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Wednesday, November 14 • 10:55am - 11:45am
Supporting a Home-to-School Approach in Preschool Curriculum with Low-income Immigrant Families

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The Readiness through Integrative Science and Engineering (RISE) project seeks to develop ecologically valid, culturally-relevant integrative science, technology and engineering (STE) preschool curriculum components and home-school connections, forged through exploration of family knowledge, activities, and routines related to STE, to support young dual language learning (DLL) children’s school success. A principal innovation of RISE is the process of co-construction, conceptualized as reciprocal and non-hierarchical engagement by researchers, parents and teachers. RISE was developed and initially implemented in seven Head Start classrooms in a large northeastern city, across two programs serving Latino and Chinese heritage families and their DLL children. We will present the RISE Model of Co-Construction, highlighting the Home-School Collaboration (HSC) component. The HSC component, guided primarily by the work of Joseph Tobin and Luis Moll, is built on the idea that schools can leverage families’ unique contributions to children's learning, rather than trying to overwrite these to get children "ready for school." Essential to our reconceptualization of family engagement is that the home-to-school flow of information is just as important as the school-to-home flow, with a particular focus in RISE on STE learning as the family-school bridge. By effectively connecting children’s familiar knowledge and classroom curriculum, teachers can facilitate powerful learning for children from non-dominant groups (Thompson, 2010). We will present our innovative approach, as well as preliminary evidence of its success, and discuss links to early childhood policy and practice.


Christine McWayne

Professor of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University


Virginia Diez

Community Connector, RISE Project, Tufts University

Antonia Hutchinson

Family Advocate, ABCD Head Start, Malden, MA

Sunah Hyun

Doctoral Candidate and Research Assistant, Tufts University

Wednesday November 14, 2018 10:55am - 11:45am EST
Meeting Room B