), 3–19.Google Scholar
  13. Education Policy and Leadership Center. (2012). Creating Pennsylvania’s future through the arts and education. Harrisburg, PA: Education Policy and Leadership Center. Retrieved from http://www.eplc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Creating_PAs_Future_NewColor_final.pdf.
  14. Empson, J. (2015). Atypical child development in context. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  15. Epstein, A. S. (2009). Me, you, us: Social-emotional learning in preschool. Washington, DC: High/Scope Press.Google Scholar
  16. Eslinger, J. C. (2014). Navigating between a rock and a hard place: Lessons from an urban school teacher. Education and Urban Society, 46(2), 209–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Espinosa, L. M. (2008). Challenging common myths about young English Language Learners. New York, NY: Foundations for Child Development.Google Scholar
  18. Evenson, A., McIver, M., Ryan, S., & Schwols, A. (2013). Common core standards for elementary grades K-2 Math & English language arts: A quick-start guide. Alexandria: ASCD.Google Scholar
  19. Graue, M. E., Whyte, K. L., & Karabon, A. E. (2015). The power of improvisational teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 48, 13–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gullo, D. F. (2005). Understanding assessment and evaluation in early childhood education (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gullo, D.F. (2013) Assessing children’s learning in early childhood settings. In B. Spodek & O. Saracho (Eds.). Handbook of research on the education of young children (3rd ed., pp. 414–425). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Jiang, Y.; Elono, M.; & Skinner, C. (2015). Basic facts about low-income children: Children 6 through 11 years, 2014. New York, NY: National Center for Children in Poverty.Google Scholar
  23. Jürgens, U. (Ed.), (2013). New product development and production networks: Global industrial experience. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  24. Kermani, H., & Aldemir, J. (2015). Preparing children for success: integrating science, math, and technology in early childhood classroom. Early Child Development and Care, 185(9), 1504–1527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lewin-Benham, A. (2011). Twelve best practices for early childhood education: Integrating Reggio and other inspired approaches. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  26. Love, J. M. (2006). Uses of data on child outcomes and program processes in early childhood accountability systems: Assumptions, challenges, and consequences. Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.Google Scholar
  27. Luby, J., Belden, A., Botteron, K., Marrus, N., Harms, M. P., Babb, C., ... Barch, D. (2013). The effects of poverty on childhood brain development: the mediating effect of caregiving and stressful life events. JAMA Pediatrics, 167(12), 1135–1142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Manning, W. D. & Lamb, K. A. (2003). Adolescent well-being in cohabiting, married, and single-parent families. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 65(4), 876–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Meisels, S. J., Atkins-Burnett, S., Xue, Y., Bickel, D. D., & Son, S. H. (2003). Creating a system of accountability: The impact of instructional assessment on elementary children’s achievement test scores. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11(9). doi: 10.14507/epaa.v11n9.2003.
  30. Moomaw, S. (2013). Teaching STEM in the early years: Activities for integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. St. Paul: Redleaf Press.Google Scholar
  31. Nadolny, T. (2016). Soda tax passes; Philadelphia is first big city in nation to enact one. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved from http://www.philly.com/.
  32. National Association for Music Education. (2015). Opportunity-to-learn standards. Reston, VA: NAfMA. Retrieved from http://www.nafme.org/wp-content/files/2014/11/Opportunity-to-Learn-Standards_May2015.pdf.
  33. National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2015). Developmentally appropriate practice and the common core state standards: Framing the issues. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.Google Scholar
  34. National Center for Educational Statistics. (2015). The condition of education 2015 (NCES 2015–144), preprimary enrollment. Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Statistics. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=516.
  35. National Education Association. (2016). Backgrounder: Students from poverty. Washington, DC: National Education Association.Google Scholar
  36. National Endowment for the Arts. (2011). Arts education in America: What the declines mean for arts participation. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts.Google Scholar
  37. National Science Board. 2012. Science and engineering indicators 2012. Arlington VA: National Science Foundation (NSB 12-01). https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/pdf/seind12.pdf.
  38. Nicolopoulou, A. (2010). The alarming disappearance of play from early childhood education. Human Development, 53(1), 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Oliff, P., Palacios, V., Johnson, I., & Leachman, M. (2013). Recent deep state higher education cuts may harm students and the economy for years to come. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. http://sbba4he.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CBPP_Higher_ED_3-19-13sfp.pdf
  40. Parsad, B., & Spiegelman, M. (2012). Arts education in public elementary and secondary schools: 1999–2000 and 2009–10 (NCES 2012–014). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  41. Prado, E. L., & Dewey, K. G. (2014). Nutrition and brain development in early life. Nutrition Reviews, 72(4), 267–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Public Policy Forum. (2009). The price of quality: Estimating the cost of a higher quality early childhood care and education system for Southeast Wisconsin. Retrieved from http://publicpolicyforum.org/sites/default/files/PriceOfQualityRevised.pdf.
  43. Rabkin, N., & Hedberg, E. C. (2011). Arts Education in America: What the Declines Mean for Arts Participation. Based on the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. Research Report# 52. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved from https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/2008-SPPA-ArtsLearning.pdf.
  44. Rabkin, N., Reynolds, M., Hedberg, E. C., & Selby, J. (2011). Teaching artists and the future of education: A report on the teaching artist research project: Executive summary. National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  45. Ravitch, D. (2016). The life and death of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. Revised and expanded. New York, NY: Perseus.Google Scholar
  46. Ray, A., Bowman, B., & Robbins, J. (2006). Preparing early childhood teachers to successfully educate ALL children: The contribution of four-year undergraduate teacher preparation programs. Report to the Foundation for Child Development. Chicago, IL: Erikson Institute. Retrieved from http://fcd-us.org/sites/default/files/TeacherPreparationPrograms.pdf.
  47. Romar, G., & Matthews, K. (2015). Considerations on US government involvement in STEM education and early childhood interventions. Journal of Science Policy & Governance, 3(1).Google Scholar
  48. Rooney, E. (2015). “I’m just going through the motions”: high-stakes accountability and teachers’ access to intrinsic rewards. American Journal of Education, 121, 475–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sabol, F.R. (2010). No child left behind: A study of its impact on art education project report. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University. Retrieved January 9, 2017, from http://www.aep-arts.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/AEP-Wire-09-2010-Sabol-NCLB.pdf.
  50. Saçkes, M. (2014). Parents who want their PreK children to have science learning experiences are outliers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(2), 132–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schultz, T., & Kagan, S. L. (2007). Taking stock: Assessing and improving early childhood learning and program quality. The Report of the National Early Childhood Accountability Task Force. Washington, DC: Pew Charitable Trusts.  Retrieved from http://policyforchildren.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Taking-Stock.pdf.
  52. Shonkoff, J. P., Garner, A. S., Siegel, B. S., Dobbins, M. I., Earls, M. F., McGuinn, L., ... Wood, D. L. (2012). The lifelong effects of early childhood adversity and toxic stress. Pediatrics, 129(1), e232–e246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Smith, K., Tesar, M., & Myers, C. Y. (2016). Edu-capitalism and the governing of early childhood education and care in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Global Studies of Childhood, 6(1), 123–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tobin, J. (2013). The disappearance of the body in early childhood education. In L. Bresler (Ed.), Knowing bodies, moving minds: Towards embodied teaching and learning (pp. 111–126). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  55. Tough, P. (2013). How children succeed. London: Random House.Google Scholar
  56. Tsangaridou, N., Zachopoulou, E., Liukkonen, J., Gråstén, A., & Kokkonen, M. (2014). Developing preschoolers’ social skills through cross-cultural physical education intervention. Early Child Development and Care, 184(11), 1550–1565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. UNESCO. (2015). Global monitoring report 2015: Education for All 2000–2015. Achievements and challenges. Paris: United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization.Google Scholar
  58. Walker, T. (2014). The testing obsession and the disappearing curriculum. NEA Today. Washington, DC: National Education Association. Retrieved January 9, 2017, from http://neatoday.org/2014/09/02/the-testing-obsession-and-the-disappearing-curriculum-2/.
  59. Washington, V., & Andrews, J. D. (2010). Children of 2020: Creating a better tomorrow. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.Google Scholar
  60. Weiss, H. B., Caspe, M., & Lopez, M. E. (2006). Family involvement makes a difference: Family involvement in early childhood education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project.Google Scholar
  61. Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J. A., Domitrovich, C. E., & Gullotta, T. P. (2015). Social and emotional learning: Past, present, and future. In J. A. Durlak, C. E. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), Handbook for Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice (pp. 3–19). New York, NY: Guilford.Google Scholar
  62. White-Schwoch, T., Carr, K. W., Anderson, S., Strait, D. L., & Kraus, N. (2013). Older adults benefit from music training early in life: Biological evidence for long-term training-driven plasticity. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(45), 17667–17674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.School of EducationDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations