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Baker, C. (2014) African American Fathers' Contributions to Children's Early Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two-Parent Families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Research Findings: This study utilized a large sample ("N" = 750) of 2-parent families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to examine the contributions of African American fathers' home literacy involvement, play activities, and caregiving at 24 months to children's reading and math achievement in preschool. After family characteristics and child characteristics were controlled for, both mother and father characteristics predicted child achievement. Mother age predicted math achievement but not reading. Furthermore, even after mother predictors were entered into the hierarchical regressions, fathers' education and home literacy involvement also significantly predicted achievement. African American fathers who engaged in more frequent shared book reading, telling stories, singing songs, and provided more children's books in their homes at 24 months had children with better reading and math scores in preschool. Practice or Policy: These findings support growing evidence that fathers contribute to child development. Implications for research on early academic achievement in ethnically diverse samples are discussed.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
25
Page/s:
19-35
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Numeracy
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Physical play
  • Play with Father
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:

Blair, C. et al. (2007) Relating Effortful Control, Executive Function, and False Belief Understanding to Emerging Math and Literacy Ability in Kindergarten (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study examined the role of self-regulation in emerging academic ability in one hundred and forty-one 3- to 5-year-old children from low-income homes. Measures of effortful control, false belief understanding, and the inhibitory control and attention-shifting aspects of executive function in preschool were related to measures of math and literacy ability in kindergarten. Results indicated that the various aspects of child self-regulation accounted for unique variance in the academic outcomes independent of general intelligence and that the inhibitory control aspect of executive function was a prominent correlate of both early math and reading ability. Findings suggest that curricula designed to improve self-regulation skills as well as enhance early academic abilities may be most effective in helping children succeed in school.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2007
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
78
Page/s:
647-663
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Numeracy
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Socio-economic background
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Marcon, R. (1999) Differential impact of preschool models on development and early learning of inner-city children: A three-cohort study (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Three different preschool models operating in an urban school district were identified through cluster analysis of teacher responses to the Pre-K Survey of Beliefs and Practices. The language, self-help, social, motor, and adaptive development, along with mastery of basic skills, of 721 4-year-olds randomly selected from these models were compared. Children in the child-initiated model demonstrated greater mastery of basic skills than did children in programs in which academics were emphasized and skills were taught. Children in the combination model did significantly poorer on all measures except self-help and development of social coping skills compared with children in either the child-initiated or academically directed models. Girls outperformed boys in all areas except gross motor development and play and leisure skills. Implications for educational policymakers are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Author/s:
Date:
January 1999
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
35
Page/s:
358-375
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
Relevant age group/s:

McGuinness, C. et al. (2014) Impact of a play-based curriculum in the first two years of primary school: literacy and numeracy outcomes over seven years (Journal Article)

Abstract:

In 2000–2002 an innovative early years curriculum, the Enriched Curriculum (EC), was introduced into 120 volunteer schools across Northern Ireland, replacing a traditional curriculum similar to others across the UK at that time. It was intended by the designers to be developmentally appropriate and play-based with the primary goal of preventing the experience of persistent early failure in children. The EC was not intended to be a literacy and numeracy intervention, yet it did considerably alter pedagogy in these domains, particularly the age at which formal reading and mathematics instruction began. As part of a multi-method evaluation running from 2000–2008, the research team followed the primary school careers of the first two successive cohorts of EC children, comparing them with year-ahead controls attending the same 24 schools. Compared to the year-ahead control group, the findings show that the EC children's reading and mathematics scores fell behind in the first two years but the majority of EC children caught up by the end of their fourth year. Thereafter, the performance of the first EC cohort fell away slightly, while that of the second continued to match that of controls. Overall, the play-based curriculum had no statistically significant positive effects on reading and mathematics in the medium term. At best, the EC children's scores matched those of controls.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
40
Page/s:
772-795
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Academic outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Numeracy
  • Playful learning
Relevant age group/s:

Nath, S. et al. (2014) Construction play and cognitive skills associated with the development of mathematical abilities in 7-year-old children (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Construction play is thought to develop logico-mathematical skills, however the underlying mechanisms have not been defined. In order to fill this gap, this study looks at the relationship between Lego con- struction ability, cognitive abilities and mathematical performance in 7-year-old, Year 2 primary school children (N 1⁄4 66). While studies have focused on the relationship between mathematics performance and verbal memory, there are limited studies focussing on visuospatial memory. We tested both vi- suospatial and verbal working memory and short term memory, as well as non-verbal intelligence. Mathematical performance was measured through the WIAT-II numerical operations, and the word reading subtest was used as a control variable. We used a Lego construction task paradigm based on four task variables found to systematically increase construction task difficulty. The results suggest that Lego construction ability is positively related to mathematics performance, and visuospatial memory fully mediates this relationship. Future work of an intervention study using Lego construction training to develop visuospatial memory, which in turn may improve mathematics performance, is suggested.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
32
Page/s:
73-80
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Correlational
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Numeracy
  • Working memory
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Ramani, G. et al. (2008) Promoting Broad and Stable Improvements in Low-Income Children’s Numerical Knowledge Through Playing Number Board Games (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Theoretical analyses of the development of numerical representations suggest that playing linear number board games should enhance young children’s numerical knowledge. Consistent with this prediction, playing such a game for roughly 1 hr increased low-income preschoolers’ (mean age = 5.4 years) proficiency on 4 diverse numerical tasks: numerical magnitude comparison, number line estimation, counting, and numeral identification. The gains remained 9 weeks later. Classmates who played an identical game, except for the squares varying in color rather than number, did not improve on any measure. Also as predicted, home experience playing number board games correlated positively with numerical knowledge. Thus, playing number board games with children from low-income backgrounds may increase their numerical knowledge at the outset of school.

Date:
January 2008
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
79
Page/s:
375-394
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Experimental
  • Games with rules
  • Numeracy
Relevant age group/s:

Raver, C. et al. (2011) CSRP's Impact on Low-Income Preschoolers' Preacademic Skills: Self-Regulation as a Mediating Mechanism (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Based on theoretically driven models, the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) targeted low-income children's school readiness through the mediating mechanism of self-regulation. The CSRP is a multicomponent, cluster-randomized efficacy trial implemented in 35 Head Start-funded classrooms (N = 602 children). The analyses confirm that the CSRP improved low-income children's self-regulation skills (as indexed by attention/impulse control and executive function) from fall to spring of the Head Start year. Analyses also suggest significant benefits of CSRP for children's preacademic skills, as measured by vocabulary, letter-naming, and math skills. Partial support was found for improvement in children's self-regulation as a hypothesized mediator for children's gains in academic readiness. Implications for programs and policies that support young children's behavioral health and academic success are discussed.

Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
82
Page/s:
362-378
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Self-regulation
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Singer, D. et al. (2006) Play = Learning: how play motivates and enhances children's cognitive and social-emotional growth (Book)

Abstract:

Why is it that the best and brightest of our children are arriving at college too burned out to profit from the smorgasbord of intellectual delights that they are offered? Why is it that some preschools and kindergartens have a majority of children struggling to master cognitive tasks that are inappropriate for their age? Why is playtime often considered to be time unproductively spent? In Play=Learning, top experts in child development and learning contend that the answers to these questions stem from a single source: in the rush to create a generation of Einsteins, our culture has forgotten about the importance of play for children`s development. Presenting a powerful argument about the pervasive and long-term effects of play, Singer, Golinkoff, and Hirsh-Pasek urge researchers and practitioners to reconsider the ways play facilitates development across domains. Over forty years of developmental research indicates that play has enormous benefits to offer children, not the least of which is physical activity in this era of obesity and hypertension. Play provides children with the opportunity to maximize their attention spans, learn to get along with peers, cultivate their creativity, work through their emotions, and gain the academic skills that are the foundation for later learning. Using a variety of methods and studying a wide range of populations, the contributors to this volume demonstrate the powerful effects of play in the intellectual, social, and emotional spheres. Play=Learning will be an important resource for students and researchers in developmental psychology. Its research-based policy recommendations will be valuable to teachers, counselors, and school psychologists in their quest to reintroduce play and joyful learning into our school rooms and living rooms.

Date:
January 2006
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Academic outcomes
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Learning
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Physical play
  • Playful learning
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Pretend play
  • Science
Research discipline: