Report: Professional development needed to address early childhood discipline disparities

In The News Piece in K12 Dive
May 12, 2022

A new early education discipline report co-authored by Abbie Lieberman and Aaron Loewenberg was reported on by K-12 Dive.

Both Colorado and Illinois have passed legislation banning or strongly restricting expulsion of young children from the classroom. This is an emerging policy trend that Gayl said she wished other states would adopt at a faster rate. 

As states begin eyeing policies to address exclusionary discipline, it should be noted this move is only a first step to taking on the problem, said Abbie Lieberman, a co-author of the report and a senior policy analyst in early and elementary education at New America. 

Two strategies that stood out most to Lieberman as she talked with educators in Illinois and Colorado were the focus on early childhood mental health consultation and professional development on social-emotional learning. But access to these resources needs to be more available and consistent, she added. 

“If we want to see meaningful change, we really think the focus needs to be on supporting these teachers so that they can better support the children,” Lieberman said. 

Read the full article here.