The Good Starts Project comes under the research umbrella of The Good Project, a research initiative which promotes excellence, engagement, and ethics in education, preparing people to become good workers and citizens who contribute to the well-being of society. The Good Project began in 1996, first exploring “Good Work” in the professions, later expanding to research into higher education with American colleges, and also secondary education with schools across the globe. This project extends our interests to include early childhood education.

The Good Starts Project is a qualitative research study that will explore how young children learn to think beyond themselves. Using qualitative research methods (interviews), we will pursue two main research questions: how children aged four to seven conceptualize "I," "we," and "they;" and what major stakeholders, including educators, administrators, policymakers, parents and guardians, believe to be the purpose of early childhood education.

Our long-term goal is to reveal patterns of children’s understanding of I/we/they based on the values and contexts of their cultures, and also the alignment among different stakeholders about the purpose of early childhood education. Based on our findings, we ultimately hope to produce frameworks, strategies, practices, and materials that are useful to educators, families, and policymakers for fostering “Good Starts” that lead to engaged, excellent, and ethical pursuits.

Project Info

FUNDER: Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation