ERIC Number: ED413096
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-May
Pre-K Best Practices Review, 1996-97.
Curry, Janice; Washington, Wanda; Zyskowski, Gloria
Although early childhood education is important for all children, research suggests that it is particularly important for low-income and educationally disadvantaged children. Of the 53 Austin Independent School District (AISD) elementary schools that provided prekindergarten education, five Title I schools with full-day prekindergarten programs were selected for this study to determine exemplary practices, based on program administrators' recommendations and longitudinal test data from 1993 to 1996 on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised or the Test de Vocabulario en Imagines Peabody. Findings indicated that factors contributing to program success were: (1) strong teacher commitment to developing an age- and developmentally-appropriate curriculum; (2) supportive principals who encouraged and respected teachers as professionals; (3) teacher participation in professional development; (4) emphasis on language building activities, first in the child's native language; (5) importance of teacher teamwork, school-wide and at individual grades; and (6) strong parental involvement. Educational strategies included informal and formal assessment, bilingual education, special education inclusion, and multi-age classrooms and activities. The developmentally appropriate program guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provided the program's framework. Recommendations included the continued use of NAEYC guidelines, recruitment of certified early childhood and bilingual teachers, increased funds for teachers' professional development and children's field trips, funding of full-day programs, and encouragement of research-based instructional strategies. Follow-up achievement data indicated that the program benefited language development, especially for Spanish-speaking students. (Appendices include the interview questions and language and achievement test information.) (Author/KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Austin Independent School District, TX. Office of Program Evaluation.