A Look inside Two Chicago Preschools

  • Stephanie C. Smith
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Urban Education book series (PSUE)


While it is becoming increasingly recognized that early childhood education is a valuable part of the educational process, the methods used to teach young children are often ignored by government agencies and researchers touting the value of prekindergarten programs. For example, the current debate in New York City over Mayor de Blasio’s call for universal prekindergarten is about how to finance it, not its necessity. Although reforms may dictate that early childhood programs be more available to all children, the programs created to address low-income communities are often different from those in more affluent communities. Just as pedagogy often differs between affluent and low-income elementary and secondary schools, the pedagogy in low-income and affluent preschools is likewise often dissimilar. This raises the question: Given that the norm is toward a child-directed pedagogy for the affluent and toward a teacher-directed pedagogy for the working class and poor, why is each of these the pedagogy of choice for these groups of children? Why is it that affluent and poor children are educated differently? And is one or the other more effective for these different groups of children?


Early Childhood Early Childhood Education Head Start Poor Child Parent Engagement 
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© Stephanie C. Smith 2015

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  • Stephanie C. Smith

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