Get Adobe Flash player
2  Introduction COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL funders are understanding the importance of early-years education for brain development and later success in school. But for practicing early-years teach- ers, these developments often translate into giving more attention to rat- ing scales and accountability systems than to the children themselves. This assessment-driven reality reflects the overall trend in education in the United States. In the United States, there is no clear vision for the value of children or the role of childhood in our collective lives. We are willing to entertain chil- dren, make products for them to consume, and prepare children for adult- hood. Yet we don’t earnestly give them much attention for who they are right now. We overlook the insights children offer us. Except for brief moments of crisis, holidays, or campaigning for elections, rarely do the lives of children get public attention. The general public doesn’t discuss how children enrich our humanity and our overall culture. Even parents and teachers fail to notice what children notice, and they don’t let children lead us to a new awareness and appreciation for their time of life. Professor and author David Elkind reminds us in The Hurried Child that in the last fifty years, our country has become more and more adult oriented, with children increasingly viewed as a nuisance. Shopping malls, casinos, health clubs, and the Internet have all been conspicuously developed as places for adults to gather. Parks, neighbor- hoods, and schools have been neglected. Most early childhood and school-age COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL