Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Subject "Early Care and Education"
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A Survey of the Attitudes, Perceptions, and Practices of Early Care and Education Staff Regarding Parent InvolvementThe purpose of this study was to examine the parent involvement attitudes and practices of early care and education teachers. A sample of 171 early care and education teachers rated the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with 25 statements regarding general attitudes of parent involvement, as well as family and teacher and/or center obligations in creating family-school partnerships. Teachers were also asked to indicate the frequency in which they engaged in 9 specified activities that could be used to engage families in their young child's education. The surveyed teachers were from 31 early care and education centers that were participants in a quality improvement initiative designed to improve the school readiness of the children they serve. Fifteen of the 31 centers received additional services from a family engagement specialist, who worked to increase parent involvement at the centers and to strengthen family-school partnerships. Results indicated that, overall, the teachers reported positive views about parent involvement and the families they served. They recognized the benefits of family-school partnerships for young children. The teachers reported feeling that it was an important part of their job to involve all families and that all families had strengths and abilities that could be used to help their children get ready for kindergarten. Modest differences were found in the responses between teachers who had received assistance from family engagement specialists and those who had not, with teachers who were part of the intervention indicating stronger support from their directors and center and being more likely to talk to families about concerns. All of the teachers surveyed reported using a wide variety of strategies to engage families, with teachers in the intervention group using parent workshops and newsletters more often that the non-intervention group. Slight but significant differences were found on some of the survey questions related to teacher characteristics, such as hours worked at the center per week and age of children taught. With increased emphasis being placed on quality improvement in early care and education, it is important to know how those being asked to implement possibly new and demanding changes in practice feel about and respond to what is being asked of them. Efforts to support them should be effective and responsive to their current views and practices.
Risk, Emergent Skills, and First to Third Grade Achievement: An Opportunity-Propensity AnalysisThe purpose of this study is to examine the role of center-based care and children's school readiness in predicting their first and third grade reading and mathematics achievement. Predictions derived from an opportunity-propensity theoretical framework applied to data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class of 1998-99. The study examined the impact of antecedent factors (e.g., socioeconomic status, parental expectations), opportunities to learn (e.g., center-based care), and children's propensities to learn (emergent reading and mathematics skills, approaches to learning) on first and third grade reading and mathematics assessment scores, and whether center-based care moderates the impact of multiple health and environmental risks for vulnerable children.