Topic: Early Childhood Development and Education
Purpose:The National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education (NCRECE) focuses on conducting research, disseminating research findings, and carrying out leadership activities aimed at improving the quality of early childhood education across the United States. The Center is based at the University of Virginia and is directed by Robert Pianta. Major activities include:
Professional Development Study
Principal Investigator: Robert Pianta, University of Virginia
To improve early language and literacy skills, the Center is using an experimental, random assignment design to examine the impact of a professional support program for teachers that focuses on literacy and language instruction. The program aims to improve the implementation of curricula and interactions with children, as well as to promote gains in children's social and academic development. Specifically, the Center is conducting a series of experimental studies investigating the impact of a training program when it is delivered as a professional development in-service training program for current early childhood teachers. The intervention will be delivered as a course followed by in-service consultation using the MyTeachingPartner consultation model. The researchers are examining the impact of the training program, which involves both coursework and consultancy support, on children's language and literacy development, as well as on teachers' knowledge, instructional interactions, and classroom practices. Effects will be tested for four combinations of treatment and control conditions: (1) no course/no in-service; (2) no course/in-service; (3) course/no-inservice; and (4) course/in-service.
Key Personnel: Robert Pianta, Donna Bryant, Margaret Burchinal, Jason Downer, Bridget Hamre, Carollee Howes, Karen La Paro, Andrew Mashburn, Catherine Scott-Little.
Barbarain, O., Downer, J., Odom, E. and Head-Reeves, D. (2010). Home-School Differences in Beliefs, Support, and Control During Public Pre-Kindergarten and Their Link to Children's Kindergarten Readiness. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(3): 358372.
Burchinal, M. (2008). How Measurement Error Affects the Interpretation and Understanding of Effect Sizes. Child Development Perspectives, 2 (3): 178180.
Burchinal, M., Hyson, M., and Zaslow, M. (2008). Competencies and Credentials for Early Childhood Educators: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know? NHSA Dialog Brief, 11(1). Alexandria, VA: National Head Start Association.
Burchinal, M., Vandergrift, N., Pianta, R., and Mashburn, A. (2010). Threshold Analysis of Association between Child Care Quality and Child Outcomes for Low-Income Children in Pre-Kindergarten Programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25 (2):166176.
Chien, N.C., Howes, C., Burchinal, M., Pianta, R., Ritchie, S., Bryant, D., Clifford, R., Early, D. and Barbarin, O. (2010). Children's Classroom Engagement and Gains in Academic and Social-Emotional Outcomes Across Pre-Kindergarten. Child Development, 81 (5): 15341549.
Downer, J.T., Walters, T. and Hamre, B.K. (2010). Teacher-Child Interactions in the Classroom: Toward a Theory of Within- and Cross-Domain Links to Children's Developmental Outcomes. Early Education and Development, 21(5): 699-723.
Early, D.M., Iruka, I.U., Ritchies, S., Barbarin, O., Winn, D., Crawford, G.M., Frome, P.M., Clifford, R.M., Burchinal, M., Howes, C., Bryant, D.M., and Pianta, R.C. (2009). How Do Pre-Kindergarteners Spend Their Time? Gender, Ethnicity, and Income as Predictors of Experiences in Pre-Kindergarten Classrooms.Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25: 177193.
Fitzpatrick, M., Hastedt, S., and Grissmer, D. (2011). What a Difference a Day Makes: Estimating Daily Learning Gains during Kindergarten and First Grade Using a Natural Experiment. Economics of Education Review, 30(2): 269-279.
Grimm, K.J. and Widaman, K.F. (2010). Residual Structures in Latent Growth Curve Modeling. Structural Equation Modeling, 17: 414422.
Grimm, K.J., Ram, N, & Estabrook, R. (2010). Nonlinear Structured Growth Models in Mplus and OpenMx. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 45(6): 887-909.
Grimm, K.J., Steele, J.S., Mashburn, A.J., Burchinal, M. and Pianta, R.C. (2010). Early Behavioral Associations of Achievement Trajectories. Developmental Psychology, 46 (5): 10081017.
Grissmer, D. W., Grimm, K. J., Aiyer, S. M., Murrah, W. M., & Steele, J. S. (2010). Fine Motor Skills and Attention: Primary Developmental Predictors of Later Achievement. Developmental Psychology, 46(5): 1008-1017.
Hamre, B. K., Justice, L., Pianta, R. C., Kilday, C. Sweeny, B., Downer, J, et al., (2010). Implementation Fidelity of the My Teaching Partner Literacy and Language Activities: Associations with Preschoolers' Language and Literacy Growth. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25: 329347.
Mashburn, A.J., Justice, L.M., Downer, J.T., Pianta, R.C. (2009). Peer Effects on Children's Language Development during Pre-Kindergarten. Child Development, 80 (3): 686702.
Pianta, R.C., Barnett, W.S., Burchinal, M., & Thornburg, K.R. (in press). The Effects of Preschool Education: What We Know, How Public Policy is or is Not Aligned With the Evidence Base, and What We Need to Know. Psychological Science in the Public Interest.
Pianta, R.C., Mashburn, A.J., Downer, J.T., Hamre, B.K., and Justice, L. (2008). Effects of Web-Mediated Professional Development Resources on Teacher-Child Interactions in Pre-Kindergarten Classrooms. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23(4) 431451.
Vu, J.A., Jeon, H-J, and Howes, C. (2008). Formal Education, Credential, or Both: Early Childhood Program Practices. Early Education and Development, 19: 479504.
Burchinal, M. and Forestieri, N. (in press). Development of Early Literacy: Evidence from Major US Longitudinal Studies. In D. Dickinson and S. Neuman (eds.). Handbook of Early Literacy.
Grissmer, D.W. and Eiseman, E. (2008). Can Gaps in the Quality of Early Environment and Non-Cognitive Skills Help Explain Persisting Black-White Achievement Gaps? In Waldfogel, J. and Magnuson, K. (Eds.), Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap. (pp 139180). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.
Mashburn, A. & Pianta, R. (2010). Opportunity in Early Education: Improving Teacher-Child Interactions and Child Outcomes. In A. Reynolds, A. Rolnick, M. Englund, & J. Temple (Eds.), Childhood Programs and Practices in the First Decade of Life: A Human Capital Integration (pp. 243265). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Pianta, R., Hamre, B., and Downer, J. (in press). Aligning Measures of Quality with Professional Development Goals and Goals for Children's Development. In M. Zaslow (Ed.), Measuring Quality in Early Childhood Settings. Vienna, VA: Xtria, LLC.
Pianta, R.C. and Hadden, D.S. (2008). What We Know about the Quality of Early Education Settings: Implications for Research on Teacher Preparation and Professional Development. National Association of State Boards of Education: Alexandria, VA: State Education Standard.
Vitiello, V., Downer, J.T. & Williford, A. (in press) Addressing the Learning Needs of Dual Language Learners: The Role of Teacher-Child Interactions Within a Multi-State Study of Preschool Programs. In C. Howes & R.C. Pianta (Eds.) Investigating the classroom experiences of young dual language learners. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
Howes, C. and Pianta, R., Eds. (in press). Ensuring Effective Teachers in Early Education: Linking States' PD, QRS, and Competency Systems. Volume 2 in the NCRECE Series. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing Co.
Pianta, R.C., and Howes, C., Eds. (2009). The Promise of Pre-kindergarten.Volume 1 in the NCRECE Series. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing Co.
Pianta, R.C., & Howes, C., Eds. (available 2011). Investigating the Classroom Experiences of Young Dual Language Learners. Volume 3 in the NCRECE Series. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing Co.
Howes, C., Pianta, R., Bryant, D., Hamre, B., Downer, J., and Soliday-Hong, S. (2008). NCRECE White Paper—Ensuring Effective Teaching in Early Childhood Education through Linked Professional Development Systems, Quality Rating Systems and State Competencies: The Role of Research in an Evidence-Driven System.
NCRECE in Focus Brief Reports
Promoting Children's School Readiness: Rethinking the Levers for Change, based on a chapter by Andrew Mashburn and Robert Pianta. Available on the NCRECE website: http://ncrece.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/NCRECEInFocus_v1n1.pdf
Learning How Much Quality is Necessary to Get to Good Results for Children, based on an article by Peg Burchinal, Nathan Vandergrift., Robert Pianta, and Andrew Mashburn. Available on the NCRECE website: http://ncrece.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/NCRECEInFocusV1I2Thresholdanalysis.pdf.
Maximizing Classroom Time to Promote Learning, based on an article by Diane Early, et al. Available on the NCRECE website: http://ncrece.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/NCRECEInFocus_V1_I3%20Time_in_PreK.pdf
Home-School Differences: What it Means for Kindergarten Readiness, based on an article by Oscar Barbarin, et al. Available on the NCRECE website: http://www.ncrece.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/ncreceinfocus-v1-i4-home-school-differences.pdf
Readiness for School Involves an Array of Skills: Let's Not Forget Fine Motor Development, based on articles by Kevin Grimm, David Grissmer, et al. Available on the NCRECE website: http://ncrece.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/NCRECEInFocus_V1_I5_School%20Readiness_Array_of_Skills.pdf
Expanding School Readiness Gains in Prekindergarten, based on an article by Nina Chien, Carollee Howes, Robert Pianta, et al. Available on the NCRECE website: http://ncrece.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/NCRECEInFocus_V1_I6_Expanding_School_Readiness_Gains_in_PreK.pdf
Center Website: http://www.ncrece.org/.
IES Program Contact: Dr. Caroline Ebanks
Telephone: (202) 219-1410