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Examining child, family, classroom, and school factors associated with Latinx children’s early science achievement


Following a theoretical framework that recognizes the potential of promotive and inhibitive effects on children’s development, this study explored child-, family-, classroom-, and school-level factors as predictors of Latinx (N = 4,590) students’ early elementary science achievement. Research Findings: Employing a path modeling approach with ECLS-K:2011 data, we found that child factors were both positively (early reading, cognitive flexibility, working memory, and being older) and negatively (having a disability, being assessed in Spanish) associated with first-grade science achievement and gains between first and second grades. Family factors were also positively (higher parental education and family income) and negatively (children with foreign-born parents or who spoke Spanish at home) associated with initial science achievement but were unrelated to achievement gains. Frequency of teaching science, use of Spanish for instruction, and attending a school in the first grade with a larger percentage of Latinx children were associated with initial science achievement, while use of Spanish for instruction in first grade and whether the school made AYP in first grade predicted change in science through second grade. Policy or Practice: Results have implications for U.S. education policy, uncovering potential levers of change in supporting early science achievement among Latinx children. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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