Session Summary: New Direction in Early Childhood Education Research
November 15, 2012 08:43 AM
This session examined new avenues of research and findings that addressed associative effects of early child care education.
The first panelist and researcher Christina Weiland, Harvard University, presented Associations Between Classroom Quality and Children’s Vocabulary and Executive Functioning Skills in an Urban Public Prekindergarten Program. The study examined associations from receptive vocabulary with with various indicators of classroom quality. The study sample included 414 children from the Boston Public School's public prekindergarten program in 2009-2010. The children were distributed within 83 classrooms in 46 schools.
The second panelist and researcher Daphna Bassok, University of Virginia, presented on The Effects of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on the Size and Scope of the Child Care Sector: The Case of Florida's Voluntary Prekindergarten Program. She started the discussion by pointing out there are currently three states that have implemented “universal” pre-kindergarten programs: Oklahoma, Georgia, and Florida. Bassok stated that “out of the three states with universal pre-kindergarten programs, Florida’s programs have expanded the most rapidly.” The study used Florida’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK), a free and universal preschool initiative to examine how this program has affected the private childcare options. VPK served nearly half of the four year olds in the state during its first year. Currently, the program serves more than 60 percent of the four-year-olds in the state. The study also compares the types of services provided between these programs and home- and center-based childcare centers.
In the same panel, researcher Carolyn Hill from Georgia University led a discussion on Do the Effects of a Strong Pre-K Program Persist Over Time? This study examined whether the effects of a high-quality school-based pre-kindergarten program persist through 3rd grade. The study used math and reading scores from two cohorts of students who participated in the Tulsa, Oklahoma pre-K program, in both 2000-01 and 2005-06.
Contributed by Shreya Barot, Rutgers University