Using Research to Improve Outcomes for Young Children:
A Call for Action
Final Report of the Wingspread Conference
September 18-20, 2007
In response to concerns about the limited influence research has had on early childhood (EC) programs and practices, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) conducted a small, multidisciplinary conference at the Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin. The primary goal of the conference was to develop a set of action-oriented recommendations that would advance the field of early childhood and improve the outcomes for young children, especially children living in the most vulnerable circumstances.
Wingspread marked the first time the two national organizations convened in a joint-effort to challenge the EC field. Their motivation stemmed from the awareness that in order to improve the outcomes for all children action must be taken to ensure research-based knowledge is put into usable formats for classroom teachers. The Johnson Foundation also recognized the extreme importance of this goal and, after a competitive evaluation process, supported the organizations’ proposal. Approximately 40 experts (see Appendix A of report) in the fields of EC, child development, and knowledge utilization convened to participate in a dynamic exchange of ideas and information centered on strengthening the link between EC research and practice.
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An adaption of the above Wingspread report was published in 2008: NAEYC & SRCD (2008). Using research to improve outcomes for young children: A call for action. Final report of the Wingspread Conference, September 18-20, 2007.Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23(4), 591-596.