The Institute’s New York City Early Childhood Research Network brings research scientists and public agency leaders together to learn from each other, conduct research, and consider findings and their implications for public policy. A new Research Network study conducted by researchers from  Bank Street Center on Culture, Race & Equity and National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University explores how early childhood instructional leaders work to improve teaching through feedback and guidance during classroom visits and other types of instructional support. The instructional leaders in the study worked in both schools and community-based settings that are part of New York City’s expanding network of preschool programs. The study found that while New York City pre-k teachers welcomed the support provided by leaders, there are several areas where the city can support leaders to have a greater impact on quality. Specific areas for improvement include: giving leaders more training on best practices in coaching to help teachers promote early learning in key areas such as language, social-emotional growth, and culturally-sustaining practices; establishing standards for the frequency of instructional leaders’ classroom visits; and helping leaders preserve time for visiting classrooms. The study provides recommendations to improve leaders’ coaching of teachers to increase classroom quality.

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