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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. A New Vision for High-Quality Preschool Curriculum. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27429.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

A New Vision for High-Quality Preschool Curriculum Sue Bredekamp, Linda Espinosa, Rebekah Hutton, and Amy Stephens, Editors Committee on a New Vision for High Quality Pre-K Curriculum Board on Children, Youth, and Families Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Consensus Study Report Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs

NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 This activity was supported by a contract between the National Academy of Sciences and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (INV-034971) and the National Academy of Sciences W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fund. Support for the work of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (79846). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-XXXXX-X International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-XXXXX-X Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/27429 This publication is available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2024 by the National Academy of Sciences. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and National Academies Press and the graphical logos for each are all trademarks of the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. A new vision for high-quality preschool curriculum. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/27429. Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task. Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies. Rapid Expert Consultations published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are authored by subject-matter experts on narrowly focused topics that can be supported by a body of evidence. The discussions contained in rapid expert consultations are considered those of the authors and do not contain policy recommendations. Rapid expert consultations are reviewed by the institution before release. For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo. Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

COMMITTEE ON A NEW VISION FOR HIGH QUALITY PRE-K CURRICULUM SUE BREDEKAMP (Co-Chair), Early Childhood Education Specialist and Consultant LINDA ESPINOSA (Co-Chair), Professor, College of Education, University of Missouri DEANA AROUND HIM, Research Scholar, Child Trends, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing GARNETT BOOKER III, Early Childhood Practitioner, District of Columbia Public Schools DOUGLAS CLEMENTS, Distinguished University Professor, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning, Morgridge College of Education, Marsico Institute for Early Learning, University of Denver LILLIAN DURÁN, Professor, College of Education, University of Oregon IHEOMA IRUKA, Research Professor, Department of Public Policy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SUSAN LEVINE, Rebecca Anne Boylan Distinguished Service Professor of Education and Society, Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago JOAN LUBY, Samuel and Mae S. Ludwig Professor of Child Psychiatry, Washington University CAMILLE MABEN, Former Executive Director, First 5 California (Retired) DEBORAH PHILLIPS, Professor Emerita of Psychology and Affiliated Faculty, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University CHRISTINA WEILAND, Associate Professor, Marsal Family School of Education, University of Michigan VIVIAN WONG, Associate Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia Study Staff REBEKAH HUTTON, Study Director NATACHA BLAIN, Senior Board Director EMILY P. BACKES, Deputy Board Director AMY STEPHENS, Associate Board Director, Board on Science Education TARA NAZARI, Senior Program Assistant (as of January 2024) LIBBY TILTON, Research Associate MEREDITH YOUNG, Program Officer NOTE: See Appendix C, Disclosure of Unavoidable Conflict of Interest. v Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

BOARD ON CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES JONATHAN TODRES (Chair), Georgia State University College of Law RICHARD F. CATALANO JR., University of Washington School of Social Work TAMMY CHANG, University of Michigan DIMITRI A. CHRISTAKIS, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, University of Washington ANDREA GONZALEZ, McMaster University NANCY E. HILL, Harvard University CHARLES HOMER, Economic Mobility Pathways MARGARET KUKLINSKI, University of Washington MICHAEL C. LU, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley STEPHANIE J. MONROE, Wrenwood Group STEPHEN RUSSELL, The University of Texas at Austin NISHA SACHDEV, Premnas Partners, Washington, DC JANE WALDFOGEL, Columbia University School of Social Work JOANNA L. WILLIAMS, Rutgers University Staff NATACHA BLAIN, Senior Board Director EMILY P. BACKES, Deputy Board Director vi Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

Reviewers This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: AJAY CHAUDRY, New York University ADAM HOLLAND, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill LAURA JUSTICE, Ohio State University DORE LAFORETT, Child Trends LISA LOPEZ, University of Southern Florida MICHELLE M.M. MAZZOCCO, University of Minnesota SHANTEL E. MEEK, Arizona State University JESSICA WHITTAKER, University of Virginia BRIAN L. WRIGHT, University of Memphis Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by ROBERT C. PIANTA, School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia, and JEANNE BROOKS-GUNN, Columbia University, Teachers College. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. vii Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

Acknowledgments This report would not have been possible without the contributions of many people. First, we thank the sponsors of this study—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fund. The committee and project staff would also like to express gratitude to the numerous experts and consultants who contributed to the development of the report. We extend our deep gratitude to the authors of the committee’s literature review from School Readiness Consulting and Center on the Ecology of Early Development at Boston University: Angélica Montoya Ávila, Laura Hawkinson, Stephanie Curenton, Emily K. Miller, Mariam Dahbi, Sherrell House, Faith Tabifor, and Maya Manning. We thank Allison Friedman-Krauss for her work on a commissioned paper for the committee on state- and program-level selection. We thank Nathan James, Kimberly Hefling, and Catherine Ahmad for their insights and assistance with communications and dissemination of the report. Thanks are also due to the numerous experts who volunteered significant time and effort to address the committee during our public information-gathering and listening sessions: Doris Baker, Janet Bock-Hager, Catherine Goins, “Kate” Kezia Goodwin, Jennifer Grisham, Choquette Hamilton, Christopher Jones, Jennifer Keys Adair, Patricia Lozano, Lisa Lopez, Lisa Luceno, Scott Moore, Kim Nall, Sarah Neville- Morgan, Susan Sandall, Megan Vinh, Amanda Willford, and Osnat Zur. We thank Heather Kreidler for fact checking the report. Finally, we thank Rona Briere, Allison Boman, and John Hawkins for editing the report. We would also like to thank the many staff members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine who provided invaluable support throughout this process: Natacha Blain for her oversight as director of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Faye Hillman and Javed Khan for their financial management assistance; Doug Sprunger and Jennifer Olsen for their assistance with communications and dissemination of the report; Emily Backes, Alexandra Beatty, and Patricia Morison for their insights on early drafts of the report; Bea Porter and Kirsten Sampson Snyder for their guidance throughout the report review process; and Clair Woolley for her assistance with the final production of the report. We would like to extend gratitude to the members of the project staff who worked directly with the committee over the course of the project—Rebekah Hutton, Amy Stephens, Tara Nazari, Libby Tilton, and Meredith Young—for their significant contributions to supporting the committee’s work. Finally, the committee wishes to thank its co-chairs, Sue Bredekamp and Linda Espinosa, for their dedication to this work and the exceptional leadership and guidance that they have provided throughout this process. viii Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

Contents Summary 1 Introduction About This Study Study Approach Key Terms Used in This Report Historical Background and Context Early Childhood Curricula: A Current State of the Field Report Organization 2 Evidence on the Effectiveness of Preschool Curricula Curriculum Type Outcomes Used for Assessing Effectiveness Student Characteristics Teacher Characteristics Preschool Setting Macro Conditions Conclusion References 3 The Science of Early Learning and Brain Development Neurobiological and Social-Emotional Development How Children Learn: The Science of Early Learning Implications For Preschool Curriculum: Cultural Variations in Learning Opportunities and Learning Conclusion References 4 Developing High-Quality, Equitable Preschool Curricula Moving Beyond False Dichotomies Characteristics of High-Quality, Equitable Preschool Curriculum Who Develops Various Curriculum Types and Approaches Curriculum for Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum in the Content Domains Curriculum Types and Approaches Curricula for Children and Their Teachers: Educative Curricula ix Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

Developing Research-Based and Empirically Validated Curricula: A Framework Curricula Beyond Preschool Conclusion References 5 Optimizing the Learning Environment for Effective and Equitable Curriculum Delivery Overall Quality of Early Care and Education (ECE) and Curriculum Effectiveness and Equity The Educator–Child Relationship As Foundational to Learning Addressing Peer-Related Adversity Within the Classroom Educators’ Approaches to Classroom Management The Essential Role of Teacher Well-Being Professional Development of the ECE Workforce Fostering Inclusive and Equitable ECE Learning Environments Conclusion References 6 Specialized and Targeted Curricula and Practices to Support Children with Disabilities The Needs of Children with Disabilities Social and Emotional Development Curricula Designed for Children with Disabilities Curricular Approaches for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Multilingual Learners with Disabilities Conclusion References 7 High Quality Early Childhood Curriculum for Multilingual Learners Shifting From Deficit-Based to Asset-Based Approaches Current Research on Early Bilingual Development Research-Based Principles For ECE Curriculum for Multilingual Learners Research-Supported ECE Curriculum, Teaching Strategies, and Instructional Practices for Multilingual Learners Assessment Practices for Multilingual Learners ECE Teacher Competencies for Multilingual Learners Conclusion References 8 State- and Program-Level Curriculum Decision Making and Selection How Are Curriculum Decisions Made? Criteria for Selection and Adoption Early Learning Standards What Curricula Do States Approve and Support? x Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

Impact of The COVID-19 Pandemic on Supports for Curriculum Implementation Fidelity of Curriculum Implementation Who Attends Preschool Programs with Curriculum Supports? Implications For Assessment Conclusion References 9 Examining Variation in Curriculum Effects Identifying Sources of Effect Variation Within- and Between-Study Approaches For Examining Sources of Effect Variation Representing Sources of Effect Heterogeneity in Research Studies for Generalized Findings Conclusion References 10 Conclusions, Recommendations, and Research Needs Key Conclusions and Recommendations Research Agenda Closing Thoughts References Appendix A Existing Curricula Identified By the Committee’s Commissioned Literature Review Appendix B Committee Member and Staff Biosketches Appendix C Disclosure of Unavoidable Conflict of Interest xi Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

Boxes, Figures, and Tables BOXES 1-1 Statement of Task 1-2 Definitions of Key Terms 4-1 Indigenous Curricula and Pedagogy 4-2 Children Discovering Their World 5-1 Key Features of Effective Professional Learning for Instructional Practices 5-2 African-Centered Curricula and Pedagogy 7-1 Dual Language/Multilingual Curricula and Pedagogy 7-2 Summary of Research Findings for Multilingual Learners from Birth to Age Five 7-3 African American English: An Example of Variation in the English Language 7-4 Heritage Language Revitalization Programs 8-1 State-Developed Curricula: STREAMin3 8-2 Multitiered Systems of Support 10-1 Vision for High-Quality Preschool Curricula 10-2 Themes for Additional Research FIGURES 1-1 A conceptual framework for understanding factors that influence and define high quality pre-school curriculum 3-1 Playful experiences differ along a continuum in terms of initiation and direction of the experience and whether there is a learning goal 3-2 Learning by observing and pitching in 3-3 Assembly-line instruction 5-1 Factors that contribute to the quality of professional practice and ultimately to improving child outcomes 8-1 Percent of state-funded preschool programs meeting the curriculum supports benchmark each year 8-2 Multitiered systems of supports inclusive of all students xii Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

10-1 A continuous improvement model for advancing implementation of the committee's recommendations TABLES 4-1 Characteristics of High-Quality, Equity-Driven Preschool Curriculum 4-2 Preschool Curriculum Types and the Teacher’s Role in Implementation 4-3 Goals of Curriculum Research 4-4 Categories and Phases of the Curriculum Research Framework 8-1 Supports for Curriculum Selection and Implementation Used by State-Funded Preschool Programs in 2021-2022 8-2 Percentage of State-Funded Preschool Programs Using Each Comprehensive Curricula 8-3 Subject-Specific Curricula Used in State-Funded Preschool xiii Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

Preface More than 50 years of research demonstrates the lasting positive effects of high-quality early childhood programs for success in school and later life. This report is a clarion call to preschool educators, researchers, policy makers, and families to reconsider what we mean by “high-quality” for all children, and specifically what is meant by high-quality, effective, equity- driven preschool curriculum, particularly for Black, Latine, and Indigenous children; multilingual learners; children with disabilities; and those living in poverty. While we know high-quality preschool programs have many documented benefits for all young children, there is compelling evidence that access to high-quality, effective early learning experiences may be limited, inadequate, and in some cases inappropriately based on factors such as a child’s race, location, gender, home language, identified disability, and socioeconomic background. As a result, there are far too many missed opportunities for every child to reach their full potential. The charge to this committee was to help redress these inequities by developing a new vision for high-quality preschool curriculum. All the committee members have been personally committed to more equitable early childhood education through their educational experiences, practical and professional values, and research and policy work. Guided by their professional knowledge, personal experiences, and aspirations for a more just and equitable early education system, the committee set out to review the research, weigh the evidence, and integrate multiple perspectives to offer a vision of preschool curriculum that would enhance education and improve outcomes for all preschoolers. The research presented in this report clearly shows that, historically, early childhood curricula have not been centered on equity. In practice, equity does not mean equal or the same treatment of every child. We believe equity means that all children have a fair opportunity to thrive; this requires valuing all individuals, languages, cultures, and populations equally, fully recognizing systemic racism and oppression, rectifying historical and contemporary structural biases and injustices, and providing resources and supports accordingly. Although every 3- and 4-year-old child deserves joyful, engaging, safe, enriching, and affirming preschool experiences, many are denied the power and promise of preschool experiences that foster holistic and healthy development and learning for all children, regardless of place or socioeconomic background; affirm children’s full identities, including race, culture, home language, gender, and ability; and recognize and build on their strengths while providing the supports they need to develop and learn optimally. Indeed, it is not possible to achieve equitable child outcomes by the end of preschool by teaching all children in the same way at the same time or offering them the same experiences. Rather, achieving equity may require adapting experiences depending on children’s prior learning, abilities, strengths, and needs to enable them to achieve desired learning and developmental goals. Appropriate, engaging content and effective learning experiences may not be the same for every child. For example, to achieve the goal of xiv Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

early literacy, Black, Latine, and Indigenous children will need books that reflect their identity and their cultural and linguistic knowledge. Similarly, emergent bilingualism is an equitable goal for children who speak a language other than English or in addition to English in the home. Children with disabilities need individualized, tailored goals and may require specialized adaptations and supports, unique resources, specific teacher competencies, and increased levels of intensity. Curriculum—what and how children learn in a program—is a critical determinant of the quality and effectiveness of a preschool program. While considerable evidence exists on the lasting positive effects of high-quality preschool programs in general, we now have a growing body of research focused on the key role and efficacy of specific curricula. However, curriculum implementation often varies considerably, depending on teacher qualifications, levels of support, and relationships with children; the quality of the learning environment; the individual strengths and backgrounds of the children; and their social, cultural, and linguistic contexts. Although this report is highly evidence based, the committee confronted the reality of the difficulty of finding research conducted on specific components of curriculum essential to achieving equity, such as cultural and linguistic relevance. For some crucial constructs, including child agency, racial identity and pride, and attitudes toward school and learning, the research methods and tools needed to reliably capture their contributions to children’s learning have not yet been fully developed. Similarly, more study is urgently needed for highly valued goals, including anti- bias/anti-racist, inclusive curriculum and pedagogy. There is also limited research on curricula that meaningfully address the developmental needs of children with disabilities to support inclusion. A well-planned, research-based, and preferably validated curriculum provides an essential scaffold that can guide early childhood educators on what to teach and when; how to engage children; and how to support adaptation for individual, cultural, and linguistic diversity. This scaffolding is particularly important if educators have had minimal teacher preparation; lack deep content knowledge; have little classroom support; or teach in classrooms in which the children have a wide range of abilities, cultures, and languages. This report calls on early childhood educators, program leaders, and decision makers at every level to reject long-held deficit perspectives of young children, particularly Black, Latine, and Indigenous children, multilingual learners, children with disabilities, and children living in poverty. Only by embracing children’s individual, cultural, and linguistic strengths and assets can we achieve a new vision of high-quality, equity-driven preschool curriculum for every 3- and 4- year-old child. We want to express our sincere thanks to the committee members for their deep commitment and sustained and expert contributions to this report. The conduct of this study was a highly collaborative process that required each member to listen, reflect, and compromise at times to achieve consensus on the vision set forth in this report and its application. The challenge of fairly including multiple areas of expertise and perspectives into one coherent report was heightened by the post-COVID logistics of conducting the committee’s work virtually. Particularly at this moment in history, the urgency of the issues being addressed continually inspired the committee to move forward with the hope of a better future for children and xv Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

families, especially those from marginalized communities who are frequently not embraced and supported. Having been colleagues and friends for almost 40 years, it was our pleasure and privilege to co-chair this committee and guide its work on one of the most important challenges facing the nation and early childhood education programs today. Sue Bredekamp, Co-Chair Linda Espinosa, Co-Chair Committee on a New Vision for High Quality Pre-K Curriculum xvi Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

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A high-quality preschool education can foster critical development and learning that promotes joyful, affirming, and enriching learning opportunities that prepare children for success in school and life. While preschool programs generally provide emotionally supportive environments, their curricula often fall short in advancing learning in math, early literacy, and science, and lack the necessary support for multilingual learners emerging bilingualism. Additionally, access to high-quality, effective early learning experiences may be limited and inadequate based on factors such as a childs race, location, gender, language, identified disability, and socioeconomic status.

A New Vision for High-Quality Preschool Curriculum examines preschool curriculum quality for children from ages three to five, with special attention to the needs of Black and Latine children, multilingual learners, children with disabilities and children experiencing poverty in the United States. The report articulates a vision for high-quality preschool curricula for all children, grounded in an equity and justice-oriented principles from inception to implementation and evaluation.

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