The Pre–K Debates: Current Controversies and Issues

Edited by Edward Zigler, Walter Gilliam, Steven Barnett

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Description

More young children across the country are gaining access to pre-K programs. This volume 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 decision-makers multifaceted perspectives on critical questions such as:

  • Should pre-K be targeted or universal?
  • What kind of teacher preparation should be required?
  • When and for how long should pre-K services be provided?
  • Where should pre-K be provided?
  • What should the primary focus of instruction be — academics or the whole child?
  • Should pre-K be structured around direct instruction or learning through play?
  • How can we ensure quality and accountability in pre-K programs?

The book also contains a synthesis of the major themes of the pre-K debate, lessons learned from two model programs, and 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, policymakers, and researchers to make informed decisions about the future of preK—so all young children will have the best chance at school success.

J. Ronald Lally, Co-Director of the Center for Child & Family Studies at WestEd, contributed a key chapter on the link between consistent caring interactions with babies, early brain development, and school readiness.