December 10, 2021 – Volume 20, Issue 49

HOT TOPICS

The Alliance for Early Success 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Policy

The Alliance for Early Success has released its 2021 50-state progress report on early childhood policy, which provides state-level snapshots of the early childhood landscape. An interactive webinar held Dec. 7 and sponsored by the Alliance and the Hunt Institute dove deeper into developments in several states. It will be available soon for viewing here.

COVID-19 Research, Evaluation, and Data Agenda for Child Care and Early Education

The Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation has published an agenda to explore the implications of COVID-19 for children, families, policies and programs.

“A research, evaluation, and data agenda can encourage the development of new products and initiatives, synthesize information across the field, promote the application of knowledge needed for better planning and development, as well as promote the tracking of key equity indicators, and alert decision makers to racial and economic inequities,” the paper’s authors wrote. Read it here.

Long-Term Effects of Enhanced Early Childhood Math Instruction

An analysis of the impact of two math enrichment programs, one implemented in pre-K and the other in kindergarten, found they “can lead to lasting gains for children across a variety of outcome domains, even years later,” according to MDRC, a nonprofit education and social policy research organization.

Making Pre-K Count provided pre-K teachers in New York City with a high-quality, evidenced-based math curriculum and ongoing training and coaching. The High 5s program provided children who went through Making Pre-K Count with hands-on, supplemental math enrichment in kindergarten.

Children in the studies were randomly assigned and tracked through third grade. Although Making Pre-K Count alone no significant impacts on children’s third-grade math test scores, the two programs together “had moderate, statistically significant impacts on children’s math test scores, compared with pre-K and kindergarten as usual in public schools.”

Making Pre-K Count alone and the combined two years of math enrichment reduced chronic absenteeism. Read the report here.

LSX Call for Applications, 2022-24 Cohort

The Learning Sciences Exchange (LSX), a two-year fellowship for education-based professionals interested in expanding their portfolio to communicate new learning research to schools and communities, is accepting applications. The program’s goal is to help the public and education field better understand, communicate, and apply the science of learning for children ages 2 to 12 internationally. Click here to get more information and to apply.

ECE RESEARCH

Intentional Teaching in Early Childhood Education: A Scoping Review

Researchers in Australia examined intentional teaching (IT) in early childhood education (ECE) using a literature scoping review, and found decisions about IT depend on how ECE purposes are defined in policy.

While large-scale studies have demonstrated benefits of teacher interaction to support young children’s learning, IT in ECE “remains a contested concept,” the authors wrote.

The study’s results highlighted “the difficulties involved in reconciling IT and child-led learning through play,” the authors wrote, noting “these difficulties were most fiercely experienced in the 3–5 age group.” The study was conducted by: Susan Grieshaber of La Trobe University; Susan Krieg of Flinders University; Felicity McArdle of Queensland University of Technology; and Jennifer Sumsion of Charles Stuart University. Read the abstract here.

Program-Wide Implementation of The Pyramid Model: Supporting Fidelity at the Program and Classroom Levels

Early childhood education programs that used a program-wide approach to address children’s social, emotional, and behavioral needs showed evidence of improving child outcomes after a year of support, a study found.

Researchers ​​designed and evaluated an intervention providing program-wide supports for implementing the Pyramid Model for Promoting the Social Emotional Competence of Young Children, a framework for organizing evidence-based practices.

The study involved 15 ECE programs, half of which received the Program-Wide Supports for Pyramid Model Implementation (PWS-PMI).

“We found that training and support increased implementation of the program-wide practices needed for supporting the use of the Pyramid Model,” researchers wrote. Critical elements included leadership commitment, staff buy-in, and professional development. External coaching improved implementation, they wrote.

The study was written by: Mary Louise Hemmeter, Erin Bartona, Kymberly Horth and Abby Taylor of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee; Lise Fox and Christopher Vatland of the University of South Florida; Gary Henry, Myrna Veguilla, Denise Perez Binder and Meghan von der Embse  of the University of Delaware;  and Lam Pham of North Carolina State University. Read the study here.

Effects of Positive Psychology Interventions on the Well-Being of Young Children: A Systematic Literature Review

Researchers Valérie Benoit and Piera Gabola at the University of Teacher Education in Switzerland found few studies in the past 20 years that examined the effects of positive psychology interventions (PPI) on the well-being of children aged six and younger. The three studies they reviewed “provide preliminary support for the usefulness of PPIs” for that age group, they wrote. Access the study here.