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DOUBLE TAB TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET Introduction Since the first edition of this book was published in 1996, the field of early care and education has entered a new era. An avalanche of research has put early childhood on the map as a prime time for learning. This new knowledge is both exciting and unsettling, and it begs some big questions. If you believe a child’s mind is a terrible thing to waste, how does this belief inform your teaching approach? Child care providers, teachers, administrators, and teacher educators are scrambling to keep up with all the new standards and competing ideas about how they should do their jobs. Educational reform is on such a fast track that it’s difficult to get one’s bearings. With our second edition of Reflecting Children’s Lives, we hope to get you grounded and excited as you set about navigating this new research to plan your curriculum for young children. When we wrote the first edition of this book, we were inspired by Jim Greenman’s call to create places for the one childhood our children will have. Jim was speaking about the growing majority of very young children who spend an estimated twelve thousand hours—from birth until they enter school—not with their families or in their neighbor- hoods, but in programs centered around schedules, health and risk management, and school readiness agendas. Our dismay over this real- ity led us to the working title for this book: “Guardians of Childhood.” We wanted teachers, parents, and society as a whole to protect this precious time of life, to honor childhood, and to respect children’s insatiable appetite for joyful learning. More than a decade later, we still want those things for children, but new times and deeper understand- ings have expanded our call to action. 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL