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PreK-Grade 3: What features define high-quality learning environments? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

Preschool: How prepared do teachers need to be? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

An Ocean of Unknowns: Risks and Opportunities in Using Student Achievement Data to Evaluate PreK-3rd Grade Teachers - f teacher evaluation is a hot-button issue for teachers in fourth through 12th grades, imagine the difficulties of assessing the impact of someone who's dealing with much younger children. To a great extent, it's new territory, but this study presents problems already encountered in five states and three districts. Most use one or a variety of three approaches: student learning objectives, shared assessments, and shared attribution. Opportunities and risks for each are listed. (Laura A. Bornfreund, New America Foundation, May 2013))...

VPK Teachers' Education Level Does Not Substantially Influence Kindergarten Readiness Scores; Program and Provider Differences Affect Readiness Rates - This report answers the following three questions with regards to Florida's Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) education Program: (1) Do VPK teachers with bachelor's degrees do a better job preparing children for kindergarten than other teachers?; (2) Is there a difference in kindergarten readiness depending on the type of VPK program children attend?; (3) Is there a difference in kindergarten readiness of children who completed the VPK School-Year Program in public versus private provider settings? (OPPAGA, February 2012)...

Looking at Student Work: Using Peer-to-Peer Teacher Workgroups to Establish Accuracy and Usefulness of Observations - In this presentation, the authors discuss the importance of conducting accurate and meaningful classroom observations that will highlight children’s' individual learning styles. Multiple observation methods are necessary to ensure accuracy and rater consistency. (National Institute for Early Education Research, 2011)...

Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades - This report presents an argument for improving early education through third grade by watching teachers in action using innovative observation tools in combination with evaluation and training programs. With many states currently redesigning their teacher-evaluation systems, the authors offer 17 recommendations to policymakers at all levels of government, as well as to educators and teacher-preparation programs. Among them: Use valid and reliable observation tools to identify, promote and reward good teaching; harness the power of these tools to integrate professional development with formal evaluation; and use observation-based assessments to promote PreK-3rd reforms, providing teachers with a common language for describing good teaching across pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and elementary schools. (New America Foundation, Nov 2011) ...

Comparison of Mean Hourly Wages of Early Childhood Educators with Mean Hourly Wages of Other Teachers - This fact sheet on the hourly wages of child care workers and pre-k teachers, in comparison to kindergarten and elementary school teachers, shows that, the latter group earns almost four times as much as the average child care workers and more than twice as much as the pre-k teacher. The fact sheet also includes state-by-state data on hourly wages for early childhood staff. (American Federation of Teachers) ...

Staff Preparation, Reward, and Support - This brief examines the extent to which QRIS provide incentives to increase or improve four critical elements: staff qualifications, professional development, compensation and benefits and workplace environment. They found that QRIS tend to put more emphasis on the first two issues than the others. Also, while most QRIS require some structural components that create a supportive workplace (e.g., staff meetings, professional development plans, etc.), only five require programs to provide paid time for inservice training and only three require opportunities for collaborative planning with colleagues. (Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, 2011)...

Degrees in Context: Asking the Right Questions about Preparing Skilled and Effective Teachers of Young Children - Instead of asking whether a bachelor’s degree “matters” for quality instruction, this brief argues that it may be more important to examine whether teacher education programs and early learning work environments support high-quality practices. The authors discuss concerns about the curricular content of bachelor degree programs that prepare pre-k teachers, the quality of student teaching experiences and faculty members’ capacity to teach early education content. The brief also highlights the limited supports (e.g., professional development, compensation and benefits) that pre-k teachers receive after they attain their degrees. (National Institute for Early Education Research, April 2011)...

Workforce Information: A Critical Component of Coordinated State Early Care and Education Data Systems - An examination of the early care and education workforce data landscape across the states, focusing on the three main workforce data systems operating across the states. This report also examines the challenges and efforts to align these systems. (Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, March 2011)...

Getting in Sync: Revamping Licensure and Preparation for Teachers in Pre-K Kindergarten and the Early Grades - Many teachers in the early grades come from K-5 or K-6 degree programs. The courses taught in educator preparation programs show a lack of focused attention on the recent research on emergent literacy in young children. The analysis of research conducted for this report show many examples of where the current system for training and licensing teachers is out of sync with what research and practice indicates is best for young children. (New America Foundation, March 2011)...

The Effects of Preschool Education: What We Know, How Public Is or Is Not Aligned With the Evidence Base, and What We Need to Know - This article discusses the gap between what we know about quality in early learning programs and the policies or practices in states and communities. Much of the discussion focuses on workforce issues, such as the need for evidence-based training approaches, standard expectations for teacher preparation and the alignment of learning objectives of teachers with expected child outcomes. (Association for Psychological Science, February 2011)...

Making Preschool More Productive: How Classroom Management Training Can Help Teachers - This report evaluates an intervention program that trains pre-k teachers on how to address children’s behavioral and emotional issues. Researchers have found that the program, Foundations of Learning, enabled teachers to better manage children’s behavioral challenges and increase the amount of instruction time. Students were more engaged and had fewer conflicts with adults or peers. The impact on teacher practice persisted into the year after completion of the intervention, while the impact on children’s behavior did not last through kindergarten. (MDRC, November 2010)...

Lifting Pre-K Quality: Caring and Effective Teachers - According to researchers, the initial boost felt by preschoolers in the Head Start program disappears by first grade. Concerned about the drop-off in preschool benefits, policy makers and early education advocates are shifting their attention to a general improvement of preschool quality, often tightening the already centralized regulation of neighborhood preschool programs. The researchers identified mentoring and training of preschool teachers as important tools to help them enrich their instructional activities in classrooms and boost the early language and preliteracy skills of 3- and 4-year olds. (UC Berkeley Institute of Human Development, October 2010)...

Lifting Pre-K Quality: Caring and Effective Teachers - This report analyzes the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and the Texas Early Education Model (TEEM) and describes key components of both assessment models including observation tools, coaches for teachers, curricula attending to both cognitive and emotional development, and the use of children’s assessment data to improve practice. (University of California-Berkeley Institute of Human Development, 2010)...

Toward the Identification of Features of Effective Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators - This literature review, prepare by Child Trends, covers research findings on four targets of early childhood professional development: strengthening human or social capital; strengthening practices at institutions or organizations providing professional development; strengthening early educator practices related to specific child outcomes; and strengthening overall quality in classroom or group settings. (U.S. Department of Education, 2010) ...

Toward the Identification of Features of Effective Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators: Literature Review - Current strategies of professional development do not adequately prepare all educators for the array of responsibilities, knowledge and skills they are expected to demonstrate in their work with young children and their families. This review incorporates findings from research in four areas of early childhood professional development: (1) strengthening human or social capital; (2) strengthening practices at institutions or organizations providing professional development; (3) strengthening early educator practices related to specific child outcomes; and (4) strengthening overall quality in classroom settings. (U.S. Department of Education, August 2010)...

Maximizing Classroom Time to Promote Learning - To address the limited instruction that may happen in a classroom, studies covered in this brief suggest that teachers should find new opportunities to engage in sophisticated, two-way discussions with their students, even during routine activities. (Stacie Goffin,National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education, April 2010)...

Improving the Skills and Credentials of Migrant, Seasonal and American Indian/Alaska Native Head Start Teachers: Building From Within - Head Start teachers working with some of the program's most vulnerable populations face major obstacles in attempting to pursue college degrees and training, despite federal expectations that they obtain new academic credentials. This paper examines the barriers to migrant, seasonal and AI/AN teachers securing college degrees and offers policy recommendations to help them. It encourages innovations in curriculum, instruction, course delivery, financial aid and other areas, within Head Start programs and at the community college level. (Sean Cavanagh, Arati Singh and Pamela Levine, Academy for Educational Development, February 2010)...

Learning How Much Quality is Necessary to Get to Good Results for Children - According to this brief, research suggests that early education only makes a difference in children’s cognitive and social and emotional development if programs reach the moderate-to-high quality range. So in order to reap public returns on investment, the author suggests that policy makers should be strategic in their quality enhancements investments. (Stacie Goffin, National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education, February 2010)...

Promoting Children’s School Readiness: Rethinking the Levers for Change - This brief discusses argues that while improving teacher-child interactions is an important factor in promoting school readiness, structural quality standards (teacher credentials, class size, child-adult ratio) can also play a role by influencing the impact of these interactions. (Stacie Goffin, National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education, February 2010)...

Building an Early Childhood Professional Development System - By addressing four challenges, this brief provides guidance for states building an early childhood professional development system. These challenges include: inconsistent policies for teachers who may have equivalent job descriptions but work with different early learning programs, disparate standards for professional development, inadequate access to opportunities for further education, and lack of data on state’s early childhood workforce and the quantity and quality of professional development opportunities. (National Governors Association, 2010)...

Can Teacher Training in Classroom Management Make a Difference for Children's Experiences in Preschool? - A preview of findings from the Foundations of Learning Demonstration. (MDRC, September 2009)...

Covering the Pre-K Landscape: New Investments in Our Littlest Learners - Publication includes pieces on pre-kindergarten pedagogy, measuring quality in preschool classrooms, evaluating research on preschool and a discussion of whether preschool teachers need college degrees with specializations in early childhood. It also explores the history of Head Start and the potential effect of ARRA funds being pumped into the program. (Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, July 2009)...

Using Developmental Science to Transform Children’s Early School Experiences - This brief describes seven ways teaching practices would change if schools employed a pre-k to 3 approach. For instance, in addition to addressing content knowledge (e.g., reading, math), pre-k and elementary school teachers would more intentionally develop children's thinking skills, such as self-regulation and memory. They would also use different activities, such as play and experimentation, as well as direct instruction. (FirstSchool, 2009)...

The Dynamic Relationship between Child Care Work Environments and Learning Environments - This brief discusses a study that makes a connection between the quality of the working environment and the quality of the learning environment. The implication for those considering ways to improve program quality is that one should consider how factors such as “organizational climate” and “leadership management practices” influence classroom quality. (McCormick Tribune Center for Early Childhood Leadership, National-Louis University, Winter 2008)...

Role, Relevance, Reinvention: Higher Education in the Field of Early Care and Education - This paper calls upon higher education leaders, policy makers, and members from the early childhood community to work together to create teacher preparation systems that reflect the expertise needed to work with young children. The paper discusses the need for a more diverse early childhood faculty, improved curriculum standards, providing financial aid and other academic supports to assist students complete their programs, and providing credit for previous coursework or related work experience. (Valora Washington, Aspire Institute, September 2008)...


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