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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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SUMMARY S-1 Summary1 Access to high-quality preschool experiences can be valuable for young children. Indeed, a large body of research—including a landmark study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, From Neurons to Neighborhoods (2000)—has yielded robust evidence on the crucial role the early years play in brain development and shows the potential of early educational experiences to influence children’s long-term trajectories and life outcomes. However, it also reveals a concerning reality: historically, not all children have had equal access to high-quality preschool experiences as the result of several factors (e.g., lack of funding, lack of availability), and definitions and measures of “quality” have often excluded considerations of factors (e.g., supporting home language development; recognizing children’s diverse lived experiences) that significantly affect the experiences of children from populations that have been historically marginalized. Despite the well-documented benefits of high-quality early educational experiences, access remains unevenly distributed, with children from historically marginalized communities facing greater barriers in access to preschool and uneven access to high-quality experiences within programs. In addition, they are more likely to be enrolled in programs that are underfunded, have less-qualified teachers, and do not support their home language and culture. As a result, these children are less likely to benefit from the same opportunities as their more privileged peers. The Committee on a New Vision for High Quality Pre-K Curriculum was formed to conduct a study of the quality of pre-K curriculum in the United States for children aged 3–5, with particular attention to the needs of specific subpopulations, including Black and Latine children, multilingual learners, children with disabilities, and children experiencing poverty. In order to develop recommendations regarding the development of equitable pre-K curriculum, state- and center-level curriculum selection, and local curriculum implementation, the committee was asked to (1) explore the fundamental assumptions, principles, and definitions that should guide the content, development, and use of high-quality, equity-driven curriculum for pre-K children; (2) identify the components, criteria, and/or features of a high-quality pre-K curriculum that supports equity and learning and development for all children; (3) describe how the components, criteria, and/or features of high-quality, equitable curriculum should be used by state and local preschool program directors to make curricular decisions for diverse populations of learners, as well as the guidance needed to facilitate such selection; (4) describe the curricular supports and professional development opportunities needed by early childhood educators across diverse pre-K settings to enable the effective and equitable implementation of high-quality pre-K curricula; (5) describe funding mechanisms, state and federal policies, and new innovations that 1 This chapter does not include references. Citations to support the text and conclusions herein are provided in previous chapters of the report. Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-2 can support the selection and use of effective pre-K curricula; and (6) identify research needed to address current gaps in understanding of the components, criteria, and/or features of high-quality pre-K curricula (see Chapter 1 for the committee’s full statement of task). The expertise represented by the committee’s membership (early childhood education, child development, preschool program development, curriculum development, curriculum evaluation, implementation science, public policy, children with disabilities, multilingual learners, child health, mental health, and neuroscience) reflects the scope of the committee’s statement of task. Decades of research in early education in the United States have shown significant effects of curricula on teaching and learning. Accordingly, there is a need for high-quality curricula to be grounded in strong evidence. High-quality preschool programs are the context within which high-quality curricula are implemented, yet many children do not have equitable access to either. In this report, the committee defines equity as the goal and process of ensuring that everyone has a fair opportunity to thrive, which requires valuing all individuals and populations equally; fully recognizing systemic racism and oppression; rectifying historical and contemporary structural injustices, systemic biases, and oppression; and providing resources and supports accordingly. There is a clear need for equitable access for all children to preschool experiences that foster holistic and healthy development and learning regardless of place or socioeconomic status; 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 reach their full potential. Thus, in addition to providing high-quality preschool programs, it is important to address the systemic inequities that prevent children from marginalized communities from accessing these programs and for the curricula used in these programs to support all children’s learning and development. To this end, there is a need for increased funding for preschool, expanded availability of high-quality programs, and curricula that allow all children to reach their full potential and that affirm children’s full identities, in order to ensure that all children receive appropriate services and have the opportunity to benefit from the positive effects of high- quality preschool experiences. As a part of conceptualizing a new approach to high-quality and equitable experiences for all children, it is crucial to reimagine the preschool curriculum. Many public programs are using curricula that do not meet the needs of all children. There is compelling evidence that access to high-quality early learning experiences may be limited and inadequate based on factors such as a child’s race, location, gender, home language, disability status, and socioeconomic status. It is crucial to recognize that these characteristics themselves are not the cause of differences in experiences. Rather, differences in experiences stem from broader structural factors (e.g., resource inequity, discriminatory policies, biased interactions) that perpetuate disparate outcomes. In working to define a vision for high-quality curriculum that can support equity, the committee recognizes that this is a highly creative, complex endeavor that takes into account multiple demands and requires multiple resources—factors representing the rich tapestry that undergirds curriculum effectiveness. These factors include the written content of the curriculum itself, including the learning environments in which the curriculum will be delivered; the supports for teachers and their own needs, such as professional learning experiences (including preservice education and ongoing professional development), the culture of the workplace Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-3 environment, how teacher wellness is supported, and the resources to which they have access; and the systems and policies in place, including those who make decisions about the policies and the drivers that influence their decisions. Most important, however, and central to these varied factors and the vision, is the child: the vision must incorporate the learning experiences to which each child has access, children’s varied opportunities to experience engaging content that can spark their curiosity and desire to learn, and the ways in which learning can be adapted to support the whole child and the child’s individual needs. Considering all these many factors, the committee developed the vision for high-quality preschool curricula described in Box S-1. Box S-1 Vision for High-Quality Preschool Curricula The committee’s vision for high-quality preschool curricula aims to fulfill the promise of an education that fosters holistic and healthy development and learning for every child, regardless of place or socioeconomic status, and affirms children’s full identities, including race, culture, home language, gender, and ability. It is grounded in an equity and justice- oriented perspective from inception to implementation and evaluation, and therefore is designed with an understanding of the diverse contexts of children’s development, including adverse and traumatic conditions. Curricula aligned with the committee’s vision would: • incorporate the perspectives, experiences, cultures, languages, strengths, and needs of a diverse range of children, families, and workforce settings; • include rich and meaningful content that centers child engagement and agency; • include well-designed learning experiences, intentional responsive teaching strategies, well-defined objectives and outcomes, embedded formative assessments, and differentiation based on understanding children’s ability levels, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, interests, and dispositions; • have a scope and sequence that follow children’s ways of thinking and learning with research-validated learning trajectories, are culturally and linguistically affirming, and include effective supports for children with disabilities; and • demonstrate effectiveness in yielding positive school and life outcomes for the children and families they are intended to reach. Importantly, the committee recognizes that attention is also needed for issues of implementation and continuous quality improvement within a broader system. Curriculum in and of itself will not solve the deep, intractable challenges faced in early education from inadequate funding, inadequate wages, uneven workforce preparation and supports, and growing issues with staff recruitment and retention, to larger social and economic inequities. However, curricula can play a critical role in ensuring that, regardless of these systemic challenges, children, through their interactions with teachers, other adults, and peers in the learning environment will experience safe, healthy, affirming, and enriching learning opportunities that promote lifelong success. Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-4 KEY CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The committee’s statement of task did not include evaluation or rating of existing curricula against the criteria outlined in the committee’s vision. The committee’s key conclusions and recommendations are directly aligned with specific questions outlined in the study’s charge and fall across four categories: (1) guidance for the content design, development, selection, implementation, and formative and summative evaluation of high-quality, equity-driven curriculum; (2) supports and professional development needed for equitable and effective curriculum implementation; (3) funding mechanisms, state and federal policies, and innovations to support the selection and use of effective and equitable preschool curricula; and (4) creation of an evidence base to advance curriculum development and implementation. Chapter 10 of this report provides additional discussion of the findings that support the committee’s conclusions and recommendations. Equity-Driven Preschool Curricula: Guidance for Content Design, Development, Selection, and Implementation Conclusion 1: To create psychologically safe spaces that promote positive learning outcomes and success in school and life, it is vital to support holistic, healthy development and enable children to realize their potential by leveraging their assets and building on their prior knowledge—which is a product of their cultural and linguistic experiences at home and in their communities. Conclusion 2: Learning is shaped by the interaction between the biological processes involved in brain development and early life experiences, including those with adults, other children, and the broader environment. Such interactions are embedded within social, cultural, and linguistic contexts. Children learn in a multiplicity of ways, including child- initiated and teacher-guided play, exploration, observation, social engagement, intentional teaching in small and large groups, individual hands-on experiences, and other pedagogy that is responsive to their strengths and interests. Conclusion 3: In the development and evaluation of preschool curricula, it is important to include efforts to identify and reject long-held biases, deficit framings, and/or stereotyped assumptions about children from racially, culturally, and linguistically minoritized communities, as well as children with disabilities and children experiencing poverty. Conclusion 4: Evidence-based preschool curriculum that is well implemented has been shown to help promote equitable outcomes in mathematics, language, literacy, and social- emotional skills seen at kindergarten entry, particularly for children living in poverty and Black and Latine children. However, studies have generally not assessed curriculum effects on home language development for multilingual learners. Conclusion 5: A preschool curriculum that provides guidance for content-specific teaching, rich and varied learning experiences, and supports for all aspects of children’s development (including linguistic and cultural adaptations) will likely be most effective in Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-5 improving child outcomes. Some localities have created such curricula with promising impacts, largely by systematically combining different evidence-based, domain-specific curricula or integrating domain-specific curricula into a comprehensive curriculum to support all domains of children’s learning. Conclusion 6: Early childhood leaders and practitioners typically use comprehensive preschool curricula that are intended to address all domains of children’s learning and development and are required by their funding agencies. When compared with domain- specific curricula, the most widely used comprehensive curricula have shown significantly smaller gains in domain-targeted outcomes, such as mathematics, science, literacy, and social-emotional development at kindergarten entry. There has been little evidence of differential effectiveness for nontargeted domains. Much of this research has been conducted in Head Start and other public programs serving children from marginalized groups, including children from families with low-income, multilingual learners, and Black and Latine children. Conclusion 7: Nearly one-third of young children growing up in the United States are growing up with exposure to more than one language in the home and could be considered multilingual. Research has shown that the most effective language model for multilingual learners teaches them English systematically while actively supporting their home language development. Full proficiency in more than one language is associated with cognitive, cultural, social, and economic benefits. However, most states, school districts, and local programs have yet to develop a procedure for accurately identifying preschool multilingual learners, rarely provide dual language instruction, and have few bilingual early childhood educators qualified to support home language development or provide dual language instruction. Additional research, materials, professional development, and multilingual educators can support the realization of the new vision. Conclusion 8: Although family child care settings enroll a small proportion of children overall, they enroll a larger proportion of children from racially and linguistically marginalized populations, children from rural communities, and children from families experiencing poverty. Mixed-age programs are also common in family child care settings. However, few commercially available preschool curricula are designed for family child care settings, and few offer guidance in adapting curriculum or sequencing content for mixed-age groups. Based on these conclusions, the committee makes the following recommendations: RECOMMENDATION 1: In the next 5 years, federal agencies, state and school district policy makers, foundations and funders, publishers, and teacher educators should support the revision of existing curricula and development of new curricula to align with the committee’s vision. These curricula should be developed or revised by collaborative teams of researchers, curriculum developers, teacher educators, and practitioners—informed by the needs of children, families, and communities— Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-6 following equity-based and rigorous, empirically driven, iterative design and evaluation processes as described in this report. RECOMMENDATION 2: In the next 5 years, program leaders should transition to adopting and implementing evidence-validated curricula that, when integrated coherently, support the learning and development of the whole child. Essential features of evidence-based curricula include developmentally appropriate learning goals, a scope and sequence, coherent alignment with specific domains, and rich content. RECOMMENDATION 3: In the next 5 years, researchers and curriculum developers should (1) develop and evaluate appropriate criteria and metrics for assessing racial, cultural, linguistic, and ability bias in curricula; (2) continually review curricula for these potential racial, cultural, linguistic, and ability biases; and (3) develop and provide adaptations and revisions so that the curricula are culturally and linguistically responsive and foster an anti-bias, anti-racist, multilingual, and inclusive approach in early childhood education. RECOMMENDATION 4: From the outset, curriculum developers, in partnership with researchers and teacher educators, should develop curricula and supporting materials in Spanish, English, and other languages commonly spoken by children with a home language other than English. Whenever possible, curriculum developers should include adaptations for other language groups and those who speak dialects of English, such as African American Vernacular English (AAVE); they should also consider the unique approach warranted in Indigenous communities that are invested in language revitalization and maintenance. RECOMMENDATION 5: In the next 5 years, funders should support the development of new, or revision of existing, child assessment measures aligned with the committee’s vision. These assessment measures should be both formative and summative, should consider the role of bias (e.g., race, language, culture, disability status) in assessment, and should capture the full range of meaningful child outcomes and experiences (i.e., including positive social-emotional development, positive racial identity for children of color, and bilingualism/biliteracy for multilingual learners). Empowering Educators: Supports and Professional Development for Equitable and Effective Curriculum Implementation Conclusion 9: Providing educators of young children with psychosocial, economic, and professional development supports is critical; however, the availability of such supports varies greatly based on funding streams and governing systems. Conclusion 10: Educators of young children are not only intentional teachers but also sources of nurturance and security for children. The effective realization of these roles depends greatly on teachers’ attention to fostering reciprocal and responsive relationships, Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-7 examining and checking their biases, and cultivating a positive emotional environment, all of which affect the quality of the broader learning environment on which the provision of effective and equitable curricula depends. Conclusion 11: Preschool programs generally offer children warm and emotionally supportive environments; however, some populations of young children, such as Black children and children who are multilingual learners, may experience various individual and systemic inequities (e.g., biased perceptions of behavior, assumptions about the value of languages other than English, conflictual teacher–child relationships). On average, preschool programs fall short in offering children rich content and in advancing children’s thinking. This is especially true in mathematics, early language, literacy, science, and support for emerging multilingualism. Conclusion 12: Strong connections between families and preschool staff are essential for understanding when and how to adapt preschool curricula to address the strengths and needs of children, in order to create a meaningful link between home and school experiences. Unfortunately, research continues to show that minoritized families, especially Black families and to some extent families that speak a language other than English, are less likely to report close relationships with teachers; likewise, teachers report less close and trusting relationships with them. Thus, it is important that curricula include guidance for educators focused on effective approaches and strategies to foster inclusive and culturally responsive home–school partnerships in support of children’s learning. Based on these conclusions, the committee makes the following recommendations: RECOMMENDATION 6: Curriculum developers should incorporate resources and structures that help teachers gain knowledge about effective teaching strategies and practices, including bolstering content knowledge and understanding how children’s thinking and learning can be best supported. RECOMMENDATION 7: Early childhood educators should collaborate with families to co-construct curricular components that are meaningful and relevant for all children in the classroom; authentically elevate the role of families in supporting their children’s development; recognize the diversity in and value of family practices and integrate these practices when possible; honor their languages, cultures, beliefs, traditions, and talents; and invite these assets into the classroom. RECOMMENDATION 8: Program leaders and policy makers should ensure that educators receive professional development, regular in-classroom coaching, and access to materials tied to the implementation of evidence-based curricula, including supports for delivering curricula in children’s home language alongside English, or for monolingual English-speaking teachers, supporting multilingual learners through cross-linguistic connections and other research-informed practices that bridge languages. Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-8 RECOMMENDATION 9: Curriculum developers should provide scaffolded supports 2, developed in partnership with researchers and teacher educators, that increase opportunities for effectively integrating children with disabilities in general education early childhood settings while effectively meeting their unique developmental needs and fostering healthy peer relationships. Investing in Equity: Funding Mechanisms, Policy Strategies, and Innovations to Support Selection and Implementation of Effective Preschool Curricula Conclusion 13: To expand access to high-quality early educational experiences, there is a significant need for infrastructure to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of curricula and to encourage adoption of new or revised curricula that align with the committee’s vision. This includes collaboration between researchers and practitioners, data collection that captures characteristics of the populations being served and the curricula being used in the programs children attend, quality measures that capture the strengths and lived experiences of all children, and professional development and supports for practitioners. Conclusion 14: High turnover rates are prevalent in the field of early education. Providing educators with the financial security and benefits that promote their physical and mental health is necessary for supporting the implementation of high-quality, equitable curriculum and maintaining a diverse, well-qualified workforce that is large enough to meet the demand of families for high-quality educational experiences for young children. Ongoing data collection is critical to assessing and addressing the needs of educators, programs, and the families and communities they serve. Based on these conclusions, the committee makes the following recommendations: RECOMMENDATION 10: The U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and state early childhood education agencies, should • create a research-practice-partnership network of diverse researchers and early childhood programs that are willing to engage in research to study curricula and practices aligned with the committee’s vision; • create a data system for capturing details on curricula being used in programs, along with characteristics of the children being served, the quality of programs, and a comprehensive set of outcomes; • align quality metrics, measures, and rating systems with the new vision of curricula and associated practices; 2 Scaffolding is the process through which instructional supports are added to facilitate mastery of tasks by building on existing knowledge. As tasks are mastered, these supports can be adjusted and eventually removed. Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-9 • incentivize the adoption and use of high-quality curricula that align with the new vision; and • provide quality improvement supports and resources for addressing equity and inclusion gaps. RECOMMENDATION 11: As curricula aligned with the committee’s vision are adopted and implemented, state and local early care and education agencies and public education institutions should develop policies, provide technical assistance, and target funding to support ongoing professional development for educators that aligns with the vision, as well as strong curriculum implementation, with strategies and resources for addressing the high staffing turnover rates experienced across the country in early childhood programs. RECOMMENDATION 12: As curricula aligned with the committee’s vision are adopted and implemented, state and local early care and education agencies and public education institutions should identify opportunities to expand children’s access to schools, communities, and programs that implement these curricula and associated practices. Bridging the Knowledge Gap: Creating an Evidence Base to Advance Curriculum Development and Implementation Conclusion 15: Additional research could help determine the contextual factors and child characteristics that affect the differential effectiveness of curriculum approaches and their implementation. Conclusion 16: To date, most evaluation studies of curricula have not assessed important outcomes such as development of children’s creativity, positive identity, curiosity, and emergent multilingualism. Moreover, limited evidence is available on the effects of curricula on child outcomes such as sense of belonging, agency, and group pride; evidence is also limited on how teachers’ implicit and explicit biases affect curriculum implementation. Such evidence is needed to ensure that curricula meet the needs of the whole child. Conclusion 17: Currently, preschool curricula give little attention to the inequitable impact of racism, English language learning status, and disability status. More research is needed to understand the role of preschool curricula in supporting children’s intersectional identities, in order to promote justice through healthy child development, equitable outcomes, and school success. Conclusion 18: Culturally relevant and sustaining curricula and teaching have been identified as supports for important aspects of development, such as positive identity and racial pride. Additional research is needed to guide the development and implementation of culturally and linguistically affirming, anti-bias curricula for preschool programs, as well as to evaluate existing curricula on these dimensions. This includes much-needed Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-10 research on defining what specifically is included in culturally and linguistically affirming and anti-bias curricula, what is effective, and what should be measured as outcomes. Conclusion 19: Curricula with scaffolded supports, targeted adaptations, and accommodation for children with disabilities are crucial for authentically, meaningfully, and effectively supporting the full inclusion of children with disabilities. Future research could inform the development and testing of curricula that are designed for inclusive settings to address identified instructional needs and support equitable access, experiences, and supports for young children identified with disabilities or developmental delays. Based on these conclusions, the committee makes the following recommendations: RECOMMENDATION 13: In the next 5 years, publishers should collect and provide rigorous and meaningful evidence of improved short- and long-term academic and developmental outcomes for all children, with particular attention to Black, Latine, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander children; multilingual learners; children with disabilities; and children living in poverty. They should also document the experiences of children in grades K–2 and determine whether there is coherence in the curricular vision across the transition from preschool to these early grades. RECOMMENDATION 14: Researchers should continue to conduct rigorous evaluations of curriculum approaches, along with implementation research, to assess the extent to which curricula promote children’s holistic and healthy development and learning, regardless of place or socioeconomic status, and affirm children’s full identities, including race, culture, home language, gender, and ability. RECOMMENDATION 15: To build the necessary evidence base over the next 5–10 years, relevant federal agencies, states, and philanthropies should invest in ongoing research aimed at developing implementation systems to support the transition to evidence-based curricula that are practical and accessible. These investments should: • ensure the representation of Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, and Pacific Islander children, multilingual learners, children with disabilities, and children living in poverty in study samples with explicit attention to their unique experiences; • support implementation research that describes and identifies effective practices used by individual educators and programs for delivering and adapting curricula in ways that are culturally and linguistically responsive and relevant for children and families in their programs; • support studies that compare different domain-specific combinations and outcomes beyond those traditionally used, in order to capture new understanding of what the term “whole child” encompasses in a diverse society (i.e., to capture culturally and linguistically affirming and anti-bias practices); Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs

SUMMARY S-11 • expand measured child outcomes of interest to include multilingual development, sense of belonging, agency, group pride, curiosity, creativity, and problem solving, and expand teacher outcomes to include the reduction of implicit and explicit bias, effective teaching, and cultural and linguistic responsiveness; and • launch a federal technical assistance center that is grounded in implementation science, is dedicated to supporting the development of new curricula and the adoption and implementation of evidence-based curricula, and includes supports for assessing fidelity. The committee also presents a research agenda that identifies areas of inquiry and considerations for additional research: equity in study samples; multilingual learners; locally specific versus widely disseminated curricula; curriculum standards; systemic exclusion and bias; supports for successful curriculum implementation; investigator collaboration; family involvement in assessment dialogue among teachers, students, and peers; and expansion of outcome measures. The committee highlights the need for a comprehensive research agenda to gather evidence on this new vision for preschool curriculum. This includes (1) creating resources to better understand and document study conditions of curriculum effectiveness; (2) standardizing approaches for examining, reporting, and interpreting potential sources of curriculum effect heterogeneity; and (3) organizing large-scale studies that coordinate multiple teams of researchers to address questions of critical scientific and policy relevance. The evidence that the committee reviewed underscores the myriad ways in which high- quality early childhood education can promote children’s learning and development. However, many children do not have access to preschool experiences that recognize their unique strengths and the strengths of their families and communities. Equity in early childhood education calls for curricula that adapt to individual children’s strengths and needs, cultural backgrounds, and linguistic contexts and empower every child to reach their full potential. Meeting this challenge will require continued commitment to refining research methodologies, confronting the complexities of evaluating curriculum efficacy, and expanding the knowledge base. Only through continuous inquiry and adaptation can society fully realize the promise of equitable and transformative early childhood education for all children. 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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