Education Sec. Arne Duncan on The Future of Learning

Thursday, June 26, 2014

US President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan (R) visit a classroom at Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn, New York on October 25, 2013. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty)

A coalition of mayors and brain scientists are trying to get the U.S. government to make early childhood education both a priority and a right in America. This is just one of the many initiatives rolled out at the 82nd Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting this week in Dallas.

This initiative, called Early Childhood Nation, would be the first to incorporate the latest brain science into actual pre-school programs. This program also aims to help public schools prepare kids to start kindergarten, and it addresses the need for day care. Early Childhood Nation is funded by the Bezos Family Foundation, which is already funding  actual programs for schools and home called Vroom.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan supports the program, which got a unanimous vote of approval from the U.S. Conference of Mayors this week. He sat down exclusively to talk about early childhood education with The Takeaway while we were in Dallas earlier this week.

Guests:

Arne Duncan

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [4]

Sam Butler from Tenafly, NJ

Let mebe brief.
Get a brain.
Having taught in a univerisyt, actually two for more than thirty years, I find all this twaddle. Diversion to hide the dismal culture we are currently in. When circuses/sports and bread/money. and superficial fame are the benchmarks of value, all the pied pipers and kings without clothes will not educate people, young, middle, elderly.
Books are read when a culture values books, be they in the form of a scoll, tablet, codex , and so forth. And babying the mind is disgraceful. Curiosity and search and research are needed. Not brain science. That is long in the future, but some scientists may get grants or universities that enrich themselves. But reading for pleasure and thinking critically are last on the list, it seems.
And then no one wants to discuss the monster in the room-cheating. It is almost universal and exists on all levels.
By now Hope is lost, and the latest snake-oil is being sold, until a new odor gains favor next year. Brain science indeed.

Jun. 27 2014 09:47 PM
Deboah from Denver

Head Start model has been doing this for years and years with curriculum based on ECD research, involvement of parents, a holistic approach and a real understanding of child development, community development and parents development. Could it be because Head Start serves children from poverty, special needs children, many diverse populations that the mainstream educational systems have not accepted or implemented this wonderful model. "Preschool" is really an early child development program including education, health, mental health, individualization of the programs for the child, active parent involvement and support, nutrition, and access to high quality special education services. Wake up America!!!! We are helping prepare children for success in life as well as school. Can we get into the 21st century in the school systems and Congress?

Jun. 27 2014 09:11 AM
sigdelt from Westchester Couny NY

If a program of this nature had been implemented 55 yrs ago when, as a recent college graduate I elected to work as a speech and language therapist in Newark NJ's inner city, we would not have had the persistent high level of taxpayer expenses/violence incurred by this poorly educated group. I would visit homes before and after school, hoping to demonstrate to the parents of the children,how to work with their them. It was, of course, fruitless...not enough time or money.

The gov't needs to provide programs for parents IN the hospital at the time of a child's birth and then continue with both parent and child. Brain science...absolutely. Take a look at Scientific Learning, for example. I have seen magic work with their programs with children and adults.

From a dedicated public radio listener who is still working and loves it.

Jun. 27 2014 09:01 AM

<<would be the first to incorporate the latest brain science into actual pre-school programs>>

What does this mean?

Push it through? Not so quick--without knowing details, I'm skeptical of the heavy corporate hand that Pres. Obama and especially Secretary Duncan represent in American education.

Jun. 27 2014 08:38 AM

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