Edited By Beth Blue Swadener, Laura Lundy, Janette Habashi and Natasha Blanchet-Cohen
6 “You’re Not Listening to Us”: Explicating Chil-dren’s School Experiences to Build Opportunity for Increased Participation Within School Communities in the United States
“You’re Not Listening to Us”
Explicating Children’s School Experiences to Build Opportunity for Increased Participation Within School Communities in the United States
Lacey Peters & Lisa Lacy
“First, we play, and when the bell rings, we go inside and learn. After you are done doing it, you go to different places like Spanish and music and art.” This comment was made by a young student at the beginning phases of her first formal school experience in kindergarten. In the United States, numerous policies and provisions are in place to ensure that children, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, abilities, or social status, are afforded equitable opportunities to engage in relevant, quality, and fulfilling educational experiences. In early childhood, for instance, policymakers, educators, and other members of the early childhood community have emphasized the importance of early learning, and initiatives to increase the number of children who enter kindergarten “ready to learn” are becoming more widespread. Policy initiatives such as the National Educational Goals Panel; Good Start, Grow Smart; and Pre-K Now are influential in the effort to promote publicly funded programs for children and families, therefore increasing the accessibility of early educational experiences for young people.
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