Boosting school readiness: Should preschool teachers target skills or the whole child?
We use experimental data to estimate impacts on school readiness of different kinds of preschool curricula -- a largely neglected preschool input and measure of preschool quality. We find that the widely-used "whole-child" curricula found in most Head Start and pre-K classrooms produced higher classroom process quality than did locally-developed curricula, but failed to improve children's school readiness. A curriculum focused on building mathematics skills increased both classroom math activities and children's math achievement relative to the whole-child curricula. Similarly, curricula focused on literacy skills increased literacy achievement relative to whole-child curricula, despite failing to boost measured classroom process quality. (author abstract)
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Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (Rev. ed.)