October 28, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 43


Examining the Relationship Between Discrimination, Access to Material Resources, and Black Children’s Behavioral Functioning During COVID-19


Caregivers of young Black children who lacked adequate access to economic and health-promoting resources during the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to report their children being fussier or more defiant, and more anxious or fearful, according to a team of researchers. They also found a link between caregivers’ concern for children’s experiences of discrimination and their externalizing behaviors. “Overall, our results indicate that COVID-19 is indeed affecting Black families in a myriad of negative ways,” they wrote. Read the study here.

Defending the Color Line: White Supremacy, Opportunity Hoarding and the Legacy of Brown

John B. Diamond, professor of Sociology and Education Policy at Brown University, will deliver the 19th annual Brown Lecture in Education Research for the American Educational Research Association Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. EDT. Diamond will highlight how white supremacy is embedded in U.S. educational organizations and how opportunity hoarding helps sustain it. A discussion forum moderated by Alia Wong of USA Today that includes Akilah Alleyne of the Center for American Progress and Michelle Molitor of The Equity Lab will follow. Register here.


National Association of State Leaders in Early Education (NASLEE) 2022 Virtual Roundtable

At the National Association of State Leaders in Early Education (NASLEE) 2022 Virtual Roundtable this week, NIEER Senior co-Director Steve Barnett and Assistant Research Professors Allison Friedman-Krauss and GG Weisenfeld teamed up with Laura Bornfreund of New America to present “A Conversation about PreK, TK, and Kindergarten – Where are we and Where are we headed?” The presentation focused on defining transitional kindergarten (TK) and how it is being implemented and possibly coordinated with pre-K. Additionally, in the session “The State of Preschool Yearbook,” Barnett and Friedman-Krauss gave an overview of findings from the 2021 State of Preschool Yearbook, and Weisenfeld moderated a conversation with Kathryn Kigera of the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education and Pamela Truelove-Walker of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education about how states use and collect data in their preschool programs.


Coordinating Funds To Support the Sustainability of Comprehensive Early Childhood Systems Webinar

Blending, braiding and layering funds in early childhood can be complicated; the National Center for Preschool Development Grants Birth Through Five (PDG B-5 TA Center) will host a webinar next month aimed at providing state and local leaders strategies for doing it successfully. NIEER Senior Research Fellow Lori-Connors Tadros will lead the webinar, and state leaders from Rhode Island, Minnesota and Washington will share how they are coordinating funds. It takes place Nov. 17, 3-4 p.m. EDT. Register here.


Senior Editorial/Media Specialist


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.


Research Project Coordinator II


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 mnores@nieer.org with questions.




Pathways to Arithmetic, Geometry, and Measurement in Preschool Children: The Role of General Cognitive and Language Skills

Early cognitive and language skills are related to preschoolers’ learning of arithmetic, geometry and measurement, according to researchers in Hong Kong. They showed that phonological working memory and visual-spatial skills were associated with children’s arithmetic performance, while receptive vocabulary was related to both arithmetic and measurement performance. Short-term memory was associated with geometry performance. Access the study here.

Predictors of Preschool Language Environments and their Relations to Children’s Vocabulary

Purdue University researchers analyzed nearly 1,500 hours of preschool language environment data and determined that increased family income was the strongest predictor of children’s preschool language environments. They examined preschool language environments (i.e., the number of adult words children hear, and the number of conversational turns occurring) and children’s vocabulary abilities in the fall and spring. The amount of conversational turns in the classroom was the more robust predictor for vocabulary abilities, they noted. Read the study here.

How Pom Cheerleading Improves the Executive Function of Preschool Children: The Mediating Role of Speed and Agility

Preschoolers who completed 12 weeks of pom cheerleading training demonstrated improvements in agility, speed, inhibitory control and working memory compared to peers who carried out their routine exercises, researchers reported. They found that children’s improved agility mediated the relationship between cheerleading training and improved working memory. Read the study here.

Teacher–Child Interactions during Picture Book Reading in Chinese Preschool Classrooms: A Comparative Study of Novice and Experienced Teachers

Experienced preschool teachers had more positive interactions with students than novice teachers, according to researchers who videotaped teacher-child picture book reading activities in Chinese preschool classrooms. “The findings shed light on how novice and experienced teachers interact with their children, and how professional development supports should be delivered differently to novice and experienced teachers,” they concluded. Read the abstract here.