Learning Behaviors as Protective Factors for Early School Readiness
The University of Pennsylvania will investigate how preschool learning behaviors impact school success at the end of Head Start and in kindergarten. The study has three objectives: (a) to determine the unique contribution of evidence-based dimensions of preschool approaches to learning to reading outcomes in Head Start and kindergarten; (b) to determine the unique contribution of evidence-based dimensions of preschool approaches to learning to mathematics outcomes in Head Start and kindergarten; and (c) to determine the degree to which instruction in learning behaviors is an explicit part of Head Start teacher's curriculum and whether the amount of classroom instruction is associated with children's level of learning behaviors. There will be two samples of participants. The first sample will consist of 200 Head Start children from 20 classrooms due to enter kindergarten the following year. The second sample will consist of 200 children from 50 Head Start classrooms. The first sample will be used to study the unique protective benefit of preschool learning behaviors on achievement in Head Start and kindergarten. The second sample will be used to evaluate the extent of explicit teacher instruction in learning behaviors, and the relationship of these practices to children's learning behaviors. The researchers expect results from this study will indicate whether learning behaviors contribute to the resilience of children in high risk, urban areas. Researchers intend to use the findings to alter the Head Start curriculum and provide opportunities for Head Start leadership to reconsider the prioritization of learning behaviors in the existing curriculum.
Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects
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Relations between behavior problems in classroom social and learning situations and peer social competence in Head Start and kindergarten