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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET FOREWORD Pedagogy must be oriented not to the yesterday, but to the tomorrow of the child’s development. Only then can it call to life in the process of education those processes of development which now lie in the zone of proximal development. Therefore, teach- ing must lead development forward not lag behind. We must teach to the potential. L. S. Vygotsky T eaching to ensure that all children develop their full potential is the mis- sion of all of us in the education field. We chose this profession because we believe in the transformational power of education, especially for children who face challenges due to poverty and other social circumstances. How can we make that happen? What do teachers need to do to fulfill this mission when classrooms are getting more diverse than ever before in the history of the United States and the school readiness gap widens as the population become more diverse? We need beliefs about development and learning that promote success, attitudes that are not deficit-oriented, and knowledge of instructional practices that respect chil- dren’s cultural ways of knowing (Moll and González 1994). The Conversation Compass has been designed to provide early childhood teachers with a tool that will help you in your journey to become culturally responsive teachers for all chil- dren, including those growing up in families from diverse cultures and languages. Teachers using the Conversation Compass strategies will be able to promote con- versations that are meaningful by building on children’s experiences and acknowl- edging their diverse speech and communication styles. The crucial role of language in early development, and its association with school readiness, has been well documented (National Research Council 2000). Using more and richer language in the early childhood classroom encourages chil- dren’s developmental progress and learning. The Conversation Compass discusses ix COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL