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Preschool teachers' language and vocabulary knowledge: Development and predictive associations for a new measure

The present study reports on the development, structure, and associations with practice for a new measure of preschool teachers' knowledge about language and vocabulary development and how to support this development in the classroom. Results from item response theory models with responses from a sample of 248 preschool teachers indicated that four scales measuring pedagogical content knowledge and content knowledge for vocabulary and language, respectively, had adequate psychometric characteristics. Confirmatory factor analyses further supported a four-factor structure, although all scales were correlated. In an overlapping sample of 94 preschool teachers, preliminary investigation of associations between knowledge and teachers' self-reported practices, observed instructional time allocation, and the quality of classroom language environments were mixed. Results indicate promise for the measure yet add to prior research suggesting that connections between knowledge and practice are highly complex and likely interwoven with many other influences on instructional decision-making in early childhood classrooms. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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