Wyoming's Coherent Path to Quality - A Game Changer
A five-year-old big brother and his one-year-old little sister are sitting snuggly together inside a cardboard box making happy noises with metal kitchen items and wooden toys. She is carefully watching him and imitating his every move. He pauses, noticing what she is doing, and then responds with a new action of his own. The two are lost in the moment together, unaware of their mother, who captures it in an adorable photo. It is just one of many small moments they share together during a typical busy day. That same photo, examined under the careful eye of Wyoming early childhood experts, is the inspiration for a lengthy dialogue about how the two siblings are not only sharing a joyful moment, but are engaged in a complex interaction with key components that neuroscience has shown are essential for their healthy brain development and later success in life. The group of early childhood educators and parents from across Wyoming notices and comments on how responsive the children are to each other, how authentically the interaction came about, and how the reciprocal nature of the interaction is not only building and strengthening their relationship, but activating the learning centers of their growing brains. One special moment captured and shared becomes the impetus for an important conversation about what is most necessary for young children to learn and grow.
The newly released document, Wyoming’s Coherent Path to Quality, was created using exactly this process – repeatedly – during an eight month project with a group of 30 Wyoming early childhood educators and parents. The group, called a Quality Learning Network, was given the task of capturing simple moments with children and adults and then sharing these with each other to spark conversations about what makes a quality learning experience. Facilitated by national experts Leading for Children, the group engaged in deep dialogue using these examples from Wyoming and the evidence-based Coherent Path to Quality framework. They defined “Simple Rules” that articulate the relationships and interactions, emotional and physical learning environment, and learning experiences all children need to succeed. These simple rules are intended to make quality something we can all envision and embrace.
Wyoming’s families, early childhood programs, and children were at the center of the work, and their faces and voices fill its pages. The resulting document is an invitation for anyone who cares for Wyoming’s youngest children to engage in the same reflective process. What do you see children and adults doing together? What essential components do you see that made that moment a success? How can you help others see why moments like it are so important?
Wyoming’s Coherent Path to Quality is a game-changer. It is a conversation starter and a tool to help all of us who care for and teach Wyoming’s youngest children do the work to ensure they are getting all of the things they need to succeed. Join in the conversation by requesting a hard copy from your Professional Learning Facilitator or downloading a digital copy here on our website!