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ERIC Number: EJ787747
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0164-8527
Academics in Early Childhood
Kostelnik, Marjorie
Exchange: The Early Childhood Leaders' Magazine Since 1978, n180 p57-61 Mar-Apr 2008
Children are exploring elements of literacy and numeracy. Such explorations begin in the earliest days of life and are a natural outgrowth of children's curiosity and interest in how the world works. Based on experiences, children build a reservoir of knowledge about language, reading, and mathematics that they take with them to kindergarten, first grade, and beyond. Unfortunately, some children are not having the kinds of early experiences they need to develop foundational knowledge and skills. In fact, kindergarten teachers report that one out of three children begin formal schooling lacking the basic experiences they need to succeed. Most often, these children come from families living close to or below the poverty line. Although growing up in a poor family does not guarantee school failure, children from such families are twice as likely as more advantaged children to be in the lowest quartile in reading, math, and general knowledge when they enter kindergarten. This creates gaps in achievement that influence all areas of development that can last throughout children's school careers. Lack of skill early on inhibits new skill development and makes it harder for children to catch up. However, the evidence that high quality early childhood programs can and do make a difference in these trajectories means teachers have reason to be optimistic that children can develop the skills they need as they participate in child care and other early learning programs from birth to age eight. But, how is this to be done? Research tells them that adults' abilities to create stimulating numeracy and literacy experiences for young children are significantly influenced by how well they understand three things: (1) the fundamental components of early literacy and numeracy; (2) how children experience literacy and mathematical concepts in their play; and (3) what teachers can do intentionally to support literacy and numeracy in all areas of the curriculum throughout the day. Teachers who lack adequate knowledge in any of these areas are hampered in their attempts to create developmentally appropriate programs for young children. Administrators who understand these components, too, are better able to support and guide early childhood staff.
Exchange Press, Inc. P.O. Box 3249, Redmond, WA 98073-3249. Tel: 800-221-2864; Fax: 425-867-5217; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A