EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Early childhood education was one of the earliest issue areas undertaken by the Institute after it was established in 1998, spurred in part by Al Shanker’s strong belief, first voiced over 40 years ago, that the nation’s efforts to close persistent academic achievement gaps were severely hampered by inequities that began in the earliest stages of childhood development.
Implementing Large Scale Change in a Midsize Urban District
In partnership with Susan B. Neuman, St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS), and the St. Louis Federation of Teachers, the Shanker Institute is leading a district-wide initiative whose goal is to enhance the quality of early childhood education in St. Louis Public Schools by providing professional development that integrates oral language development and content-rich instruction for early childhood educators. Our goal is to create an infrastructure for SLPS to sustain quality improvements in early education that is tied to gains in children’s achievement. More…
Literacy Ladders. Let’s Talk™
Let’s Talk™ is a program aimed at raising community awareness and expertise in how a child’s knowledge and language develop in tandem, forming the foundation for all subsequent learning. The program focuses on family engagement and provides parents with coordinated training and support on research-based strategies and practices. Let’s Talk™ also engages daycare providers, home visitation programs, school systems, hospitals, and existing community based programs. Through a variety of channels, the initiative will equip families and educators with knowledge and strategies aimed at supporting children’s knowledge and vocabulary development. More…
Let’s Talk Professional Development Series
The Shanker Institute’s Let’s Talk Professional Development Series provide rigorous, standards-based information on the latest research and practices for the most important foundation for early literacy development: The acquisition of background knowledge in key academic domains acquired through speaking and listening. The Let’s Talk PD Series comprise three distinct modules: (1) oral language, (2) mathematics and (3) science. More…
Preschool Curriculum: What’s In It for Children and Teachers, an accessible research synthesis of how and how much young children learn in the academic domains of oral language, literacy, mathematics, and science. The Institute partnered with the University of Michigan to design four professional development modules for early childhood educators based on this review.
Oral Language Brochure, joint Shanker Institute-AFT brochure about supporting oral language learning in the classroom. This resource has been disseminated at events by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the National Head Start Association (NHSA) and Education International ECE Task Force etc.
A Call For Common Content, statement encouraging our leaders and policymakers to face the questions we have avoided for generations: What is it, precisely, that we expect all educated citizens to have learned? What explicit knowledge, skills, and understanding of content will help define the day-to-day work of teaching and learning?
Animation on the Early Language Gap, the vocabulary gap between rich and poor children develops very early and it is about more than just words. In fact, words are the tip of the iceberg — if so, what lies underneath? Find out by watching this three minute video.