he purpose of this assignment is for you to connect course content to an area of interest you have related to the field of early learning (birth to age 8) and/or families. The assignment culminates in a 4-5 page/double spaced paper and a brief presentation [informal] to a small group of your class peers so that they, too, can learn from your ‘interest’.


Step one is to select a ‘interest’ on which to focus this assignment. A ‘interest’ is broadly defined and could include a focus on child learning and development, an examination of a policy, or an overview and further investigation of an issue in the field of early learning.
Some ideas for your ‘interest’ could include:
• a particular area of child development; (ie. attachment, social/emotional development, brain research, risk and resilience)
• Health related issues;( childhood obesity, autism, nutrition, child abuse, infant mental health, violence)
• policy perspectives on early learning preschool for all, economic arguments, Head Start, children and immigration, early childhood as a civil rights issue, global health, the ‘opportunity gap’, poverty)
• family perspectives; (cultural aspects of parenting, risk & protective factors, family systems theory)
• education; (‘what/how’ do children learn?, English language learners, early STEM, children and technology, particular approaches to early education)

Your paper and brief presentation should be organized in the following way:

Part 1. Description of the ‘interest’:
Provide an introduction to and description of your ‘case’. What information do you think your reader needs to have about this ‘case’ in order to have foundational information about it? For example, how does this case represent an issue or problem in early childhood/family studies? Who might care about it? Why? To whom does it matter? What are some questions people are trying to answer about this case?

Part 2. Explorations of research efforts related to your selected case:
Using the information from a selected research center website (see list below), describe some of the research efforts being done related to your case. What are some of the major research questions? Explore through the list of research groups (or find one on your own…check with me) below to find one (or more) that focus on your case.

• National Institute for Early Education Research: http://nieer.org
• Foundation for Child Development: http://fcd-us.org/
• Center on the Developing Child: http://developingchild.harvard.edu/
• Harvard Family Research Project: http://www.hfrp.org/
• Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (UW): http://ilabs.washington.edu/
• Haring Center (UW): http://www.haringcenter.washington.edu/
• Center for Child Health, Behavior, & Development (UW): http://www.seattlechildrens.org/research/child-health-behavior-and-development/
• National Center for Children in Poverty: http://www.nccp.org/
• National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition: http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/
• Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/
• National Institute of Child Health & Human Development http://www.nichd.nih.gov/Pages/index.aspx
• Center for Early Care and Education Research
• The National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education (NCRECE)
• Child Trends: http://www.childtrends.org

Part 3. Professional Organization Review:
Using the information from a selected national professional organization website including at least one ‘position paper’ from this site, describe the organization and some of the positions or perspectives this group provides for your case. What are some of the major professional development efforts? Explore through the list of groups (or find one on your own…check with me) below to find one (or more) that focus on your case.

• National Association for the Education of Young Children: http://naeyc.org
• Association for Childhood Education International: http://acei.org
• Council for Exceptional Children (Children with Special Needs): http://cec.org
• National Head Start Centers (there are 6, each focused on a different topic):
• http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/ (see sidebar for 6 topics)
• Department of Early Learning (Washington State): http://www.del.wa.gov/
• Thrive by Five (Washington State): http://thrivebyfivewa.org/
• Zero to Three: http://www.zerotothree.org/
• Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (see Early Learning): http://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/US-Program/Washington-State/Early-Learning

Part 4: Connections to course readings/lectures:
Using the information from readings and class lecture/discussions so far, what information and/or insights would you add to this area of interest. Include at least 3 concepts from class, citing lectures, videos, readings, etc. For example, how do the concepts of history, current issues, basic child development (including brain research), Bronfenbrenner’s theory, family systems, attachment/temperament, parenting, etc. ‘intersect’ with your topic of interest? Summarize what you have found out across not only class sessions/readings/discussions but from Parts 2 and 3. Include a reference list. You are also encouraged to select from the reference list included with this assignment description.

Part 5: Brief, informal presentation: [for last class session]
On the assignment’s due date during class, we will have a ‘roundtable’ session during which you will share a summary of what you learned to a small group of your peers. You should create a one-page handout using the template on Canvas that summarizes the main things you learned from your assignment for each of the 4 sections.

Research: http://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/newsletter/2012/07/childhood-obesity.aspx
Professional Organization: Center for Disease Control & Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20063374 [Review, see actual journal referenced here]
Kaiser Foundation: https://www.kff.org/search/?s=childhood+obesity


-Introduction of your topic: define the topic of your paper and its importance in the field of early learning (must be focused on birth to age 8):

-THREE main ideas you learned from your research for this assignment from your research source and/or your professional organization source [include the source with each listing of information]:

-How what you learned connects to the THREE concepts explored in ECFS 200: