The New York Early Childhood Research Network was developed in partnership with the Foundation for Child Development to fund research projects that examine the early care and education workforce of New York City’s universal prekindergarten programs. The initial round of research projects funded within the Network include:
Bank Street College of Education in partnership with the National Center for Children in Poverty/Columbia University is conducting a study to highlight how instructional leaders, or individuals in similar roles, enhance children’s learning through the support and development of teachers and assistant teachers. We are interviewing teachers and early childhood leadership at 36 pre-K sites that represent a diverse cross-section of programs across New York City. In our study, each participating site will receive a $100 voucher for use at the Bank Street Bookstore. Staff members who participate in the study may also directly benefit from the opportunities that it will provide for reflection. At each participating site, we are asking that the Education Director, or Principal/Assistant Principal if applicable, and teachers and assistant teachers from three to five classes take part in several interviews and observations. The majority of the interviews and observations will occur throughout the 2016-17 school year.
This study examines the instructional practices and supports provided to Dual Language Learners (DLLs) by the teaching teams in different types of New York City Universal Prekindergarten (NYC UPK) classrooms from low, medium, and high-resourced with varying concentrations of DLLs. Profiles of teacher and staff characteristics, DLL characteristics, teacher and child match or mismatches in language backgrounds, interactions, supports or lack of supports for meeting the needs of DLLs will all be described in great detail. In particular, teacher child interactions, instructional practices, and supports for the development of home language and English will be documented through a cross-sectional descriptive study.
Multiple case studies will be used to find answers to questions about the use of authentic assessment tools, including Teaching Strategies Gold (TSG), Work Sampling (WS), and High Scope Child Observation Record (COR), in PreK for All programs. Researchers will primarily work with head teachers and assistant teachers to gain insight on how the assessment tools influence teachers' daily practices, the decisions made about curriculum design, and to examine how teachers use assessment to develop a deeper understanding of children's individual needs and interests. Researchers will also seek the perspectives of program administration, and parents/primary caregivers to develop a more comprehensive understanding of how the assessment tools are used for other purposes within a PreK for All learning community.
New York City must make critical decisions about how to allocate UPK funding and monitor program performance. This study will inform those decisions by providing a comparison of UPK programs across settings (schools vs. NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs) and auspices (e.g., DOE, ACS/CCDF, and Head Start). The study will discern if variation in setting and auspice translates into important differences in four key areas associated with quality: (i) teacher characteristics; (ii) professional development; (iii) instructional approach; and (iv) program level structural characteristics. Findings will be conveyed via a final report and two actionable policy briefs, designed for immediate use by policymakers at the DOE, ACS, DOHMH, and Mayor’s Office.
In this mixed methods study, we have three aims, that taken together, provide a comprehensive look at early childhood educators' professional development. In the first component, we explore how teachers with different levels of teacher qualifications are distributed across UPK classrooms. In the second aim, we examine the social networks that educators and other staff rely on to acquire and activate professional learning. In the third aim, we delve deeper into social networks to examine the ways that administrators and teachers understand and use data about classroom quality to inform professional development and classroom practice.
This study examines coaches working within NYC’s UPK system and how these individuals fit into the system of supports for UPK programs. Coaches are charged with supporting EC teaching staff to improve practice in alignment with research and policy. The assumption has been that individuals employed as coaches have the expertise to help a workforce with diverse qualifications and experiences to learn and apply best practices. There is, however, a gap in the extant literature about the qualifications, experiences, and day-to-day functions of these individuals. Much of the focus of research on the EC workforce has been on teachers and, more recently, administrators, but less so on those who support program improvement within and across sites. This study involves collecting and analyzing a range of data sources. First, we will identify and describe the workforce of EC coaches by developing profiles of coaches and by identifying organizational factors shaping their work. Second, we will examine coaches’ time use to describe the range of activities comprising their work. Third, we plan to examine what coaches perceive their roles to be as conveyors of content knowledge and policies and policy knowledge.
This place-based study uses mixed methods to identify and examine both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that positively impact recruitment, retention and professional development of male educators in the ECE workforce.
This qualitative study will investigate practices and policies in UPK classrooms that are supportive of and responsive to the needs of children and families from low-income, immigrant, and racially/culturally/linguistically diverse backgrounds. The purpose of the study is to shed light on teaching practices, classroom environments, family involvement practices, and organizational structures and policies that are responsive to and sustaining for children and families from these backgrounds. The study will identify high-quality practices in programs that serve high percentages of high-need, immigrant and culturally/linguistically diverse children across districts in differently resourced communities - one low-income, one middle-income, and one affluent. Within each of these districts, three classrooms will be studied - representing both public school and community-based UPKs - which will enable the exploration of some of the variation between public school and NYCEEC UPK contexts as well as between programs in differently resourced communities.