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Research reports on early education from NIEER and outside organizations

Research Reports

Preschool Education Studies: A Bibliography Organized by Research Strengths

February 1, 2007
W. Steven Barnett

This paper explains how to read and understand the various types of research methods used in studying preschool education programs.


In this paper, NIEER Director Steve Barnett provides insight on how to read and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of research. This paper defines and gives examples of five types of research used in studying early childhood education: 1) true experiments with model or small-scale public programs and long-term follow-up; 2) true experiments with large-scale public programs; 3) quasi-experiments; 4) large statistical studies designed to study pre-k where program is observed; and 5) large, general purpose data sets used to study preschool.