The Role of Rigor in Kindergarten

It seems every week, there’s another story about the benefits of early education or how investing in high-quality early childhood programs pays off. And President Obama’s recent 2016 budget proposal included a 10-year, $75 billion universal preschool request. But as a recent story in Education Week explained, there’s no real consensus on what a regular day in a kindergarten classroom should...

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Parents Boost Their Preschoolers’ Literacy Skills With Texted Tips

What’s the most cost-effective way to prepare toddlers for school? Turns out it might involve texting parents. A new study by Stanford researchers confirms what early studies were showing: Texting parents early childhood learning tips and reminders boosts preschoolers’ literacy skills. And it costs approximately $1 per family. Research has repeatedly found that kindergartners from low-income families are already behind their...

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Can Touchscreen Technology Teach Preschoolers About Feelings?

James Alex Bonus and Alanna Peebles have spent hours watching and analyzing children’s TV shows. Graduate students in communication science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Bonus and Peebles are interested in how children ages 3 to 5 understand narrative. “When we make these shows for kids, there’s a lot of mental obstacles for them that we might not recognize,” Bonus said. Research...

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Can An App Help Teach Empathy and Mindfulness?

Anna Ly, one of the Fred Rogers Center’s Early Career Fellows, was working on her graduate degree at Stanford when a presentation from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center gave her a eureka moment. The center presented a prototype of a videoconferencing app they created with the Nokia Research Center called Story Visit, which lets far away parents or grandparents read “Sesame...

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What Does Children’s Obsession With Technology Tell Us

Today's technology may be meeting some of the same childhood needs as those of earlier generations. The desire to be an expert at something, to have a space to themselves, and to engage with peers are all things we wanted as children, too. Each new advancement in media technology brings us waves of excitement and angst. Smartphones and tablets are ruining childhood....

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Protecting Children From Extreme Screen Violence

Last week, my wife and I were enjoying coffee in our local diner when we spotted a group of four children huddled around their father’s iPhone. A boy, about 8 years old, looked up, intently studying one of the big TV screens over his table, just as one of the commentators rehashed the details of the latest beheading. You could clearly...

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Bringing Technology to the Sandbox

Young children learn best from active engagement with their world and the people in it—through exploration, experience, and discovery. That’s why preschool classrooms have long been filled with water tables and sandboxes. Pouring water through a funnel, building a sand castle, or touching a butterfly wing helps young kids test theories about the physical world. And learning to navigate the...

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