The developing brain of the child during early childhood is constantly processing information faster and with greater complexity of thought than could possibly be predicted by means of performance objectives.
Language is not a subject for children age five and under to study—it is an ongoing experience.
The failure of early childhood education in the United States is not that it has failed to lift children out of poverty. The failure of early childhood education in America is that it has failed to educate.
Every child from birth through five learns English (and, indeed, any other language) exactly the same way—by hearing other people use it.
Children enrolled in early childhood education programs are not “students” in the same sense that older children are. They are children, and the way in which they think and learn bears little resemblance to that of older children sitting at their desks.
…the ability to communicate effectively is perhaps the single most important skill a person can develop for success in school and success in life.
The level of proficiency in communication any individual might achieve is directly related to the quality of communication the child is exposed to in early childhood.
…in too many homes, the children of poverty are not exposed to anywhere near the quantity or quality of language as their middle-income competition.
Although early exposure to rich discourse is critical, clearly our ability to measure the quality of that discourse is crude at best. In fact, one could argue that vocabulary is nothing more than the secret handshake of the well educated and the high value placed on vocabulary in school (Rich 2013) is just another way the deck is stacked against children in poverty.
Teachers should avoid instructional mode as much as possible and should remain in communication mode most of the day so that the children can acquire the communication skills they so desperately need.