Students who were in pre-K and kindergarten at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 demonstrated math and reading scores in their first and second grade years that lagged historical scores for children in these grades, researchers from NWEA reported in a brief. They looked at MAP Growth data, comparing math and reading scores in spring 2022 to those of students tested in spring 2019 (a pre-COVID sample). Additionally, while second- to fifth- grade students showed similar growth trends in 2021-22 relative to pre-pandemic years, first graders (who have only experienced pandemic schooling) showed 6-7% lower growth. Read the brief here.
The Khalifa International Award for Early Learning, a prize designed to recognize the best practices and best research in early learning, is now open for applications. Researchers and practitioners worldwide are eligible to apply for one of four $50,000 awards. Two winners will be selected for best research, and two for best program/practice. One representative from each winning group will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June 2023 to receive the $50,000 prize. Applications are due Feb. 28, 2023. Applicants are encouraged to watch this video explaining the award, and this video about applying for the award. You can apply here.
In 2020, Trust for Learning awarded nine grants to programs across the country dedicated to supporting a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable early learning workforce. In a new report, Seeding Equitable Educator Development, they highlight the nine partner projects, which are all aligned with their principles of ideal learning environments and committed to including antiracist theory and practice in educator development programs, reducing barriers to participation for low-income educators and educators of color, and/or to creating on-ramps to degrees and credential pathways. Read the nine partner project descriptions and outcomes here.
NIEER seeks a Senior Editorial/Media Specialist to join our leadership team, create momentum and awareness, participate in strategic planning, and develop an integrated communications plan to advance the Institute’s mission. The position reports to the founding co-director and plays a key role in telling NIEER’s story and expanding its presence. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced professional to build an impactful communications program that supports evidenced-based improvements in early education nationally and globally. To apply, click here.
NIEER seeks a Research Project Coordinator II to work closely with faculty and staff. The position coordinates major aspects of preschool education research and evaluation projects. Key duties include managing fieldwork across two to three research projects, communicating effectively with research and project partners, and planning and carrying out data collection training. Required qualifications include:
- Bachelor’s degree, preferably in early childhood education or in policy or a social science (psychology, anthropology, sociology, human development, education).
- A minimum of two years experience in early childhood research; a masters degree in a related field may be substituted.
If interested, please apply here. Reach out to email@example.com with questions.
The Federation of American Scientists Day One Talent Hub seeks a Senior Early Learning Impact Fellow to join the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) team within the U.S. Department of Education. The fellow will support the development and advancement of the Department’s Early Learning/Pre-K-3rd Grade Strategy. Read more and apply here.
The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) seeks applicants for the 2023-24 SRCD U.S. Policy Fellowship Program. Fellowships are available at the state and federal level and aim to provide fellows the opportunity to learn to communicate more effectively with policymakers. Read more and apply here.
Experiments conducted with Israeli preschoolers using virtual reality (VR) technology found children who participated in a prosocial VR game were more likely to exhibit helping and sharing behaviors than children who played violent, positive affect or control VR games. The children who played the prosocial VR game were more helpful toward the adult conducting the experiment and shared more stickers with peers afterward. Positive affect mediated the relationship between VR prosocial play and prosocial behavior. Read the study here.
For children with cochlear implants for hearing loss, researchers found preschool speech perception in noise to be a significant predictor of language ability at age 9. “The findings lend support to early interventions to go beyond targeting the improvement of language skills to also enhancing speech perception in noise abilities,” wrote Teresa Y.C. Ching, Linda Cupples, and Vicky W. Zhang of Macquarie University in Australia. Read the study here.
The use of closed-circuit television (CCTV) in child care settings is intended to reassure parents of their children’s physical safety, but it may have unintended negative consequences, researchers reported. Parents and educators in Israel were interviewed for the study; educators reported CCTV can divert time from the daily routine and cause them to avoid activities like singing and dancing that make them feel self-conscious. Read the study here.
Many apps claim to promote computational thinking (CT) and coding skills for preschoolers, making it difficult for researchers, field experts, educators and parents to determine which actually have educational value. Konstantina Louka of the University of Crete, Rethymno in Greece demonstrated in a systematic review that ScratchJr, Bee-Bot and other floor robots are among programming environments that showed positive results for teaching computational CT to preschoolers and kindergartners. Read the review here.