Comprehensive and authoritative, this forward-thinking book reviews the breadth of current knowledge about early education and identifies important priorities for practice and policy. Robert C. Pianta and his associates bring together foremost experts to examine what works in promoting all children's school readiness and social-emotional development in preschool and the primary grades. Exemplary programs, instructional practices, and professional development initiatives-and the systems needed to put them into place-are described. The volume presents cutting-edge findings on the family and social context of early education and explores ways to strengthen collaboration between professionals and parents.
"At a time when there are quite vocal challenges to the wisdom of providing early care and education to children and families in need, Pianta and his coeditors have assembled leaders in the field to report on the state of the science and practice. This comprehensive handbook conveys current knowledge about all dimensions of early childhood education: its history, developmental processes that underlie practices, exemplary instruction, and systems to put practices in place in states and communities. The Handbook is the definitive work of its kind and will be a great resource for practitioners, policymakers, and education scientists."--Samuel L. Odom, PhD, Director, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Early childhood education has seen a dramatic explosion of research and programs over the past 20 years. This handbook not only examines the research of the past, it anticipates what we may discover in the future. Taken as a whole, these chapters address one of the most important questions we face as a nation: 'How can we improve the lives of children and families--particularly those living in poverty or those raising children under challenging conditions?'"--Samuel J. Meisels, EdD, President, Erikson Institute
"The editors have assembled an outstanding handbook at the nexus of practice, policy, and research in early childhood education, one that captures the contemporary realities of this fast-moving, multidisciplinary field. The 27 chapters synthesize the knowledge base across four themes: early education opportunities, the impact of instruction and curriculum, developmental processes in early childhood, and building an effective early education system. The result is a tour de force because the individual authors do more than summarize--they write to forge connections between science and the education sector. This important volume is essential reading for students, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers."--Kathleen McCartney, PhD, Dean, and Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development, Harvard Graduate School of Education
"This handbook accomplishes two impressive feats. It brings together in one place a rich array of chapters that reflect the contemporary realities and knowledge base in early childhood education--and the writing is consistently clear and crisp. The volume promises to become a definitive reference and required reading for researchers, policymakers, program administrators, and students in early childhood education."--Deborah Lowe Vandell, PhD, Professor and Chair of Education, University of California, Irvine
"This handbook signals a new era--one in which early education is the foundation of a transformed public education system in the United States. Chapters on policy set the stage for the focus on learning and instruction, bolstered by chapters on development and on serving diverse learners. This volume will become an essential part of the preparation of educators, researchers, and policymakers striving to create a 21st-century education system that promises equality of opportunity for all children."--Ruby Takanishi, PhD, President and CEO, Foundation for Child Development, New York
About the Editor:
Robert C. Pianta, PhD, is Dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, where he is also the Novartis Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. A former special education teacher, Dr. Pianta’s research focuses on investigating the effects of schooling on children’s social and academic outcomes, and on improving school and classroom experiences through teachers’ professional development. His team of education researchers has developed the Classroom Assessment Scoring System™, an observational measure that has been tested and proven effective in several large national studies and is being utilized by every Head Start program in the United States. Dr. Pianta is Editor of the Journal of School Psychology and the author of more than 400 journal articles, chapters, and books in the areas of early childhood development, transition to school, school readiness, and parent–child and teacher–child relationships. He consults regularly with federal agencies, foundations, and universities.
W. Steven Barnett, PhD, is Board of Governors Professor and Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Laura M. Justice, PhD, is Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University, where she also directs the Children’s Learning Research Collaborative.
Susan M. Sheridan, PhD, is George Holmes University Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska, where she is also Director of the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools and of the National Center for Research on Rural Education.