Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Building teaching quality at the pre-school level

The Pew Center on the States rounds up research showing that preschool teachers' educational background matters:
Research indicates that higher levels of education and training can help improve teachers’ interactions with children in ways that positively affect learning. Studies suggest that skilled professionals can more effectively promote and support young children’s cognitive, social and emotional growth when they know how to capitalize on the period of critical early brain development before age five. Pre-k teachers who have earned bachelor’s degrees and have additional, specialized training in early childhood education have generally been found to be more effective than those without these qualifications. In addition to improving the quality of teaching, stronger preparation requirements may help to professionalize the early childhood workforce. The resulting higher pay, in turn, would attract a better-quality workforce, reduce turnover and provide greater incentives toward the ongoing improvement of practice.
Angela Brant at the Prichard Committee points out that Kentucky is on the right track on this issue, e-mailing me that "New teachers hired to teach in the state funded preschool programs must have a bachelor’s degree with an Interdisciplinary early childhood education certificate."

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!