ERIC Number: EJ1023905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
High-Quality Preschool: The Socioeconomic Composition of Preschool Classrooms and Children's Learning
Reid, Jeanne L.; Ready, Douglas D.
Early Education and Development, v24 n8 p1082-1111 2013
Research Findings: As policymakers expand access to preschool, the sociodemographic composition of preschool classrooms will become increasingly important. These efforts may create programs that increase the concentration of children from low-income families or, alternatively, foster the creation of socioeconomically diverse preschool classrooms. What effect the creation of such contexts would have on very young children remains unclear. Using multilevel methods and data on 2,966 children in 704 prekindergarten classrooms, this study explores the relationship between socioeconomic classroom composition and children's social and cognitive development. The results indicate positive associations between the mean socioeconomic status (SES) of the class and children's receptive language, expressive language, and mathematics learning, regardless of children's own sociodemographic backgrounds and the characteristics of their classrooms. However, the analyses indicate no association between the development of social competence and class mean SES. Practice or Policy: The links between classroom SES and language and mathematics development were comparable in size to those associated with instructional quality and even children's own SES. Neither structural nor instructional characteristics of prekindergarten classrooms explained these relationships, suggesting the possibility of direct peer effects. The findings indicate that the composition of children's classrooms should be considered an important aspect of preschool quality.
Descriptors: Preschool Education, Educational Quality, Socioeconomic Influences, Correlation, Social Development, Cognitive Development, Preschool Children, Child Development, Receptive Language, Expressive Language, Mathematics Skills, Interpersonal Competence, Language Skills, Classroom Environment, Peer Influence, Questionnaires, Parents, Rating Scales
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Georgia; Illinois; Kentucky; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; Ohio; Texas; Washington; Wisconsin
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale; Oral and Written Language Scales; Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test