Page 5 - Research and Eval revised
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INTRODUCTION
Significant gaps in academic achievement experienced by impoverished and minority students have been a longstanding dilemma faced by practitioners and researchers alike.
Significant gaps in academic achievement experienced by impoverished and minority students have been a longstanding dilemma faced by practitioners and researchers alike. Research indicates that children from low socioeconomic and minority communities are faced with risk factors that threaten their opportunity to develop literacy and math skills during critical developmental years in early childhood (Fantuzzo, Bulotsky- Shearer, McDermott, McWayne, Frye &Perlman, 2007). Over 30 years of research conducted on early childhood education illustrates that participation in early childhood education programming is positively associated with school readiness. Early childhood education promotes children’s social-emotional development, as well as early reading and math competency development. Social-emotional skills in early childhood have been shown to make significant contributions to children’s continued academic success (Zhai, Brooks-Gunn & Waldfogel, 2011). On the other hand, low social-emotional development in early childhood is significantly associated with serious problem behaviors in adolescence and adulthood, which can undermine academic success (Broidy et al, 2003; Reynolds, Temple, Robertson, & Mann, 2001).
Social-emotional development in early childhood supports the growth of children’s social-emotional competence, which includes their experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others (Cohen, Onunaku, Clothier, & Poppe, 2005). The development of social-emotional functions is particularly crucial between ages 0-4, when psychobiological systems experience a type of wiring that will impact a child for life (Ramey & Ramey, 1999). Emotional knowledge (being able to read facial expressions and interpret behavior so that an appropriate social response is displayed) and emotional competence (being able to positively initiate and develop positive social interactions) both contribute to a student’s level of social-emotional competence between the ages of
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