Article

Antiracism defined as equitable sociocultural interactions in prekindergarten: Classroom racial composition makes a difference

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Abstract

This study used secondary data from the My Teaching Partner‐Math/Science 2013–2016 randomized control trial to explore whether equitable sociocultural classroom interactions (see Curenton et al., 2019) were associated with the skills of 105 four‐ and five‐year‐olds (52% boys; drawn from 20 unique video recordings of preschool teachers/classrooms; 43% were Black, Latine, Asian, or other racially marginalized learners). Equitable interactions predicted children's skills with effect sizes ranging from small (0.01–0.44) to large (1.00). Moderation analyses revealed that when classrooms had more racially marginalized learners, teachers’ use of equitable disciplinary and personalized learning practices were associated with higher executive functioning gains across prekindergarten. Findings illustrate how classroom composition can be a key indicator between equitable classroom interactions and young children's early skills.

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... Included in this special section are studies that speak to the contexts where children live and develop, including their families (Glover et al., 2022;Mesman et al., 2022;Sullivan et al., 2022) and schools (Curenton et al., 2022;Killen et al., 2022;Sun et al., 2022). Additionally, some of the articles address the ways that racially minoritized youth actively, rather than passively, resist racism (Hope et al., 2022;Sun et al., 2022). ...
... Contributions to the special section also attended to teacher-facilitated classroom experiences in majority White school contexts that may facilitate the development of anti-racism in pre-K and elementary-aged children. Specifically, Curenton et al. (2022) examined how equitable classroom teaching practices in pre-K classrooms (i.e., challenging status quo, equitable discipline, connection to home life) may have influenced racially/ethnically diverse children's academic and social-emotional development. Their findings suggest that equitable teaching practices may foster cognitive and social development among young learners, particularly in more racially and ethnically diverse classrooms, thus speaking to the potential broader positive impact of anti-racist teaching practices for children in diverse classrooms. ...
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With the rising number of Latino and dual language learner (DLL) children attending pre-k and the importance of assessing the quality of their experiences in those settings, this study examined the extent to which a commonly used assessment of teacher-child interactions, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), demonstrated similar psychometric properties in classrooms serving ethnically and linguistically diverse children as it does in other classrooms. Specifically, this study investigated: (1) whether CLASS observations of teacher-child interactions are organized in three domais across classrooms with varying ethnic and language compositions (measurement invariance) and (2) the extent to which CLASS-assessed teacher-child interactions (emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support) predict children's social, math, and literacy outcomes equally well for Latino and DLL children (predictive validity). CLASS observations of teacher-child interactions were conducted in 721 state-funded pre-k classrooms across 11 states. Direct assessments and teacher ratings of social, math, and literacy outcomes were collected for four randomly selected children in each classroom. CLASS observations factored similarly across pre-k classrooms with different Latino and DLL compositions and predicted improvements in school readiness regardless of a child's Latino or DLL status. Results suggest CLASS functions equally well as an assessment of the quality of teacher-child interactions in pre-k settings regardless of the proportion of Latino children and/or the language diversity of the children in that setting.
Article
This study examined the relationship between fall teacher expectations and year-end achievement among 561 children in 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades. Specifically, we hypothesized that children from academically stigmatized groups (African Americans generally and girls in mathematics) are more likely to be responsive to negative teacher expectancies than are children from nonstigmatized groups. Controlling for prior achievement and class membership, moderator effects were tested with hierarchical linear models in the whole sample and with loglinear models in a subsample of children who were targets of extreme teacher over- and underestimates of ability. Among targets of extreme teacher over- and underestimates, in 3rd and 5th grade, ethnicity moderated expectancy effects in reading; and in 5th grade, gender moderated expectancy effects in math but not reading. Members of stigmatized groups were more susceptible to teacher underestimates of ability. Implications are discussed in terms of differential response to teacher expectations and in terms of how susceptibility to teacher expectations is conceptualized and inferred.
Article
The lagging achievement of many U.S. Latinos is staggering. Latinos have the highest high school dropout rate. Further, second- and third-generation Latinos in the United States perform less well than do recent immigrants. These statistics belie the hopes and aspirations for upward mobility, a better life, and the deep value for education that are tightly held by many Latino immigrant families. Understanding this paradox between the aspirations of Latino families and their academic outcomes is the focus of this article. The experiences of Latino children in U.S. schools, the incongruence between the cultural worldviews of U.S. schools and Latino families, and the interactions and expectations for partnerships between families and schools are integrated and applied to the question of why Latino students are not reaching their potential, despite goals for achievement and significant parental sacrifice and investment.
Article
Luria's tapping test (tap once when E taps twice, tap twice when E taps once) was administered to 160 children (80 males, 80 females) between 31/2 to 7 years old. Older children were faster and more accurate than younger children, with most of the improvement occurring by the age of 6. All children tested demonstrated understanding of the instructions during the pretest, and most started out performing well, but younger subjects could not sustain this. Over the 16 trials, percentage of correct responses decreased, especially among younger subjects. Performance here was compared with performance on the day-night Stroop-like task. The most common error on both tasks was to comply with only one of the two rules. Other errors included tapping many times regardless of what the experimenter did and doing the same thing as the experimenter, rather than the opposite. It is suggested that the tapping task requires both the ability to hold two rules in mind and the ability to inhibit a strong response tendency, that these abilities improve between 3–6 years of age, and that this improvement may reflect important changes within frontal cortex during this period of life. © 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Article
Hierarchical linear modeling was used to model the dynamics of family income-to-needs for participants of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care (N= 1,364) from the time that children were 1 through 36 months of age. Associations between change in income-to-needs and 36-month child outcomes (i.e., school readiness, receptive language, expressive language, positive social behavior, and behavior problems) were examined. Although change in income-to-needs proved to be of little importance for children from nonpoor families, it proved to be of great importance for children from poor families. For children in poverty, decreases in income-to-needs were associated with worse outcomes and increases were associated with better outcomes. In fact, when children from poor families experienced increases in income-to-needs that were at least 1 SD above the mean change for poor families, they displayed outcomes similar to their nonpoor peers. The practical importance and policy implications of these findings are discussed.
Article
An increasing amount of scholarship has documented the salience of culturally relevant teaching practices for ethnically and linguistically diverse students. However, research examining these students' perceptions and interpretations of these learning environments has been minimal at best. In this article, the author details the findings from a study that sought to assess African-American elementary students' interpretations of culturally relevant teachers within urban contexts. Student responses indicated that culturally relevant teaching strategies had a positive affect on student effort and engagement in class content and were consistent with the theoretical principles of culturally relevant pedagogy. The qualitative data revealed three key findings that students preferred in their learning environments (1) teachers who displayed caring bonds and attitudes toward them, (2) teachers who established community- and family-type classroom environments, and (3) teachers who made learning an entertaining and fun process.
Article
The current paper considers how children spend their time in state-funded pre-kindergarten programs and how time use relates to ethnicity, gender, and family income, based on the assumption that how time is spent in pre-kindergarten is relevant for the programs’ success in narrowing achievement gaps. Classroom observations of 2061 children in 652 pre-k programs in 11 states were analyzed. Findings indicated that the pre-kindergarten day was roughly equally divided among free choice, teacher-assigned activities, and meals/routines. Children spent much of their time in language/literacy, social studies, and art, and less time in math and gross motor activities. Much of the pre-k day was spent in ‘no coded learning activity.’ Children in classes with lower proportions of Latino and African American children and higher average income-to-need ratios were generally engaged in richer and more stimulating experiences. The child-level variables of ethnicity and income were generally unrelated to how children spent their time, above and beyond the effects of classroom-level ethnicity and income. There were generally small, but significant gender differences – always in the gender-stereotyped direction – in how time was spent, especially during free choice time.
Article
We examined children's growth in school-related learning and social skills over the pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) year in state-funded programs designed to prepare children for kindergarten. We expected that children's gains in academic and social skills could be attributed to variations in the structural and classroom process dimensions of program quality. Nearly 3000 (n = 2800) children were randomly selected, four per classroom, from approximately 700 randomly selected, state-funded pre-Kindergarten classrooms in eleven states. Enrollment in pre-K appeared related to gains in academic skills. Children showed larger gains in academic outcomes when they experienced higher-quality instruction or closer teacher–child relationships. Gains were not related to characteristics of the child or program (i.e., ratio, teacher qualifications and program location and length). These findings have implications for a range of state and local policy and program development efforts as well as for theories of contextual influences on development.
Article
This review presents a practical summary of the missing data literature, including a sketch of missing data theory and descriptions of normal-model multiple imputation (MI) and maximum likelihood methods. Practical missing data analysis issues are discussed, most notably the inclusion of auxiliary variables for improving power and reducing bias. Solutions are given for missing data challenges such as handling longitudinal, categorical, and clustered data with normal-model MI; including interactions in the missing data model; and handling large numbers of variables. The discussion of attrition and nonignorable missingness emphasizes the need for longitudinal diagnostics and for reducing the uncertainty about the missing data mechanism under attrition. Strategies suggested for reducing attrition bias include using auxiliary variables, collecting follow-up data on a sample of those initially missing, and collecting data on intent to drop out. Suggestions are given for moving forward with research on missing data and attrition.