Protecting Brains, Stimulating Minds: The Early Life Roots of Success in School
Understanding both the biology of adversity and the science of early learning is essential for building a strong foundation for reducing disparities in educational achievement. The benefits of evidence-based curricula in the early childhood years cannot be fully achieved without effective strategies for preventing the consequences of toxic stress.
Center Director Jack Shonkoff speaks at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Askwith Forum, a series of public lectures featuring a wide range of topics, including early childhood, civic and moral engagement, and educating for human rights among others.
“We desperately need fresh thinking and new ideas in the early childhood space and that’s the context for my remarks this evening…. We need to set our sights much higher about dramatically doing something about leveling the playing field for ALL children very early in life before they set foot in school.”
“… I’m going to start with the War on Poverty and the great society progress of the 1960s not because it’s particularly more important than any other time but it was the origin of what are really the beginnings of a lot of the policies and programs that we still have today. So the point is we have 50 years of lessons learned from policies and programs and it’s time to take stock and say, “What have we learned, what do we know, and where to go next.”
“Head Start began in the summer of 1965…. That program is still very much with us today…. Community Action Programs were formed at that time…. Clearly the glass is far from full…. We haven’t solved this problem.”
Model Programs vs. Existing Programs: yellow circles as compared to yellow line
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