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A Shared Vision of Quality

02 Jun 2021 by Allie Kallmann

At Teachstone, we are all in on early learning. The research shows us that, with the help of effective educators, there is so much potential to build a strong foundation for children’s learning well before elementary school. But some research, including the Head Start Impact Study and the research on Tennessee’s voluntary pre-K, has complicated the story. Researchers found that in some cases, gains made in early childhood education seemed to fade out by around third grade.

Follow-up research has added to the narrative.
It found that the perceived fadeout doesn’t happen when children continue to have high-quality learning experiences year after year.

That’s among the reasons that Teachstone founder and CEO Bridget Hamre recently authored an article in The Learning Professional, the Learning Forward journal.

In it, she calls for a shared vision across the early grades that can lead to quality and sustained child outcomes.

It may seem obvious that children who more often have excellent teachers are more likely to succeed. What’s less obvious is that the ways we systematically define “excellent” and our instructional priorities vary greatly, even just within the preschool to third-grade continuum.

Recent research cited by our CEO compares the time devoted to different content areas (literacy, math, science) and methods for instruction (whole group, small group, individual work, free play) in pre-K and kindergarten.

The differences are stark.

The idea that these massive changes take place over just one year of a young child’s life is shocking to consider.

But despite these differences, Dr. Bridget Hamre offers a way forward.

She identifies three components of great teaching in the early years:

      • effective teacher-child interactions,
      • content-focused instruction and learning opportunities,
      • and individualized instruction.

Educators and leaders can orient around these shared ideas across age levels with tools like the CLASS®. When they do so, they create the alignment that children need -- that our entire education system needs -- to succeed for the long haul.

Dig into the full article in
The Learning Professional

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