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10 Conclusions, Recommendations, and Research Needs
Pages 319-341

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From page 319...
... With decades of research in early education showing significant effects of curricula on teaching and learning, there is a need for high-quality curricula to be grounded in strong evidence. This committee was tasked with articulating a new vision for high-quality preschool curriculum with special attention to the needs of Black, Latine, and Indigenous children; multilingual learners; children with disabilities; and children experiencing poverty.
From page 320...
... The preschool curriculum is a critical tool for ensuring that children are in early learning environments that meet these expectations. To ensure that children have the opportunity to thrive, it is crucial to acknowledge and understand the detrimental effects of inequities and adversities on children's minds and lives.
From page 321...
... 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)
From page 322...
... These experiences can also provide insights for identifying curricular needs across diverse settings. Throughout the report, the committee has presented robust evidence that access to highquality early learning experiences is essential for children's development, yielding important Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs
From page 323...
... The key characteristics of high-quality, equity-driven preschool curriculum (elaborated on in earlier chapters) include research- and evidence-based child outcomes; scope and sequence; a focus spanning developmental domains and content areas or coherently incorporated domainspecific curriculum; content and learning domains that are covered in depth; clearly defined and specific developmentally appropriate learning goals; well-designed learning experiences and interactions; an emphasis on responsive, intentional teaching; guidance for preparing developmentally appropriate, engaging learning environments, materials, and schedules; support for culturally relevant, responsive, and sustaining teaching and learning; support for multilingual learners and various language systems; individuation and effective supports for children with identified disabilities; supports for individualized instruction for every child; supports for family Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs
From page 324...
... 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)
From page 325...
... 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.
From page 326...
... Supporting the professional needs of this crucial workforce is critical to ensure high-quality, equitable learning experiences for all children. Chapter 5 highlights the need to provide educators with the professional development and supports required for cultivating warm and affirming relationships with children, to ensure inclusive and prosocial peer interactions, and to provide consistent and proactive management of the overall classroom environment -- all of which are integral elements of curriculum reform.
From page 327...
... , and to deepen expertise in culturally responsive teaching and professional learning opportunities to recognize potential biases. As noted earlier in this chapter and in Chapter 2, because of the fragmentation of the early learning landscape in the United States, the current early childhood education workforce has a wide variety of professional development and qualifications.
From page 328...
... 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)
From page 329...
... Children from marginalized communities -- including children of color, multilingual learners, children with disabilities, and children from low-income households -- consistently experience less access to high-quality learning opportunities compared with their middle-class, White peers, highlighting the early education system's shortcomings in realizing its full potential for all. 29 Scaffolding is the process through which instructional supports are added to facilitate mastery of tasks by building on existing knowledge.
From page 330...
... Conclusions Based on these findings, the committee concluded: 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.
From page 331...
... For example, more research is needed to explore the effectiveness of culturally and linguistically responsive curricula. Additionally, limited research exists on the impact of curricula within diverse early childhood settings, such as family child care, for-profit organizations, charter schools, and faithbased institutions, as well as on less commonly assessed child outcomes such as creativity, problem-solving, positive racial identity development, inclusive social skills, and the language development of multilingual learners in both their home language and English.
From page 332...
... Due to statistical power and sampling limitations, the evidence is also somewhat limited on whether specific curriculum show differential benefits by child characteristics, although some evidence suggests that some curricula have larger impacts for certain child subgroups compared with their peers. The committee's review of the literature found a need for evaluations of preschool quality and effectiveness that incorporate information about the curriculum used and its features with information about the broader learning environments in which the curriculum is being delivered and for which groups of children the curriculum is most effective.
From page 333...
... 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 Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs
From page 334...
... However, understanding variations in curriculum effectiveness requires new infrastructure supports, methods, and perspectives in how early childhood education researchers gather evidence. This section highlights the need for a comprehensive research agenda to gather evidence on this new vision for preschool curriculum.
From page 335...
... • Supports for successful curriculum implementation: More research is needed on supports for successful implementation of preschool curricula, including integrated professional development and child assessment for data-driven instruction. Research incorporating families' and teachers' experiences with curriculum implementation is particularly needed.
From page 336...
... RESEARCH AGENDA RECOMMENDATION 1: Develop resources to understand and document conditions in curriculum effectiveness studies. Developing resources dedicated to describing and understanding the multifaceted conditions under which preschool curricula are most effective entails creating a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the factors that influence curriculum effectiveness.
From page 337...
... Standardization not only enhances the reliability of research outcomes but also facilitates meaningful cross- and within-study comparisons, ultimately advancing the field's collective understanding. In addition to providing more accurate descriptions of intervention conditions, populations, settings, and outcomes that are represented by specific study samples, early childhood education researchers need to employ consistent methods when analyzing and reporting sources of curriculum effect variation within individual studies.
From page 338...
... The committee's third research agenda recommendation promotes a collaborative scientific approach, advocating for interdisciplinary cooperation among researchers to address critical questions pertaining to preschool curriculum. This collaborative endeavor aims to ensure that research aligns with both scientific rigor and policy imperatives.
From page 339...
... Infrastructure Supports Promoting effective team science approaches in preschool curriculum research requires investments that support the development, organization, and maintenance of such initiatives. Researchers and evaluators of preschool curriculum need training and support in evidence-based practices for promoting effective team science.
From page 340...
... Achieving equitable outcomes requires moving beyond the traditional notion of equality and embracing a differentiated approach that celebrates the diversity of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, individual abilities and strengths, and community strengths that can empower every child to reach their full potential. To achieve equitable access to high-quality early childhood educational experiences for all children, the complexities of evaluating curriculum efficacy must be confronted, particularly in areas such as cultural and linguistic relevance.
From page 341...
... Early Childhood Data Collaborative. Child Trends.


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