LearnLead’s programs integrate the cognitive and social development theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, Dewey, Bruner, Comer and Bronfenbrenner that incorporate experiential object-based learning, respect for parents into a two-generation approach to support family and community engagement in early childhood education. Individual programs evolved from ongoing formative evaluations of practices undertaken and the writings of leading thought leaders.
Research influencing m museum-based practices.
Museum as a Resource and subsequent ongoing use of museums for family programs, grew from founder Louise Wiener’s research, Head Start and Museums: Status and Opportunity. which identified that museums and Head Start agencies were open to adult to adult collaboration and that each thought expanded work together would accrue to the advancement of children’s skills. We were influenced. by the success of the Smithsonian Education Enrichment Center both in the survey development and the program design. In addition, Museum as a Resource reflects criteria developed by Marilyn G. Hood and applied by John Falk in his study Leisure Decisions Influencing African American Use of Museums. (1993).
Research influencing the Learning Model.
Learnlead’s Learning Model and associated programs were inspired by the brain research studies of the early ’90’s that document the relationship between language development and physical brain development which is strongly influenced by parents’ conversation with their children from infancy forward. Hart and Risley’s, Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children (1991) was a strong influence on our thinking. Considered a pioneering work in its focus on low income communities at the time, in later decades some have challenged Hart and Risely’s methodology. For LearnLead Hart and Risley put a focus on the need to support families of children in Head Start and Title I elementary schools by providing a concrete, respectful and creative response to the often heard question, “But what do you want me to say?”
Research influencing Messages of the Built Environment and related programs.
The observation that the buildings, not the collections were the most intimidating aspect of museums drawn from our Museum as a Resource experience was seminal to the development of Messages of the Built Environment. The observations were supported and extended through Mindy T. Fullilove’s writing. An African American psychiatrist in New York City, Fullilove advocates for recognizing the power of place and the social – emotional impact the built environment has on parents and children. Ernest Boyer’s report for the Carnegie Foundation, Building Connections: Enriching Education through the Power of Architecture and Design (1999) argues for integrating architecture and design into education for all ages to encourage higher level thinking skills and engaged learning.
Research influencing the Perfectly Punctual Campaign
The observation by executives from UFCW Local 400 that the biggest cause of job loss at the entry level was not showing up or not showing up on time motivated the creation of the two-generation Perfectly Punctual Campaign in 2000. The 2007 study A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in Early Grades by Mariajosé Romero and Lee Young and the subsequent seminal work, Present Engaged and Accounted For: The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades< co-authored by Hedy Chang and Dr. Romero (2008) introduced a new focus on data pushed us to a greater focus on data. In 2010 LearnLead analyzed tardiness and absence from two Baltimore Head Start agencies: St.Jerome’s Head Start and Morgan Sate University Head Start. The LearnLead Head Start Attendance survey study found significant tardiness and absenteeism in Head Start. We commissioned Dr. Romero to analyze the 2007 national attendance data for the relationship between tardiness and absence resulting inTardiness in Early Education: Incidence, Predictors, and Consequences which was critical to our further development.
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