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Tracing children's approaches to learning through Head Start, kindergarten, and first grade: Different pathways to different outcomes

This article reports on the study of differential change trajectories for early childhood approaches to learning. A large sample (N = 2,152) of Head Start children was followed through prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade. Classroom learning behaviors were assessed by teachers through the Preschool Learning Behaviors Scale twice in Head Start and through the Learning Behaviors Scale twice in both kindergarten and first grade. Item response theory was applied to form continuous scales of Competence Motivation and Attentional Persistence, using multiple-group calibration with linking items and Bayesian score estimates. Cross-classified multilevel growth models demonstrated that the new vertical scales are able to detect distinct linear and higher order change patterns for Competence Motivation and Attentional Persistence across the transition years and to differentiate change trajectories emblematic of eventual second-grade academic proficiency versus nonproficiency in reading, vocabulary, language, mathematics, and science. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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