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Assessing and predicting small-group literacy instruction in early childhood classrooms

Research Findings: The present study assessed the extent to which early childhood educators utilized small-group literacy instruction and explored factors potentially associated with the use of this evidence-based practice. The classroom activities of 83 early childhood educators were observed in the fall and spring, and videos were coded to calculate time spent in small-group literacy instruction. Educators completed questionnaires indicating classroom adult:child ratios, literacy beliefs, and feelings of self-efficacy. Classroom Assessment Scoring System scores for classroom organization and instructional support measured the quality of classroom management and instructional interactions, respectively. On average, educators provided 11.4 min (SD = 10.6) of small-group literacy instruction a day. It is notable that many educators provided little or no small-group literacy instruction. Negative binomial regression analyses indicated that educators with better classroom management, higher quality instructional interactions, and lower adult:child ratios were more likely to use small-group literacy instruction. Educators' beliefs and feelings of self-efficacy were not associated with the use of small-group literacy instruction. Practice or Policy: Educators may be better able to provide small-group literacy instruction in contexts affording low adult:child ratios and high levels of classroom management and instructional support, all of which are malleable factors that can be changed via policy or professional development. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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