As school districts and governments decide whether or not to fund early childhood programs, authors address how best to provide education to our youngest learners

BALTIMORE, MD – June 6, 2011 – An increasing number of children across the country are gaining access to pre-K education as public schools add programs focusing on young students. This movement has sparked widespread debate on the nature and focus of these programs. Editors Edward Zigler, Walter S. Gilliam, and W. Steven Barnett cover all sides of this recent phenomenon in their new book, ‘The Pre-K Debates: Current Controversies and Issues’ in order to help administrators and educators make knowledgeable decisions when implementing pre-K programs.

This forward-thinking book gathers more than 40 leading thinkers in early childhood education for a rigorous examination of the most-debated pre-K issues. Headed by a founder of Head Start and two other highly respected experts, this book gives current and future decision-makers multifaceted perspectives on the critical questions of:
• Should pre-K be targeted or universal?
• What kind of teacher preparation should be required in terms of credentials and education?
• When should pre-K services be provided and for how long?
• Where should pre-K be provided—in public schools only or in other early childhood programs?
• What should the primary focus of instruction be—academics or the whole child?
• Should pre-K be structured around direct instruction or learning through play?
• How can we ensure quality and accountability in pre-K programs?
Readers will learn the major themes of the pre-K debate, investigate and learn from model programs in two states (New Jersey and Oklahoma), and identify key issues for future research and debate, including education policies for English language learners and children with special needs.

“We are pleased to offer a title that will help administrators, policy makers and researchers to become more knowledgeable on the controversial issues surrounding pre-K and give them the tools to make informed decisions for children and their educational futures,” said Amy Perkins, marketing manager for Brookes Publishing.

About the Authors
Dr. Edward F. Zigler is a Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, at Yale University and the Director, Emeritus, of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Professor Zigler was a member of the National Planning and Steering Committee of Project Head Start. In 1970, he was named by President Nixon to become the first Director of the Office of Child Development (now the Administration on Children, Youth and Families) and Chief of the U.S. Children’s Bureau. While in Washington, Dr. Zigler was responsible for administering the nation’s Head Start program and led efforts to conceptualize and mount other innovative programs such as Home Start, Education for Parenthood, the Child Development Associate, and the Child and Family Resource Program. Dr. Zigler is the author or editor of 32 books and has written over 600 scholarly articles. He has received the Heinz Family Foundation Award in Public Policy; the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education; the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Award, and many others.

Dr. Walter Gilliam is the Director of Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. His research involves policies regarding early childhood education and child care, ways to improve the quality of early childhood services, the impact of early childhood education programs on children’s school readiness, and effective methods for reducing classroom behavior problems and the incidence of preschool expulsion. Dr. Gilliam is active in prekindergarten issues at the local, state, and national level and has provided numerous presentations and testimony on early childhood education and state-level quality enhancement efforts. He has published over a dozen scholarly articles and chapters on state-funded prekindergarten programs, Head Start, child care, and developmental assessment of young children.
W. Steven Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. His research includes studies of the economics of early care and education including costs and benefits, the long term effects of preschool programs on children’s learning and development, and the distribution of educational opportunities. Dr. Barnett earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan. He has authored or co-authored more than 160 publications including 14 books. His best known works include: reviews of the research on long-term effects; benefit-cost analyses of the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs; randomized trials comparing alternative approaches to educating children including length of day, mono-lingual versus dual-language immersion, and the Tools of the Mind curriculum; and, the series of State Preschool Yearbooks providing annual state-by-state analyses of progress in public pre-K.

About Brookes Publishing
For more than 30 years, Brookes Publishing has been a leading provider of professional resources and assessments in early childhood, literacy, and special education. Some of their most well-known early childhood authors include Diane Bricker, Alice Honig, Robert Pianta, Jane Squires, and Edward Zigler. Brookes Publishing is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, please visit www.brookespublishing.com.
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