ERIC Number: ED481491
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Quality Matters! Understanding the Relationship between Quality of Early Childhood Education and Learning Competencies of Children: An Exploratory Study in Tamil Nadu. Research Report.
M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Madras (India).
Noting that few studies have examined the relationship between quality of early childhood education (ECE) programs in India and the impact of such programs on young children's learning competencies, this study explored the relationship between various components of programs in the southeastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and other family and socioeconomic factors, and their effects on children's perceptual motor skills, language and cognitive skills, and socioemotional development. Other study objectives included development and validation of an instrument for measuring ECE program characteristics and an instrument for measuring children's learning competencies. Participating in the study were 193 rural and urban 4-year-olds from lower socioeconomic level families and enrolled in 45 centers from among: (1) government-run Integrated Child Development Services; (2) government-run Tamil Nadu Integrated Nutrition Project; (3) nongovernmental organization-run programs; and (4) privately-run programs. Data were collected through parent and teacher interviews, an early childhood environment rating scale, and direct testing of children's competencies. Findings indicated that fathers' education, mothers' education, fathers' occupation, and housing quality related positively to children's competencies. Fathers' education was the strongest predictor of children's competencies. Children in low quality centers, as measured by the rating scale, had lower competencies than children in higher quality centers, even after controlling for the effect of fathers' education. The correlation between program quality and children's competencies was reduced somewhat but was still significant when rural-urban location was considered. The domains of fine and gross motor activities, language and reasoning experience, and social development activities in the ECE program showed the strongest positive relationships with child competence. Relationships between the early childhood rating instrument and children's competencies provide evidence for instrument validity. Discussion of findings focused on implications related to ECE quality, rural-urban differences, perceptions of quality ECE, and teachers' role. (KB)
Descriptors: Child Care, Child Care Quality, Child Development, Classroom Environment, Comparative Analysis, Early Childhood Education, Educational Environment, Educational Quality, Family Characteristics, Family Influence, Foreign Countries, Interviews, Outcomes of Education, Predictor Variables, Rating Scales, Rural Urban Differences, Socioeconomic Status, Teacher Characteristics, Test Validity, Young Children
M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Third Cross Street, Taramani Institutional Area, Chennai - 600 113, India. Tel: 91-44-235-1229; Fax: 91-44-235-1319; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.mssrf.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bernard Van Leer Foundation, The Hague (Netherlands).
Authoring Institution: M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Madras (India).