Proceedings from a Working Meeting on School Readiness Research: Guiding the Synthesis of Early Childhood Research. Summary

12/15/2009

At this early stage of review, most research teams have only recently wrapped up final stages of data collection and completion of preliminary data analyses. Few research teams have completed the full set of ITT analyses that are needed to be able to determine the individual and collective impacts of preschool intervention on childrens socioemotional outcomes (A full set of ITT analyses would include tests of moderation and sensitivity checks regarding whether program impact estimates are sensitive to model specification). With that caveat in mind, preliminary review of the current set of published and unpublished papers suggests clear evidence for the benefits of several intervention approaches in supporting low-income childrens socioemotional development across their preschool year. Findings of improved classroom instructional processes and improved classroom emotional climate across both types of interventions suggest that interventions using teacher training and coaching models yielded substantial improvements in program quality. Children in treatment groups were found to show lower behavioral problems, increased self-regulatory skills, and greater prosocial skills with peers and with teachers, than their counterparts in control group classrooms, in a smaller number of interventions. As these trials are completed, they are likely to make a major contribution to our knowledge of the ways that scientists and policy makers can best support the school readiness of our nations low-income children.

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