Special Issue "Early Childhood Education"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Douglas H. Clements

Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, 1999 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80208, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: learning and teaching of early mathematics; computer applications in mathematics education; creating, using, and evaluating a research-based curriculum; taking successful curricula to scale using technologies and learning trajectories
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Julie Sarama

Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, 1999 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80208, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: young children's development of mathematical concepts and competencies; implementation and scale-up of educational reform; professional development models and their influence on student learning; implementation and effects of technology in mathematics classrooms
Guest Editor
Dr. Holland Banse

University of Denver
E-Mail
Interests: Supporting English language learners, mathematics education, and the intersection between those two fields; young children’s development of mathematical competencies and executive function as well as their contributions to one another
Guest Editor
Dr. Crystal A. Day Hess

Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, 1999 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80208, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: early childhood development, particularly self-regulation and executive function, the interplay of executive function and math learning, play-based instructional approaches to learning, achievement motivation, and caregiver sensitivity; early childhood research and program evaluation, professional development, and technical assistance
Guest Editor
Dr. Carrie Germeroth

Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, 1999 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80208, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: young children’s social and emotional development, particularly motivation and executive function; implementation of play-based instructional practices and assessments; infant and toddler workforce development; coaching and professional develoment models for early childhood educators
Guest Editor
Dr. Candace Joswick

Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, 1999 E. Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80208, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: pre-K-12 students’ cognition and conceptualizations of mathematics, learning trajectories and learning progressions for teaching and assessment, classroom discourse and interactions, the intersection of language and concept development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The field of early childhood education has made strides over the last few decades in terms of what we know contributes to positive outcomes for young children. The evidence base regarding investment in early childhood interventions continues to grow. These investments tend to focus on evidence-based programs, which is positive. However, riskier, more innovative ideas that hold significant promise to move the field forward must also be considered. The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight these visionary ideas from emerging scholars about how the early childhood field can move forward towards improving pathways for young children. Topics will include research that cuts across early childhood development topics and education that focus on longstanding areas of research (e.g., literacy, executive function, social emotional development, etc.) and/or emerging areas of research (e.g., immigration, gender identity, technology). The editors are contacting established scholars to identify emerging scholars; however, others can submit independently. Please send a structured abstract to any of the editors: Douglas H. Clements (Douglas.Clements@du.edu), Julie Sarama (Julie.Sarama@du.edu), Holland Banse (hwb5pg@virginia.edu), Crystal A. Day Hess (Crystal.Day-Hess@du.edu), Carrie Germeroth (Carrie.Germeroth@du.edu), or Candace Joswick (candacejoswick@gmail.com) or the Editorial Office (education@mdpi.com).

References:

Mosteller, F., Nave, B., & Miech, E. J. (2004). Why we need a structured abstract in education research. Educational Researcher, 29–34. 

Prof. Dr. Douglas H. Clements Clements
Prof. Dr. Julie Sarama
Dr. Holland Banse
Dr. Crystal A. Day Hess
Dr. Carrie Germeroth
Dr. Candace Joswick
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Critical Science and Mathematics Early Childhood Education: Theorizing Reggio, Play, and Critical Pedagogy into an Actionable Cycle
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040162
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 30 September 2018
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Abstract
Young American children in today’s public schools live in a world in which tensions around about identity (i.e., ethnicity and race, gender continuums, language backgrounds and proficiencies, cultural values and beliefs, economic resources, schooled experiences, literacy, and im/migration history) are part of everyday
[...] Read more.
Young American children in today’s public schools live in a world in which tensions around about identity (i.e., ethnicity and race, gender continuums, language backgrounds and proficiencies, cultural values and beliefs, economic resources, schooled experiences, literacy, and im/migration history) are part of everyday conversation. However, many early childhood science and mathematics educators are reticent to engage deeply in dialogue around these identities, not only due to a common narrative where science and mathematics are interpreted as culturally-neutral, but also because few models within early childhood science and mathematics education exist on how to engage in these conversations. Given this, we ask, how can we prepare and support teachers in developing a positive awareness of culture, identity, diversity, and other critical tensions faced by our youngest learners? How can we prepare and support teachers in engaging in these critical conversations as connected to science and mathematics with young children? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Education)
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Open AccessArticle Lyrics2Learn: Teaching Fluency through Music and Technology
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8030091
Received: 21 April 2018 / Revised: 2 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Since 1992, our nation’s report card (NAEP) has indicated minimal improvement in reading. One of every three fourth grade students cannot read or understand text at a basic proficient level. At the same time, reading curricula publishers have approached reading improvement in similar
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Since 1992, our nation’s report card (NAEP) has indicated minimal improvement in reading. One of every three fourth grade students cannot read or understand text at a basic proficient level. At the same time, reading curricula publishers have approached reading improvement in similar ways. Recent advancements in technology allow educators to reconsider how to personalize learning and individualize the pace of instruction to address reading disparities. The current study examines the implementation of a new technology application for reading, Lyrics2Learn (L2L). L2L was used over one school year by 463 students, kindergarten to third grade across nine schools in a large urban school district. Achievement data was collected from L2L students and a matched sample of students not using L2L. L2L teachers also provided perception data via an online survey. L2L program analytics were collected to document usage and implementation fidelity. At the end of one year of implementation, L2L students did not significantly differ from non-L2L students on achievement measures. Very few teachers implemented L2L with fidelity, however they reported that it was easy to use and supported differentiation of instruction. The current study has implications for how technology can support individualized reading interventions and classroom innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Education)
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Open AccessArticle Learning Landscapes: Playing the Way to Learning and Engagement in Public Spaces
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020074
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
Children from under-resourced communities regularly enter formal schooling lagging behind their peers. These deficits in areas such as language development, reading readiness, and even in the kind of spatial skills that predict later mathematical knowledge, may persist throughout their lifespan. To address such
[...] Read more.
Children from under-resourced communities regularly enter formal schooling lagging behind their peers. These deficits in areas such as language development, reading readiness, and even in the kind of spatial skills that predict later mathematical knowledge, may persist throughout their lifespan. To address such gaps, policymakers have focused largely on schooling as the great equalizer. Yet, children only spend 20% of their waking hours in school. How can developmental scientists and educators address this “other 80%” for the benefit of children’s development? One answer is the Learning Landscapes initiative, which involves crafting carefully planned play experiences that focus on learning outcomes, particularly for children and families from under-resourced communities. Playful learning, a broad pedagogical approach featuring child-directed play methods, provides a unique way to foster learning and engagement organically within the built environment. Learning Landscapes already incorporates several well-documented projects. The Ultimate Block Party brought over 50,000 people to Central Park to engage in playful learning activities. Supermarkets became hotspots for caregiver-child interaction by simply adding prompts for caregiver-child interaction through signage in everyday “trapped” experiences. Urban Thinkscape transformed a bus stop and adjacent lot into a hub for playful learning while families were waiting for public transportation. Finally, Parkopolis is a life-size human board game that fosters STEM and reasoning skills in public spaces. This paper reflects on data from these projects while reflecting on lessons learned and future directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Education)
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Open AccessArticle Code-Switching Explorations in Teaching Early Number Sense
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010038
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
New semiotic perspectives about the role of language in mathematics education indicate that teachers have a fundamental role in communicating and teaching the language that carries mathematical meaning. However, little is known about how educators of young children understand and use the language
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New semiotic perspectives about the role of language in mathematics education indicate that teachers have a fundamental role in communicating and teaching the language that carries mathematical meaning. However, little is known about how educators of young children understand and use the language of mathematics. This study addresses this void. Supported by the understanding that mathematics has its own language (Pimm, 1987), the study focuses on code switching—the mixing of words from two languages—by educators as they shift between the language of instruction and the language of mathematics. A qualitative multiple case study approach utilizing discourse analysis was used to explore three early years teachers’ math talk. Findings indicate that these educators code-switched to the mathematics register when they talked about numbers, number words and counting, to revoice students’ ideas, to explain students’ and teachers’ actions, to provide new math information, and when they chose between two terms that belonged to the math register. Findings also demonstrated that educators preferred to avoid the use of the mathematics’ register and relied instead on what the educators called “familiar language.” Findings further indicated the presence of semantic patterns between perceptual terms and the mathematics register. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Education)

Review

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Open AccessReview Early Childhood Science and Engineering: Engaging Platforms for Fostering Domain-General Learning Skills
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8030144
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Early childhood science and engineering education offer a prime context to foster approaches-to-learning (ATL) and executive functioning (EF) by eliciting children’s natural curiosity about the world, providing a unique opportunity to engage children in hands-on learning experiences that promote critical thinking, problem solving,
[...] Read more.
Early childhood science and engineering education offer a prime context to foster approaches-to-learning (ATL) and executive functioning (EF) by eliciting children’s natural curiosity about the world, providing a unique opportunity to engage children in hands-on learning experiences that promote critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, persistence, and other adaptive domain-general learning skills. Indeed, in any science experiment or engineering problem, children make observations, engage in collaborative conversations with teachers and peers, and think flexibly to come up with predictions or potential solutions to their problem. Inherent to science and engineering is the idea that one learns from initial failures within an iterative trial-and-error process where children practice risk-taking, persistence, tolerance for frustration, and sustaining focus. Unfortunately, science and engineering instruction is typically absent from early childhood classrooms, and particularly so in programs that serve children from low-income families. However, our early science and engineering intervention research shows teachers how to build science and engineering instruction into activities that are already happening in their classrooms, which boosts their confidence and removes some of the stigma around science and engineering. In this paper, we discuss the promise of research that uses early childhood science and engineering experiences as engaging, hands-on, interactive platforms to instill ATL and EF in young children living below the poverty line. We propose that early childhood science and engineering offer a central theme that captures children’s attention and allows for integrated instruction across domain-general (ATL, EF, and social–emotional) and domain-specific (e.g., language, literacy, mathematics, and science) content, allowing for contextualized experiences that make learning more meaningful and captivating for children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Education)
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