The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning uses a house to represent four integral elements of quality teaching and learning: engaging every day interactions with children (the foundation); choosing and implementing a strong curriculum (first pillar); using regular assessment of children's skills (second pillar), and individualized teaching (the roof). These elements--when connected with one another--form a single structure that fosters children's learning and development.
Engaging Interactions and Environments
Effective, engaging interactions and environments are the foundation for all learning in early childhood classrooms. High-quality preschool classrooms include a well-organized and managed classroom, social and emotional support, and instructional interactions and materials that stimulate children's thinking and skills.
The First Pillar:
Research-Based Curricula and Teaching Practices
A high-quality, research-based curriculum provides learning goals and activities in key areas of children's development that reflect support for school readiness goals.
The Second Pillar:
Ongoing Child Assessment
Ongoing assessment is integral to curriculum and instruction. Our goal is to help children achieve school readiness and individual learning goals. We need to keep track of the children’s progress and use assessment to guide our teaching.
- Framework for Effective Everyday Practice: Supporting School Readiness for All Children is available in English and Spanish (español)
- A Guide to Resources for Developing School Readiness Goals
- Program Level School Readiness Goals for Early Childhood Programs: Examples from the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCECDTL)
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Last Reviewed: February 2017
Last Updated: February 1, 2017