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Appropriate Practice:
Should You Be Assigning Homework in Preschool?
Rae Pica with  Etta Kralovec, Dr. Ann Barbour, Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed.

pic There is quite a bit of confusion about homework in preschool. Many believe in the value of homework at the preschool level, others are sure homework in preschool is a misguided idea. Today we try to shed some light and get some clarity on whether homework in preschool is developmentally appropriate or beneficial.
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Raising the Bar:
Ratings Scales for Child Care and  Family Care Programs. Good, Bad or Just Ugly?
Rae Pica with Thelma Harms, Marilyn Corliss, Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed.

pic There is a drive underway to rate child care centers and family care providers. The aim is to provide parents with objective tools to identify the best providers and avoid substandard providers. But some argue that a ratings programs will increase costs on lower-end providers and eventually drive them out of business. Shouldn't that be the point? Well, apparently the issue is not quite that simple.
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Raising the Bar:
Moving Toward Child Development  Requirements for Teachers
Rae Pica with Dr. James G. Cibulka, Dr. James Comer & Laura Bornfreund 

pic Traditionally, the preparation of teachers who want to work with children birth to age 5 has focused on the development of young children. But elementary teacher prep has focused on teaching methods and content areas instead. But this maybe changing soon.
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Room for Debate:
Study Challenges Classroom Free Play, Advocates Push Back
Rae Pica with Carla M. Horwitz, MS, Ed.D, Nina C. Chien & Fran Simon 


A recent study showed that pre-k students who took part in teacher directed instruction fared better in language and math than those who spent the majority of their classroom time in free choice play. The study challenges the foundations of those who advocate the need for more play and supports those who believe there should be more emphasis early academics. But as this discussion reveals the issue is not free choice play versus teacher directed instruction, but how much of each. Lean more...

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Second Thoughts
Ooops! Why Rote Memorization is a Valid Teaching Tool
Rae Pica with, Joan Almon, Daniel Willingham PH.D., and Justin Snider 


In this segment we talk with a cognitive psychologist and memory researcher who challenges the wholesale notion that rote memorization is not authentic learning or quality teaching. He argues that contrary to conventional wisdom there is indeed a place for rote memorization in the teaching /learning process.  Did we throw out the baby with the bath water?

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