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ERIC Number: ED529119
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 264
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-5985-7183-7
The Pre-K Debates: Current Controversies and Issues
Zigler, Edward, Ed.; Gilliam, Walter S., Ed.; Barnett, W. Steven, Ed.
Brookes Publishing Company
Targeted or universal pre-K? Direct instruction or learning through play? These and other debates are heating up as more and more young children across the country gain access to pre-K programs. Now there's a single volume that spotlights today's most urgent pre-K debates, explores each one from all sides, and paves the way for sound, educated decision-making. Edited by a founder of Head Start and two other highly respected experts, this forward-thinking book gathers a who's who of more than 40 leading thinkers in early childhood education for a rigorous examination of the most-debated pre-K issues. In a clear and compelling point-counterpoint format, this book gives current and future decision-makers multifaceted perspectives on critical questions: (1) Should pre-K be targeted or universal?; (2) What kind of teacher preparation should be required, in terms of credentials and education?; (3) When should pre-K services be provided and for how long?; (4) Where should pre-K be provided--in public schools only or in other early childhood programs?; (5) What should the primary focus of instruction be--academics or the whole child?; (6) Should pre-K be structured around direct instruction or learning through play?; and (7) How can individuals ensure quality and accountability in pre-K programs? Readers will also get a helpful synthesis of the major themes of the pre-K debate, investigate lessons learned from model programs in two states (New Jersey and Oklahoma), and identify key issues for future research and debate, including education policies for English language learners and children with special needs. Whether used as a reference or a preservice text, this landmark book will prepare early childhood administrators, policy makers, and researchers to make informed decisions about the future of preK--so all young children will have the best chance at school success. This book begins with an introduction by Edward Zigler, Walter S. Gilliam, and W. Steven Barnett. An Overview of Preschool contains the following chapters: (1) Effective Child Development Strategies (James J. Heckman); and (2) The Right Policy at the Right Time: The Pew Prekindergarten Campaign (Sara D. Watson). Part I is the Debates. Debate 1, Targeted versus Universal Preschool, contains the following chapters: (3) The Economic Case for Targeted Preschool Programs (Art Rolnick and Rob Grunewald); (4) Preschool as Public Entitlement: Advancing Children or Political Interests? (Bruce Fuller); (5) Four Reasons the United States Should Offer Every Child a Preschool Education (W. Steven Barnett); (6) About Everyone's Child: Winning Public Support for Early Learning (David Lawrence, Jr.); and (7) Universal Plus: What's Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Well (Sharon Lynn Kagan and Jocelyn Friedlander). Debate 2, Teacher Credentials versus Competencies and Supports, contains the following chapters: (8) Minimum Requirements for Preschool Teacher Educational Qualifications (W. Steven Barnett); (9) Bachelor's Degrees Are Necessary But Not Sufficient: Preparing Teachers to Teach Young Children (Barbara T. Bowman); (10) College Credentials and Caring: How Teacher Training Could Lift Young Children (Bruce Fuller); (11) A Degree Is Not Enough: Teachers Need Stronger and More Individualized Professional Development Supports to Be Effective in the Classroom (Robert C. Pianta); (12) B.A. Plus: Reconciling Reality and Reach (Sharon Lynn Kagan and Rebecca E. Gomez); (13) Competencies and Credentials for Early Childhood Educators: What Do We know and What Do We Need to Know? (Margaret Burchinal, Marilou Hyson, and Martha Zaslow); and (14) The Importance of Early Childhood Teacher Preparation: The Perspectives and Positions of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Barbara A. Willer, Alison Lutton, and Mark Ginsberg). Debate 3, Cognitive/Academic Emphasis versus Whole Child Approach, contains the following chapters: (15) The Cognitive/Academic Emphasis versus the Whole Child Approach: The 50-Year Debate (Sandra J. Bishop-Josef and Edward Zigler); (16) The Importance of Kindergarten-Entry Academic Skills (Greg J. Duncan); (17) Academic Preschool: The French Connection (E.D. Hirsch, Jr.); (18) Classroom Practices and Children's Motivation to Learn (Deborah Stipek); (19) Classroom-Based Intervention as a Way to Support Low-Income Preschoolers' Emotional and Behavioral Development: Pressing Challenges and Potential Opportunities (C. Cybele Raver and Genevieve Okada); and (20) The Great Balancing Act: Optimizing Core Curricula through Playful Pedagogy (Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff). Debate 4, Public Schools Only versus Other Sites, contains the following chapters: (21) The Case for Public Preschool (Kathleen McCartney, Margaret Burchinal, and Todd Grindal); (22) Preschool Programs Should Be Coordinated in the Public Schools with Supports from Head Start and Child Care (Walter S. Gilliam); (23) Public Schools as the Hub of a Mixed Delivery System of Early Care and Education (W. Steven Barnett and Debra J. Ackerman); and (24) Applying Choice-Based Multivenue Education Concepts to Preschool Education (Daniel E. Witte). Part II is the Issues. Issue 1, How Can Quality and Accountability in Preschool Programs Be Ensured?, contains the following chapters: (25) A Model Preschool Program (Edward Zigler); (26) How to Make Early Childhood Programs Highly Effective (Lawrence J. Schweinhart); (27) Why the Child-Parent Center Education Program Promotes Life-Course Development (Arthur J. Reynolds and Cathy Momoko Hayakawa); and (28) Assessing Accountability and Ensuring Continuous Program Improvement: Why, How and Who (Ellen C. Frede, Walter S. Gilliam, and Lawrence J. Schweinhart). Issue 2, What Should Come Before and After Preschool?, contains the following chapters: (29) The Link Between Consistent Caring Interactions with Babies, Early Brain Development, and School Readiness (J. Ronald Lally); (30) What Should Come Before Preschool: Lessons from Early Head Start (Helen Raik, Rachel Chazan-Cohen, and John M. Love); (31) Home Visitation (Deborah Daro); (32) Economic Benefits of Intervention Programs Implemented in the First Decade of Life (Arthur J. Reynolds, Judy A. Temple, and Barry A.B. White); (33) Transforming America's Primary Education System for the 21st Century: Integrating K-12 Education with Prekindergarten (Ruby Takanishi); and (34) Redirecting Title I (Edward Zigler). Part III is What Next? Lessons from the States contains the following chapters: (35) Prekindergarten in Oklahoma (Elizabeth Rose); and (36) New Jersey's Abbott Prekindergarten Program: A Model for the Nation (Ellen C. Frede and W. Steven Barnett). Danger of Overselling Preschool contains the following chapters: (37) A Warning Against Exaggerating the Benefits of Preschool Education Programs (Edward Zigler); and (38) Early Childhood Education: The Likelihood of Sustained Effects (Jeanne Brooks-Gunn). Summary and Synthesis contains the following chapters: (39) The Prekindergarten Debates: Contrasting Perspectives, Integrative Possibilities, and Potential for Deepening the Debates (Martha Zaslow). An index is included.
Brookes Publishing Company. P.O. Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285. Tel: 800-638-3775; Fax: 410-337-8539; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: Administrators; Researchers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey; Oklahoma