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Recent Books and Publications

Implicit Bias in Preschool: A Research Study Brief

Preschool teachers and staff show signs of implicit bias in administering discipline, but the race of the teacher plays a big role in the outcome, according to research conducted by the Yale Child Study Center. The results help explain why black students tend to be suspended at much higher rates than white students, the authors say.

Literacy and Academic Success for English Learners through Science (LASErS): Evaluation Report

This report is based on an independent evaluation of the LASErS (Literacy and Academic Success for English Learners through Science) program developed by the Education Development Center and funded as a development grant through the US Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund, established under Section 14007 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. LASErS leverages science learning as a vehicle to support young English learners’ language development by providing teachers and instructional coaches with high-quality professional development and providing families with resources and educational events to foster language skills outside the school environment. LASErS is designed to train teachers to use scientific vocabulary and engage young children in extended and meaningful conversations around science in a culturally responsive way. Dr. Chin Reyes of the Yale Child Study Center conducted the independent evaluation of LASErS, piloted in a small sample of schools in the Hartford (CT) Public Schools District.

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The Pre-K Debates: Current Controversies and Issues

Published in August 2011, this book, edited by Edward Zigler, Walter S. Gilliam and W. Steven Barnett, offers a vigorous examination of the most hotly-debated pre-K issues. Available from Brookes.

The Hidden History of Head Start

This book, by Edward Zigler and Sally Styfco, provides a detailed account of the history of the Head Start program, from the perspective of one of its founders. Available through ;Oxford University Press

The Tragedy of Child Care in America

This book, by Edward Zigler, Katherine Marsland and Heather Lord, examines why the United States has failed to establish a comprehensive high-quality child care program. Available through Yale University Press.

The Promise of Preschool

In this book Zigler Center graduate Elizabeth Rose traces the history of decisions on early education made by presidents from to Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush, by other lawmakers, and by experts, advocates, activists and others. Using this historical context as a lens, the book shows how the past shapes today's preschool debate and provides meaningful perspectives on the policy questions that need to be addressed as we move forward. Available through Oxford University Press.

Child Development and Social Policy:
Knowledge for Action

Child Development and Social Policy: Knowledge for Action is the volume from Edward Zigler’s Festschrift. It expands on Dr. Zigler's work in integrating the fields of child development and social policy, while using scientific knowledge for action as the model. Available through APA Books

Contributors discuss these key questions:

  • What are the most powerful research insights of the last 30 years that promote effective action for children and families?
  • What are the most powerful constraints or limits of our knowledge base to promote effective action for children and families?
  • What are the primary components of short-term research agenda to make the most powerful difference for children and families?

This edited volume focuses on both the influence of social policy on children’s development and the unique perspective, insight, and skills that developmentalists bring to this policy and its formation. Programs to ensure good beginnings for all children are discussed, while the needs of those who are most vulnerable are also addressed.

A Vision for Universal Preschool Education

Winner of the prestigious 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education!

This book brings together nationally renowned experts from the fields of psychology, education, economics and political science to present a compelling case for expanded access to preschool services. Available through Cambridge University Press.

Decades of research point to the need for a universal preschool education program in the U.S. to help give our nation's children a sound cognitive and social foundation on which to build future educational and life successes. In addition to enhanced school readiness and improved academic performance, participation in high quality preschool programs has been linked with reductions in grade retentions and school drop out rates, and cost savings associated with a diminished need for remedial educational services and justice services. The authors describe the social, educational, and economic benefits for the nation as a whole that may result from the implementation of a universal preschool program in America, and provide guiding principles upon which such a system can best be founded.

Children's Play: The Roots of Reading

Included in Choice's 2004 Outstanding Academic Title list!

This book demonstrates the importance of play in helping children learn basic literacy skills, social awareness, and creative problem solving. Available through Zero to Three.

Extensive empirical research has documented the value of play for both cognitive and social development. Play—guided by teachers, child care providers, and parents—can contribute to emerging literacy by motivating a child to learn the cognitive and social skills necessary for success in kindergarten and the early elementary school years. This book demonstrates the importance of play in helping children learn basic literacy skills, social awareness, and creative problem solving.

Zigler & Styfco (2004)

The Head Start Debates

This book helps readers understand the complexity of Head Start, shape future policy, and ensure that all young children will arrive at school ready to succeed. Available through Brookes Publishing.

The future of Head Start depends on how well we learn from and apply the lessons from its past. That’s why everyone involved in early education needs this timely, forward-thinking book. The first book to capture the Head Start debates in all their complexity and diversity, this landmark volume brings together the research and personal experience of 53 top experts in a wide range of fields — including education, research, medicine, and social work. This powerful compilation of voices mines Head Start’s 38-year history for lessons learned, turns a critical eye on where the program is headed, and offers readers distinct and often contrasting viewpoints on three major issues:

  • Goals. Explore three crucial questions about the goals of the program: cognitive development vs. school readiness, short-term vs. long-term progress, and Head Start as an antipoverty tool vs. Head Start as a child development program
  • Effectiveness. Investigate the impact of Head Start on children’s literacy, cognitive skills, health, school readiness and success, and parent participation — and learn how research might be improved so outcomes can be assessed more accurately
  • Future directions. Examine ways that Head Start might evolve to improve program quality, explore how to meet the child care needs of particular families, provide universal access, address administrative and funding challenges, and prepare children for lifelong learning