Education

Early Years

October 02, 2002 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Emotional Health

A young child’s social and emotional development is just as important to future success in school as his or her academic knowledge and skills, concludes a report released last week by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Read the full report, “Set for Success: Building a Strong Foundation for School Readiness Based on the Social- Emotional Development of Young Children,” from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Or read the executive summary. (Both documents require Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

“Young children who develop strong early relationships with parents, family, caregivers, and teachers learn how to pay attention, cooperate, and get along with others. As a result, they are confident in their ability to explore and learn from the world around them,” says the report. It was produced by the Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation’s Early Education Exchange, a series of conferences focused on helping all children enter school prepared to succeed.

The report, which is based on the findings presented at the first conference last November, recommends a variety of ways in which early- childhood education can foster social and emotional growth, as well as cognitive development.

Program providers should nurture strong and positive relationships between teachers and children, keep class sizes small so children can talk often with both adults and peers, and make sure teachers are specifically trained in early-childhood development.

Child-care and preschool programs should also aim to reduce staff turnover and treat the transition to kindergarten as an important opportunity to encourage children’s enthusiasm for learning, according to Ross Thompson, a psychology professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is one of six researchers who were commissioned by the foundation to write papers on the subject.

Forming partnerships between preschools and mental-health providers, the authors say, can also “provide families and programs with more effective tools to meet their children’s needs.”

Those conditions are especially important, they say, for children who come from difficult backgrounds in which their social and emotional health is threatened. Such backgrounds include living in poverty, coming from households marred by domestic violence, having parents who suffer from depression or substance abuse, or being in stressful child-care arrangements.

According to the authors, “many children experiencing problems in social-emotional functioning are also experiencing delays in acquiring early academic skills.”

—Linda Jacobson ljacobson@epe.org

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 18, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
Education In Their Own Words Masking, Miscarriages, and Mental Health: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our reporters share the stories they wrote that rose above the fray—and why.
5 min read
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week