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Words Reflect Knowledge

I was fascinated when I started to read about the work of Betty Hart and Todd Risley and the early language differences between children growing up in different socioeconomic circumstances. But it took me a while to realize that we care about words primarily because of what words indicate about knowledge. This is important because it means that we must focus on teaching children about a wide range of interesting “stuff” – not just vocabulary for vocabulary’s sake. So, if words are the tip of the iceberg, what lies underneath? This metaphor inspired me to create the short animation below. Check it out!


You can also download the slides in PDF here.

- Esther Quintero


Middle-class and affluent families have the slack necessary to offer children these experiences; what we must do (and refuse to do) is to offer ALL children the slack needed in their LIVES for this to occur:


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