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Rockland's early childhood experts, workers meet to discuss standards

Victoria Freelow and her colleagues in the doctoral program sat down with all 36 state standards to see where they agreed on what big topics needed to be part of state early education standards.

About 80 of Rockland's early childhood workers, teachers and experts were told Thursday that standards for preschoolers were  not math and reading, but fostering curiosity, exercising mind and body, and teaching very young children how to connect with the world around them.

Keynote speaker and guest lecturer Victoria Freelow and her colleagues in the doctoral program at Columbia Teachers College sat down with all 36 state standards to see where they agreed: not where they agreed on individual curriculum, but where they agreed on what big topics needed to be part of state early education standards.

They found five: physical development and motor skills, social and emotional development, approaches toward learning, language development and cognitive development. Then they looked at each state's documents to see how often those topics showed up in curriculum. Not surprisingly, current preschool curriculum standards are heavy on school-type learning and light on things like physical activity (despite a growing obesity problem among children), story sense, social conventions and inventiveness. The rest of the day was spent learning ways to broaden current programs to include every aspect of childhood learning.

Lidia Accetta, a preschool teacher in North Rockland schools and one of the attendees, said she found the conference helpful. "It's helpful on two fronts," she said. "To network with other early childhood professionals in the county and ... to continue to stay abreast of all the early childhood skills and studies - anything we can do to bring the standards into the classroom."

The article "Rockland's early childhood experts, workers meet to discuss standards" was published on January 12th, 2009 in the "LuHud.com" Website. http://lohud.com/article/20090112/NEWS03/901120351/-1/SPORTS

Published Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009

Rockland's early childhood experts, workers meet to discuss standards

About 80 of Rockland's early childhood workers, teachers and experts were told Thursday that standards for preschoolers were  not math and reading, but fostering curiosity, exercising mind and body, and teaching very young children how to connect with the world around them.

Keynote speaker and guest lecturer Victoria Freelow and her colleagues in the doctoral program at Columbia Teachers College sat down with all 36 state standards to see where they agreed: not where they agreed on individual curriculum, but where they agreed on what big topics needed to be part of state early education standards.

They found five: physical development and motor skills, social and emotional development, approaches toward learning, language development and cognitive development. Then they looked at each state's documents to see how often those topics showed up in curriculum. Not surprisingly, current preschool curriculum standards are heavy on school-type learning and light on things like physical activity (despite a growing obesity problem among children), story sense, social conventions and inventiveness. The rest of the day was spent learning ways to broaden current programs to include every aspect of childhood learning.

Lidia Accetta, a preschool teacher in North Rockland schools and one of the attendees, said she found the conference helpful. "It's helpful on two fronts," she said. "To network with other early childhood professionals in the county and ... to continue to stay abreast of all the early childhood skills and studies - anything we can do to bring the standards into the classroom."

The article "Rockland's early childhood experts, workers meet to discuss standards" was published on January 12th, 2009 in the "LuHud.com" Website. http://lohud.com/article/20090112/NEWS03/901120351/-1/SPORTS

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