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Getting It Right From the Start

The Principal’s Guide to Early Childhood Education
From understanding how the youngest children learn to working with ECE agencies, this practical guide presents the information principals need to create effective early childhood education programs.

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Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-K, PreK-12, Elementary
  • ISBN: 9781412949507
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2009
  • Page Count: 344
  • Publication date: March 26, 2009

Price: $45.95

Price: $45.95
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"The day of preschool-aged children fully immersed in the public schools will be as common as kindergarten in the very near future. (And in many states, that day is here!) As principals prepare to embrace and successfully guide the addition of preschool children, families, and staff, they will need support and guidance in their new role as an early childhood/elementary principal. This book provides principals with exceptional support, guidance, and action plans to make their transition seamless."
Ginger L. Zierdt, Director, Center for School-University Partnerships
Minnesota State University, Mankato

"In one relatively small volume, the authors have organized information on just about everything a school leader needs to get a well-designed program off the ground and make sure it will get better as time goes on."
—Harriet A. Egertson, Early Childhood Consultant
Early Childhood Assessment Consortium, Council of Chief State School Officers

"This book is a tremendous resource for principals. As a former elementary principal, I wish I had this book to help me better understand and support the preschool classrooms in my building! Now as an education program evaluator and researcher, I realize how little I knew then about best practices in early childhood. This book will help principals better understand the components of learning through play, intentional design of classroom environments to foster learning, and the value of partnering with families."
—Lisa St. Clair, Nebraska PIRC Director and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Prepare our youngest students for future learning success with effective ECE programs!

To ensure that young children are ready to enter kindergarten, elementary schools are becoming increasingly involved in early childhood education (ECE), and more and more principals have to deal with ECE issues. Now this practical manual shows principals what successful ECE programs look like—and how to achieve quality results in their schools and communities.

The authors provide an inside view of the field, touching on key areas of operation and discussing ways to avoid common pitfalls. Blending research-based content with practical applications, this accessible guide helps principals and other administrators:

  • Gain a foundational understanding of how very young children learn
  • Create quality environments and practices for teaching early learners
  • Provide the kind of feedback staff need to improve
  • Work successfully with ECE agencies and providers
  • Easily implement the strategies outlined using reproducible forms, templates, and checklists

This comprehensive resource presents the information principals need to become key players in educating our nation's youngest learners!

Key features

  • Blends research-based content with practical implications for administrative practice
  • Incorporates numerous easy-to-reference charts and checklists
  • Presents a "Principal's Roles" section in each chapter with summaries of key success strategies
  • Provides an appendix with additional reproducible tools, including sample forms and rating scales


Marjorie J. Kostelnik photo

Marjorie J. Kostelnik

Marjorie J. Kostelnik began her career in early childhood education as a Head Start teacher and has been involved in educating children and teachers ever since. She was on the faculty at Michigan State for 22 years, serving 12 years as program supervisor of the Child Development Laboratories and then as chair of the Department of Family and Child Ecology. During her time in Michigan, she worked with early childhood educators in more than 100 programs developing curriculum, enhancing children’s school readiness, and working with teachers to develop positive child guidance strategies. An author of 16 books, Kostelnik arrived at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2001, where she is now serving as dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. A former vice president of NAEYC, Kostelnik currently serves on the Lincoln Public Schools Community Learning Center Advisory Board and the State of Nebraska Early Childhood Interagency Coordinating Council. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in human development and family studies from Penn State.
Marilyn L. Grady photo

Marilyn L. Grady

Marilyn L. Grady, is professor of educational administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She is the author or coauthor of 23 books, including From Difficult Teachers to Dynamic Teamwork (2009) with Brock, Getting it Right from the Start (2009) with Kostelnik From First Year to First Rate (2007) with Brock, 194 High-Impact Letters for Busy Principals (2006), 20 Biggest Mistakes Principals Make and How to Avoid Them (2004) and Launching Your First Principalship (2004) with Brock. Her research areas include leadership, the principalship, and superintendent-board relations. She has more than 175 publications to her credit. She is the editor of the Journal of Women in Educational Leadership. Her editorial board service has included Educational Administration Quarterly, International Studies in Educational Administration, International Journal of Learning, Rural Educator, Journal of At-Risk Issues, Journal of School Leadership, Advancing Women in Leadership On-Line Journal, Journal for Rural School and Community Renewal, International Journal of Learning, and Journal for a Just and Caring Education. She is the recipient of the Stanley Brzezinski Research Award, NCPEA’s Living Legend Award, the Donald R. and Mary Lee Swanson Award for Teaching Excellence, UNL’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and UNL’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Status of Women.

Grady coordinates an annual conference on women in educational leadership that attracts national attendance and is in its 24th year. She has been an administrator in K-12 schools as well as at the college and university levels. She received her bachelor’s degree in history from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and her doctorate in educational administration with a specialty in leadership from The Ohio State University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Authors

1. Early Childhood Education: An Expanding Enterprise!

Increasing Family Demand

Early Learning Imperatives

Children at Risk of School Failure

Reducing the Achievement Gap: Starting Early

Early Childhood Education: A Sound Investment

Principals’ Roles: Laying the Groundwork

2. Quality Makes ALL the Difference

The Corrosive Impact of Poor Quality

High-Quality Defined

Leadership and High Quality

Becoming an Early Childhood Leader

Principals’ Roles: Achieving High Quality

3. Breaking New Ground: Getting Involved in Early Childhood Education

What Exactly Is Early Childhood Education?

Becoming Familiar With Early Childhood Culture

School Principals as Culture Brokers

Principals’ Roles: Getting Involved in Early Childhood Education

4. Early Childhood Education: Stakeholders

Identifying the Stakeholder


Give Voice to Stakeholders

Actions and Considerations

Principals’ Roles: Working With Stakeholders

5. Developmentally Appropriate Practice

Fundamental Principles of DAP

Developmentally Inappropriate Practice (DIP)

Applying DAP Requires Judgment

The Sounds of DAP!

Empirical Support for DAP

Common Questions About DAP

Principals’ Roles: Supporting DAP

6. The Principal’s Guide to How Young Children Develop and Learn

The Essential Nature of Young Children

How Young Children Develop

How Young Children Learn

What Children Are Learning

Principals’ Roles: Supporting Child Development and Learning

7. Early Childhood Curriculum

What Constitutes the Early Childhood Curriculum?

‘Goodness of Fit’ Between Early Education and Later Schooling

Implementing the Early Childhood Curriculum

Activities to Look for in Early Childhood Classrooms

Principal’s Roles: Curriculum

8. Learning Centers & Classroom Routines

Typical Learning Centers for Young Children

Skills Teachers Need to Run Effective Centers

How Classroom Routines Support Curricular Goals

A Typical Day for Children

Principals’ Roles: Centers and Routines

9. Early Childhood Assessment

Key Considerations

Authentic Assessment

Strategies to Guide Learning and Improve Instruction

Strategies for Identifying Children’s Special Needs

Assessing Early Childhood Programs and Learning Contexts

Pros and Cons of Standardized Assessment

The Principals’ Roles: Promoting Authentic Assessment

10. Early Childhood Education: Family Involvement

Through the Eyes of the Families

Looking Inside and Looking Outside

Suggestions for Families

Through the Eyes of Teachers

Parents Want Communication With the School

Family Roles

Principals’ Roles: Family Involvement

11. Early Childhood Teachers

Teachers Matter

The Critical Function of Principals

Characteristics of ‘Good’ Teachers

Formal Teacher Qualifications

Translating Teacher Standards Into Practice

Principals’ Roles: Supporting Early Childhood Teachers

12. Finding and Keeping Good Teachers

Shortage of Qualified Early Childhood Teachers

Looking for Teachers to Support Diverse Children and Families

Reducing Staff Turnover

Principals’ Roles: Hiring and Retaining Good Teachers

13. Physical Environments That Support Early Learning

Environmental Propositions

How Physical Environments Influence Child Development and Learning

Fundamentals of Environmental Planning

Physical Requirements of Activity-Based Instruction

Equipping Early Childhood Classrooms

The Great Outdoors!

Principals’ Roles: Creating Optimal Early Learning Environments

14. Early Childhood Education: Funding

Funding Sources

History of Federal Funding

State Funding

Local Funding

Start-Up Costs

Administrator Voices

Principals’ Roles: Funding

15. Action Summary

Tool A. Learning Center Checklist

Tool B. Key Instruments Used Nationally for Evaluation of Children in ECE Programs

Tool C. Daily Literacy Checklist P3

Tool D. Daily Numeracy Checklist P3

Tool E. Guidelines for Structuring Informative On-Site Observations

Tool F. Sample Interview Questions for Teacher Candidates

Tool G. Early Childhood Safety & Health Checklist

Tool H. Physical Requirements of Small Group Activity Centers

Tool I. ECE Classroom Equipment List

Tool J. Indoor Environment Checklist





Price: $45.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.