Northwest Washington K-12 Educators Engage with Early Learning Science, Policy, and Practice

On January 27, 2012. Dr. Gina Lebedeva presented at a meeting of 30 district superintendents, principals, and administrators in the Olympic Education Service District (ESD) in Bremerton, WA, one of 9 regional ESDs in Washington State. The discussion focused on connecting the science of early learning to K-12 education, and what particular, unique, and direct relevance early learning research has on improving education policies.

Given the robust data on the importance of human interaction in learning, the engaging discussion focused on how social-emotional foundations, set early in life, fundamentally drive cognitive development and readiness for school and life. I-LABS findings on the development of gender-math stereotyping also applied to considerations for STEM education. The presentation spurred lively discussion among the group on how leadership, curricula, and evaluation standards can be shaped and improved given these data.

The conversation also highlighted the theme of including the science of early learning itself, including basic brain development from infancy, as an integral part of basic science and social science education in the K-12 system, given the powerful impact that this knowledge can have when it is incorporated into public awareness.