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ERIC Number: ED562445
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Classroom Quality and Children's Social and Academic Skills in Early Elementary Grades
Mokrova, Irina; Broekhuizen, Martine; Burchinal, Margaret
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
A growing body of research has shown that high quality early care and education (ECE) is positively related to the development of children's social and academic skills (e.g., Barnett, 2011; Lamb & Ahnert, 2006; NICHD ECCRN, 2006). There is evidence that high quality ECE experiences can improve children's levels of social adjustment (Bierman et al., 2014; Landry et al., 2014) and early academic skills (e.g., Burchinal, Kainz, & Yaping, 2014; Yoshikawa et al., 2013). However, the results from large-scale program evaluations (e.g., Administration for Children and Families, 2010; Lipsey, Hofer, Dong, Farran, & Bilbrey, 2013) and observational studies (e.g., Belsky et al., 2007; Peisner-Feinberg et al., 2001) suggest that the positive effects of high quality ECE tend to diminish in long term. One possible explanation that is given for these fade out effects is that children who are in most need of high quality ECE support often transition from emotionally supportive and structured classrooms into lower quality elementary school environments (e.g., Lee & Loeb, 1995), which may override the positive effects of high quality ECE. What is less known is how the positive effects of high quality ECE may manifest in longer term if they were followed by a high quality kindergarten environment? Could two consecutive years of high quality ECE, experienced during pre-kindergarten and kindergarten years, serve as a buffer that protects children from the fade-out effects that are often reported in the literature? The primary goal of the present study was to explore whether two years of emotionally supportive and structured classroom environments during pre-kindergarten and kindergarten years can predict the initial level and growth of social and academic skills during first, second, and third grades. Based on the results of the current study, it appears that in terms of children's social skills, there is no evidence of fade-out effects associated with emotionally supportive and structured classroom environment and that children who experienced high quality ECE in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten years had the highest level of social skills during first, second, and third grades comparing to children who did not have high quality ECE in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten or had high quality ECE in kindergarten only. Overall, the results suggest that high levels of emotional support and classroom organization in both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten years appear to have long term impacts on children's social skills, but not on academic skills. Tables and figures are appended. [The folllowing Family Life Project Key Investigators contributed to this document: Lynne Vernon-Feagans, Mark Greenberg, Martha Cox, Clancy Blair, Margaret Burchinal, Michael Willoughby, Patricia Garrett-Peters, Roger Mills-Koonce, and Maureen Ittig.]
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education; Grade 1; Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; Woodcock Johnson Psycho Educational Battery