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Harvard Educational Review

Agency and Expanding Capabilities in Early Grade Classrooms: What It Could Mean for Young Children is about using the concept of agency as a tool for improving the educational experiences of young children in the early grades. Agency in the context of schooling is the ability to influence what and how something is learned in order to expand capabilities. This article uses economic theories of human development, agency, and capability (Amartya Sen, Mahbub ul Haq) to think carefully about what young children need in their early schooling years. Classroom examples of agency demonstrate the need for parents, teachers, administrators and policymakers to encourage dynamic, agentic learning experiences for all children, not just those of privilege.


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Children Crossing Borders

In many school districts in America, the majority of students in preschools are children of recent immigrants. For both immigrant families and educators, the changing composition of preschool classes presents new and sometimes divisive questions about educational instruction, cultural norms and academic priorities. Drawing from an innovative study of preschools across the nation, Children Crossing Borders provides the first systematic comparison of the beliefs and perspectives of immigrant parents and the preschool teachers to whom they entrust their children. This research has produced findings on the ways schools can effectively and sensitively incorporate new immigrants into the social fabric.


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Discrimination & Children of Immigrants

The Impact of Discrimination on the Early Schooling Experiences of Children from Immigrant Families

How the young children of immigrants experience their early school years may in large part determine their academic future and negatively affect their emotional, social, and mental development. Children benefit from a positive, supportive learning environment where their contributions are valued; many from immigrant families, however, experience discrimination in school during their early, impressionable years.

The experiences that children have in their first classrooms are foundational to how they think about themselves as learners, students, and members of the larger communities around them. Any experiences of discrimination at this vulnerable age can negatively affect personal development and academic trajectories, and limit the emotional benefits of early childhood education. [Click to read more]


Media
Why the Word Gap Argument is Harmful

The Huffington Post When high school student Coby Burren noticed slaves referred to as "immigrant workers" in his Texas textbook, he called his mother who then called out the publisher. Using "workers" instead of "slaves" to describe migration from West Africa to the United States, they argued, is yet another way to make something horrible sound less horrible.

Misleading word games like these are not limited to high school. In fact they start young. Even babies can be labeled as potential failures with problematic code words such as "at risk." [Click to read more]