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As early as the seventeenth century, theorists began to recognize early childhood as a distinct time of life. Prodigious research from the past forty years describes the positive educational outcomes for students attending quality early childhood programs. This literature review will examine the history of early childhood education and important themes that have emerged over time. The theme of social emotional learning will be a focus as one of the key outcomes of early learning programs and a determinant of later school success. In addition, the effects of poverty on the developing child, along with ways to mitigate these effects will be explored. Lastly, the literature will scrutinize best practices when designing early childhood curriculum based on state standards.

Recommended Citation

Clark, A.J. (2017). Preschool social emotional learning and curriculum design: The changing system (Master's thesis, Northwestern College, Orange City, IA). Retrieved from