Research is needed to examine profiles of children's classroom engagement so teachers have tools to identify the children in greatest need of intervention before they transition to kindergarten. This study will use contextualized observations of 528 children's engagement with teachers, peers and tasks to identify their membership in engagement profiles. Specifically, this study will use a latent profile approach to analyze data collected through a larger University Head Start partnership research project in Miami-Dade County. This will be the first study to use a latent profile analysis to identify profiles of children's classroom engagement within a culturally and linguistically diverse sample of Head Start children. This study will also be the first to examine whether children's patterns of classroom engagement change across a year in Head Start and whether child and classroom-level factors are associated with that change. This is important, as it will inform our understanding of natural points of intervention for children within early childhood programs. Lastly, this study will extend prior research by examining the differential association between engagement profiles and gains in academic skills. Understanding how distinct profiles of engagement are associated with academic readiness is critical information needed to inform curricular and intervention efforts that can maximize engagement in learning for children in greatest need of intervention prior to kindergarten entry.
Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects