Friday, February 19, 2010

NIEER February hot topics

Teach the Scientific Method in Pre-K? Here's How …
Two Rutgers University professors affiliated with NIEER have co-authored Preschool Pathways to Science, a new book that serves as a guide for implementing science in preschool classrooms. In addition to writing the book, Rochel Gelman, a NIEER scientific advisory board member known for her research on children's causal and quantitative reasoning, and Kim Brenneman, NIEER assistant research professor and lead author of the policy brief Math and Science in Preschool: Policies and Practice, are content advisers to the popular PBS show Sid the Science Kid. They explain in the video in this week's post on Preschool Matters … Today!

Mothers Influence How Children Develop Executive Functioning
A new longitudinal study finds that the way mothers act when they are playing and solving puzzles with their babies can explain some of the differences in how their children develop executive functions such as controlling impulses and showing mental flexibility. Children of moms who answered their children's requests for help quickly and accurately and talked to the kids about their thoughts and memories during play performed better on tasks requiring executive function.

Pew Center Report: How the Recession Might Change States
The states are running out of short-term fixes for the deficits plaguing most of them, forcing them to consider downsizing government and re-examining delivery of services and outdated tax policies, says the State of the States 2010 report just out from The Pew Center on the States. It takes a clear-eyed look at the economic drama unfolding in many states and predicts it will take years for states to return to normal in part because the recession reduced the base for future revenue for many states.

Art Rolnick to Retire from Minneapolis Fed This Summer
The Star Tribune reports that Art Rolnick, senior VP and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, is retiring from the bank in July after 40 years of service. Rolnick, who has focused attention on cost-benefit analysis of early childhood education, will become co-director of the Human Capital Resource Collaborative at the Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota. He said he hopes to raise funds and develop pilot early education programs in Minneapolis, his home town of Detroit, and perhaps other cities.

Online Early Ed Degrees Seventh Most Sought After
The distance education web portal says that online degree programs for early childhood education rank seventh on its list of top 10 online degree searches. The company says it has seen an increase in searches for the "helping professions" since the downturn in the economy began.

New on
State Pre-K: Will Tight Budgets Threaten Progress?
In the latest issue of Preschool Matters, NIEER looks at state budgets and preschool education, one of many areas where the funding progress seen in recent years has taken a considerable blow. Other articles in the new issue include:
Yet More Evidence: Time to Beef Up Math and Science in Pre-K
Long-Term Studies Show Lasting Gains from Pre-K
The Benefits of Investments in Early Development Around the Globe
Preschool's Role in Fighting Childhood Obesity

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