IN Phoenixville Area Fall 2017 - Page 26

Education PRESCHOOL TRENDS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING Early childhood learning has been studied by educators, lawmakers and researchers for years to identify the importance of learning at a young age. Research has confirmed that when educators provide a valuable education to early learners, the benefits last a lifetime. According to Educa, preschool stakeholders across the U.S. are addressing the need for a standard in consistency and quality in early education. States are taking a look at child care centers, daycares and preschools to develop an accreditation program that ensures quality in a number of areas including learning environment, increased parent engagement, teacher experience and quality center management. Along with quality standardization, there are other trends to keep an eye on for early learners: • Student Assessment – The achievement gap is often used to assess the output of students in different socioeconomic groups, measuring grade point averages, test scores and dropout rates. Since preschoolers aren’t likely dropping out of school, early learning centers focus on the importance of providing ongoing education and supporting students from a young age. This includes reading to children, engaging them in everyday conversations, establishing routines and using positive reinforcement. • Classroom Technology – Although use of technology in early learning is still heavily debated, it is proving to be a valuable resource to students who may not as easily have access to learning materials. According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of households have a computer with internet accessibility, providing a platform for early learners to participate in effective online education from their homes. • ECSEL Skills – Teachers are encouraged to incorporate Emotional Cognitive Social Early Learning (ECSEL) into lesson plans for preschoolers. At a young age, emotions are the tool of choice for children to express themselves. Encouraging early learners to be confident and understanding at a young age provides an important platform for growth into adolescence.   ■ 24 1.800.558.0940, ext. 202 TO ADVERTISE | Phoenixville Area