Course: ECE 320 Advocacy and Public Policy in Education
Instructor: Jami Swindell
Advocacy and Public Policy in Education (ECE 320) examines current and critical issues related to education and early childhood education. During the fall 2020 semester, students identified local, national, and international issues that impact learners, teachers, and communities. This course allows students to take a deep dive into policy issues and practice advocating for issues they find important.
Students created Advocacy Kits on an educational issue they found relevant and important in their future work as early childhood educators. Students first researched their topic and then created an Advocacy Kit to share information on their chosen topics. The kits include a Fact Sheet, Talking Points, and an Action Alert based on the research and needs surrounding the issue. Students also created their own logos, organizations, and fictional websites/social media accounts for their cause. The Advocacy Kit can be used to share information with others interested in the topic or to advocate for issues with policymakers or stakeholders.
Regardless of the form of trauma a child experiences, it will have a lasting impact on their well-being. A child's physical and mental health are at stake as they try to learn how to cope with upsetting and tragic situations. As educators, we must provide the necessary learning and emotional support to our students who have gone through the unimaginable. One of the best ways to create a trauma-sensitive environment is by adopting a trauma-informed program.
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between students, families and education staff in a poverty level urban neighborhood. A central concern of this study is to look beyond the structure of our educational system, digging deeper into the inequalities and where they stem from. What factors make some low-income, urban, children more at risk of such disparities, than others? What needs to be done to support the social/academic development of children and what can be done to prevent this in the future?
In recent years sexual identity and preference has been a hot topic. Not only has sexual orientation become a more open topic we can discuss freely with our peers, but it has opened many doors as to what makes up a family. As a society we have become more accepting of individuals to identify as a different gender or sexual preference. People at young are voicing their thoughts about themselves and their identity. Adults are finally working up the courage to be and act how they were meant to. It’s a beautiful thing to witness a close friend or family member finally accepting themselves and sharing a secret, one that can change an individual life. It’s important that family members support their children when talking about their identity, as this can be a very sensitive topic for an individual. The LGBTQ+ movement is growing faster and bigger than ever, we should not hide our judgment within a closet but provide supportive outlets for those who seek it as well as those who may need help understanding it. Together we can create a more loving space for LGBTQ+ member to live with pride.
The No Child Left Behind Act came into existence and created standardized tests to give everyone the same opportunity and close the achievement gap. When giving everyone the same opportunity, students with disabilities should be included and given different tests to accommodate them. The tests created pressures on schools and teachers for the students to do well, and if schools do not do great on the tests, schools can potentially shut down. Some people think that knowing how schools are doing and seeing where their children are academically. The tests can be helpful information in trying to make changes in school districts and improve upon where the scores were weak. Testing is starting in kindergarten, and many of them are having a negative view of school when they learn through play. There are recommendations to make testing easier for everyone and have it so teachers and students do not feel stressed.
Elizabeth K. Purschke
Trauma that begins early in life is relentless and persistent and has been linked to the most severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress and poor child outcomes. Trauma-informed care provides children guidance from informed adults who can recognize and respond to the signs and impacts of trauma on young children and instill trauma awareness, knowledge, and skills into program habits, practices, and policies.
Qianqian (Daisy) Xie
Nobel Prize-winning economist Jack Hackman at the University of Chicago discovered in his study of the Perry School that for every dollar invested in high-quality child care centers, investors get seven dollars in return. This promising finding has led to an increase in government funding for the development of early childhood education around the world. When we teach our children to be good citizens, we will all be rewarded as they become healthier and happier citizens.