Answer Sheet Analysis Early childhood education expert: I saw a brilliant way to teach kids. Unfortunately it wasn’t in the United States.

By Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post

One of the most frustrating things in education today is how much experts know about how to teach children but ignore what they know works when it comes to setting policy. Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education expert, has talked and written about this for years as it relates to the education of young children, and she is back here with a new piece that contrasts the key elements of a new learning framework she saw in Canada that uses best practices with what is done in the United States.

Carlsson-Paige is a professor emerita of education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., where she taught teachers for more than 30 years and was a founder of the university’s Center for Peaceable Schools. She is also the author of “Taking Back Childhood” and a founding member of a nonprofit called Defending the Early Years, which commissions research about early childhood education and advocates for sane policies for young children. The mother of two artist sons, Matt and Kyle Damon, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Legacy Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps for work over several decades on behalf of children and families.

By  Nancy Carlsson-Paige

I just visited with early childhood professionals in Nova Scotia, Canada. They showed me their new Early Learning Framework for the education of young children. It is a stellar example of what early childhood education could be if a country did it right, and a painful example for someone coming from a country where we do it so wrong.

Here are some basic facts about the Nova Scotia Early Learning Framework, and then I’ll contrast these facts with how we do things in early childhood education in the United States.

Basic Fact #1:  Who wrote this framework?

The Nova Scotia Framework (similar to those of other Canadian provinces) was written by a broad network of early childhood professionals. These educators know how young children develop and learn, and they share common principles and values about child development.

Contrast #1:

Learning standards for young children in the United States have not been written by early childhood educators. Too often, they’ve been written by people who do not have knowledge of the learning and developmental needs of young children. Teachers often say they don’t have a voice in writing learning standards.

Read more here.

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