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DIT - CSER
8th April 2011
“The Power of Pre-school: Lessons from
research on the long term impact
of quality pre-school provision”
Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education Project
(EPPSE 3-16)
A Longitudinal Study Funded by the
UK Department for Education 1997-2014
Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford
Institute of Education, University of London
This presentation
 Intro to the EPPE/EPPSE
study
 Evidence from EPPE/REPEY,
EPPNI and MEEIFP
 Exploring quality
The short, medium and long
term impact of pre-school
The EPPE/EPPSE Design
 The overall research design
of EPPSE 3-14 Project as an
example of ‘educational
effectiveness’ research using
valued added methods.
EPPSE combines both
quantitative and qualitative
research methods.
Aims of research on educational effectiveness
 To compare the progress of children from a wide range of
social and cultural backgrounds who have differing preschool experiences.
 To separate out the effects of pre-school experience from the
effects of primary school.
 To establish whether some pre-school centres are more
effective than others in promoting children’s development.
 To discover the characteristics of pre-school education in
those centres found to be most effective.
 To investigate the differences in the progress of groups of
children, e.g. children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Design of EPPSE : 6 Local Authorities, 141 pre-schools, 3,000
children
Pre-school
Provision
(3+ yrs)
25 nursery classes
590 children
34 playgroups
610 children
31 private day nurseries
520 children
20 nursery schools
520 children
24 local authority day care nurseries
430 children
7 integrated centres
190 children
home
310 children
KS 1
KS2
KS3
KS4
862
1,128
739
700+
sch
sch
sch
sch
Sources of data, so far
●
Child assessment (social/behaviour &
cognitive) at 3, 4+, 6, 7, 10 ,11 & 14
years (first 16 outcomes in 2009)
●
Family background at 3, 6 and 11 & 14
●
Interviews/questionnaires with staff
●
‘Quality’ rating scales in pre-school
●
Case studies of effective pre-school
settings
●
Pedagogical observations in primary
school
●
School and classroom climate
questionnaires
●
Children’s views of school at age 7, 10
& 14
●
Teachers’ views on school processes
and practice in Yr 5 & Yr 9
Different influences on child outcomes
Child
Factors
Cognitive outcomes:
English & maths
Family
Factors
Social/Behavioural:
Self Regulation
Likes to work things out for self
HomeLearningEnvironment
Pro-social
Considerate of others feelings
Hyperactivity
Restless, cannot stay still for long
Anti-social
Has been in trouble with the law
Pre-School
Primary
School
Drawing on evidence from projects:
EPPE/REPEY 3-7 (England)
EPPNI 3-5 (Northern Ireland)
MEEIFP 3-6 (Wales)






Key Issues – nationally and internationally!
Quality of provision formal v informal (care and education)
Transitions – especially Summer born children
Ratios
Training
Literacy and interactions
Appropriate curriculum and assessments
Early Years and outcomes
 If children come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are ‘at risk’ of social
problems, then high quality pre-school/early years will make an important
contribution to improving their social development.
 Children with no pre-school experience (the ‘home’ group) had poorer
intellectual attainment, sociability and concentration when they started school,
even after taking account of home background.
 More terms in pre-school (after the age of 2 years) is related to better cognitive
and social progress (dose effect).
 Children who attend pre-school settings part-time develop as well as those
children attending full-time
Effectiveness
 Integrated settings and nursery schools tend to do better
.on cognitive outcomes even after taking account of
children’s backgrounds.
 Integrated settings (which have fully integrated education
with care) nursery schools and nursery classes are better
at fostering children’s social development
 Settings with higher quality provision decreased children’s
anti-social/ worried behaviour.
Quality
 Settings in the state educational sector have children who make
(comparatively) more progress than those in the private/voluntary sector.
 In the EPPE sample, nursery schools and centres that integrated education
and care tended to be rated highest on quality, (e.g. ECERS and Caregiver
Interaction Scale).
 Good quality and better cognitive outcomes for children are associated with
higher quality as defined by the ECERS R and E
In the most effective settings, staff had
1.
better knowledge of the curriculum and child development
2.
engaged more in ‘sustained shared thinking’ with children
3.
Supported children in talking through and resolving conflict
 Adults had warm, responsive relationships with children.
 Set clear educational goals.
 Have recognised early years qualifications.
 Trained teachers are amongst the staff.
 Parents are supported in involvement in children’s learning.
Complex value-added model: the effect of preschool’s quality on children’s cognitive progress
Prereading
Early
number
concepts
Language
Non-verbal
reasoning
ECERS-E
Average total
positive*
positive
Literacy
positive*
positive
positive
Maths
positive
Science/Environment
positive#
Diversity
positive#
positive
positive
ECERS-R
Average total
Space and furnishings
Personal care
Language and reasoning
positive#
Activities
Interaction
positive
Programme structure
Parents and staff
positive#
* When change of centre is not in model # verging on statistical significance
Spatial
awarenes
s
Complex value-added model: the effect of
pre-school’s quality on children’s socialbehavioural development
Independence
and
concentration
Cooperation
and Conformity
positive#
positive#
ECERS-E
Average total
Literacy
positive#
Maths
Science/
environment
positive#
Diversity
positive#
positive#
Peer Sociability
Anti-social/
Worried
Home learning before 3 years
What parents and carers do is most important and
makes a real difference to development. Activities
for parents which help children’s development
include:
reading to children;
teaching children songs and nursery rhymes;
playing with letters and numbers;
painting and drawing;
taking children to libraries;
(for social outcomes) creating regular
opportunities for play with friends.
Training: Relationship between Quality and Manager Qualification:
EPPE evidence
ECERS-E score
5
4
3
2
1
0
Literacy
Level 2
Mathematics
Science and environment
Level 3 / 4
Diversity
Level 5
EPPE -ECERS-R and Manager Qualifications
6
5
ECERS-R score
4
3
2
1
0
Language reasoning
Level
Activities
Level
2
Interaction
Programme
structure
Level
3/4
5
Parents and staff
Best Practice in the Foundation Phase
(achieved by 10% of the pilots, all maintained)
The best settings in terms of implementing the FP appear to have the
following common characteristics:
 More detailed, focused planning.
 Lead practitioners with good leadership and management skills and
the ability to allocate effective roles for other adults whilst planning
together for children’s learning
 Guided and supported play activities with higher levels of adult-child
interaction that support children’s thinking.
 Clear and dynamic vision and leadership from setting heads who have
a good grasp of effective early years practice and are able to
communicate this effectively to FP staff.
4th December, 2006
Best Practice in the Foundation Phase
 The best settings did not slavishly adhere to the FP guidance but took
it seriously and built the FP into existing good practice.
 A move away from over-formal practice in the basics towards a more
experiential, child centred and adult guided, play based practice.
 The leadership of the setting has a culture of investing in staff
development.
 Some well trained and qualified staff who have a good understanding
of child development and pedagogy and who actively support other staff
in working with children.
4th December, 2006
Effective Pedagogy
Sustained shared thinking:
An episode in which two or more individuals “work
together” in an intellectual way to solve a problem, clarify a
concept, evaluate activities, extend a narrative etc. Both
parties must contribute to the thinking and it must develop
and extend.
Open-ended questions
Playful learning
Percentage of high cognitive challenge activities
within each initiation category in each setting type
percentage
60
40
child initiated
child but adult
adult initiated
20
0
good
excellent
Proportion of adult cognitive pedagogical
interactions in settings varying in
effectiveness
% of 'pedagogical' interactions
60
40
20
0
Good
Excellent
Shared sustained thinking
Instruction
Reception classes
Monitoring
Time spent by children in different social
groupings across settings of varying effectiveness
% of intervals
60
40
20
0
Good
Alone/1:1
Excellent
Child pair
Small group
Reception classes
Whole class
From: Siraj-Blatchford, I. (2009) ‘Early Childhood Education’ in Maynard, T. and
Thomas, N. (Eds.) An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies,
(2nd Edition) London: Sage Publications (in press)
Table 1: OECD Curriculum Outlines
Teacher’s
initiating
activities
Teacher’s
extending
activities
Differentiation
and Formative
Assessment
Relationships
and conflict
between children
Sustained
Shared
Thinking
“Introducing new
activities”
“Enriching
interventions”
“Observe
children”
“Work out
sustaining
relations”
“Engagement”
“Sharing
Control”
“Participation as
partners”
“Plan Do Review”
“Adopt a
problem solving
approach”
Reggio
Emilia
“Development of
short and longterm projects”
“Sustaining the
cognitive and
social dynamics”
“Teachers first
listen don’t talk”
“Warm
reciprocal
relationships”
“Reciprocity of
interactions”
EPPE/
REPEY
Correlations
found with
effective practice
Correlations
found with
effective practice
Correlations
found with
effective practice
Correlations
found with
effective practice
Correlations
found with
effective
practice
EEL[1]
High
Scope
“Authentic
dialogue”
Reducing Inequality
Investing in good
quality EYFS provision is
an effective means of
achieving targets
concerning social
exclusion and breaking
cycles of disadvantage,
but more is only better
if the quality is right.
Playful learning for children is based on the following
ideas:
 Building on and extending the child’s interests
 The child is usually active physically, socially and
intellectually
 The learning is exploratory without necessarily fixed
outcomes in mind
 Playful learning motivates children to try more
challenging learning
 Children use, apply and extend their knowledge, skills
and understanding through active exploration
 In social contexts children develop their capacities for
cooperation and collaboration and can often explore
complex ideas
The role of adults in supporting playful learning
includes:
Supporting playful learning involves the use of a suite of
strategies including:
 Creating well resourced environments with rich materials
 Being involved and interacting with children as they play
and explore
 Maintaining a purposeful focus on the child’s learning
and development
 Modelling expressive language and consciously
extending children’s vocabulary
 Constructively engaging with children to scaffold and
extend learning
 Using sustained shared thinking strategies to build on
child-initiated activity to extend knowledge, skills and
understanding
The short , medium and long
term impact of pre-school
Short Term impact- Aged 5 (entry to school)
Reading
Pre-reading at school entry
0.7
0.6
Effect size
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
Low duration
Low quality
High duration
High quality
Short term impact – Aged 5 (entry to school)
Social-behavioural
0.6
0.5
Effect size
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
Cooperation and
conformity
Independence and
concentration
Peer sociability
Main findings from the ECERS- R & E

Scores on the total ECERS-R were
positively related to children’s progress in
Cooperation/conformity

Scores on the ‘social interaction’ sub-scale
were related to the development of
independence and peer sociability
 Total scores on the ECERS-E were
significantly related to progress in
children’s
- Pre-reading(Phonological awareness,
letter recognition)
- Non-verbal reasoning
- Number skills
Sub-scale scores were related to- independence and concentration
Caregiver Interaction Scale (Arnett)
• Positive relationships is a subscale made up of 10 items
indicating warmth and enthusiasm interaction with children by
the caregiver.
• Punitiveness is a subscale made up of 8 items indicating
harsh or over-controlling behaviour in interaction with children
by the caregiver.
• Permissiveness is a subscale made up of 4 items indicating
avoidance of discipline and control of children by the caregiver.
• Detachment is a subscale made up of 4 items indicating lack
of involvement in interaction with children by the caregiver.
Impact of quality as measured by the Caregivers Interaction Scale on
cognitive and social behaviour outcomes
Prereading
Positive
relationships
Early
number
concepts
+
+
-
-
-
-
-
-
Independence
&
Concentration
Co-operation
& Conformity
+
+
Peer
Sociability
+
Punitiveness
-
Permissive
-
-
Detachment
-
-
Medium Term Impact – Aged 7
(end of KS 1 ) - Reading and Writing
WRITING at key stage 1, social class and
pre-school experience
2.8
2.6
2.6
2.4
Pre-school
2.4
2.2
No pre-school
2.0
Mean year 2 writing level
Mean year 2 reading level
READING at key stage 1, social class and
pre-school experience
Pre-school
2.2
2.0
Expected minimum
1.8
Expected minimum
No pre-school
1.8
1.6
Professional
Skilled
Un/semi skilled
Social class by occupation
Professional
Skilled
Un/semi skilled
Social class by occupation
The contribution of social class and pre-school to
mathematics attainment (age 7)
MATHEMATICS at key stage 1, social class and
pre-school experience
2.8
Pre-school
Mean Y2 maths level
2.6
2.4
No pre-school
2.2
2.0
Expected minimum
1.8
Professional
Skilled
Social class by occupation
Un/semi skilled
The impact of Pre-school Quality (ECERS-E: Educational
aspects) on English and Maths
Pre-school quality is associated with Key Stage 2 performance in both English and Mathematics.
Also medium or high quality pre-school is associated with significantly enhanced attainment compared
to no pre-school or low quality pre-school, and the effects are comparable in size to the effects of
gender and FSM.
The Combined Impact of Pre-School Quality and Primary
School Effectiveness (Value add) - Mathematics
Primary School
Effectiveness (English):
0.8
Effect of Pre-School Quality and Primary School Effectiveness on
Mathematics at Age 10
0.7
very low / low
medium / high / very high
0.6
0.53
Effect Size
0.5
0.47
0.4
0.50
0.47
0.34
0.48
0.33
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.0
Reference Group:
No Pre-School +
very low / low effective primary school
no pre-school
low
medium
high
Pre-School Quality
Reference Group: No Pre-School and Very low / low Primary School Effectiveness
Long Term impact – Aged 10
Pre-school Quality and Self Regulation
•
Self regulation is highest in children who have attended medium or high quality pre-schools
The impact of Pre-school Quality (ECER-R: Social/Care aspects)
on Hyperactivity and Pro-social Behaviour
Hyperactivity
Pro-social
• Children who attend high quality pre-school display higher pro-social behaviour and lower levels of
hyperactive behaviour
• Home children show significantly reduced levels of positive social behaviour relative to children who
attended pre-school regardless of quality, however, they also show reduced levels of Hyperactivity
The impact of Pre-school Quality (ECERS-R: Social/Care
aspects & ECERS-E: Educational aspect) on Self-regulation
and Pro-social behaviour
Children who attended medium and high quality pre-schools had higher levels of ‘Self-regulation’
in Year 6 than others.
‘Home’ children were rated by teachers as having less ‘‘Pro-social’’ behaviour relative to children
who had attended pre-school, although the difference is most marked for those who attended
high quality.
“Pre-school quality in practice and policy implications”
DIT - CSER
8th April 2011
Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford
Institute of Education, University of
London
Curriculum and pedagogical
objectives, ‘starting with the child’?
• Communication;
• Collaboration;
• Creativity and
Problem solving ‘learning to
learn’ (L2L)
Creativity and Playful learning
Vygotsky (2004) distinguished between two types of
cognitive activity, those ‘reproductive’, and those
involving creativity: ”Creative activity, based on
the ability of our brain to combine elements, is
called imagination or fantasy in psychology” (p4).
In their fantasy play, young children separate
objects and actions from their meaning in the real
world and give them new meanings. This provides
a basis for early representational thinking.
In more advanced forms of representational thinking ‘props’
are no longer required, problems may be solved entirely ‘in
one’s head’.
The development of such sophisticated levels of abstraction are
also related to the development of Metacognition – this is the
knowledge and awareness children come to develop of their own
cognitive processes.
Metacognition develops as the child finds it necessary to
describe, explain and justify their thinking about different
aspects of the world to others.
For most children such a ‘theory of mind’ develops at about 4½
years, but it can be earlier or later. Research shows that
children’s pretend play becomes reciprocal and complementary at
about the same time.
When we give children more control of their learning
we provide an opportunity for them to be creative
To be creative we need two things:
•
Knowledge of a broad range of
alternative ‘things that can be done (or
thought)’.
•
The playful disposition to try out these
alternatives in new contexts, whether
this be in the ‘minds eye’ or in the
material world.
Encourage children:
 to playfully look for alternative
ways of doing things
 to see that there is always a choice
 to make connections between things
 to make unusual comparisons
 to see things from others points of
view
Learning to Learn
“Much of what teachers (sic) do in helping
students to learn how to learn consists of
strengthening their meta-cognitive
capacity, namely the capacity to monitor,
evaluate, control and change how they
think and learn. This is a critical feature
of personalised learning”.
(Hargreaves et
al, 2005, DEMOS p 18)
In the early years this is achieved in… Play
Home learning before 3 years
What parents and carers do is most important and
makes a real difference to development. Activities
for parents which help children’s development
include:
reading to children;
teaching children songs and nursery rhymes;
playing with letters and numbers;
painting and drawing;
taking children to libraries;
(for social outcomes) creating regular
opportunities for play with friends.
Do parents interact differently with boys and girls?
Boys
Girls
HLE 0-13
206 13.3
102 7.0
HLE 14-19
381 24.6
284 19.5
HLE 20-24
376 24.3
351 24.1
HLE 25-32
463 29.9
497 34.1
HLE 33-45
122
224 15.4
Total
7.9
1548 100.0
1458 100.0
Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years
includes quality interactions:
Sustained shared thinking:
An episode in which two or more individuals “work together” in
an intellectual way to solve a problem, clarify a concept,
evaluate activities, extend a narrative etc. Both parties must
contribute to the thinking and it must develop and extend.
Open-ended questions feature; and
Playful learning, building on the child’s interests.
The above are difficult to assess as outcomes but are essential to achieving good
outcomes! Necessary but not sufficient, we still require good content.
(Siraj-Blatchford et al., REPEY, DfES 2002)
From the Early Education Project on SST
How can we support children’s sustained shared
thinking?
They may include the adult:
 Tuning in
 Showing genuine interest
 Respecting children’s own decisions and
choices inviting children to elaborate
 Re-capping
 Offering your own experience
 Clarifying ideas
 Waiting for a response
 Not hurrying children
 Suggesting
 Reminding
 Reflecting
 Using encouragement to further thinking
 Offering an alternative viewpoint
 Speculating
 Reciprocating
 Surprising!
 Asking a balance of closed and open-ended
questions
 Modeling and demonstrating thinking
The role of the teacher/adult:
Encouraging reflection:
I think…
I agree…
I imagine…
I disagree…
I like…
I don’t like…
I wonder…
The role of the teacher/adult: Enquiry Questions
Positive questioning/statements:
I don’t know, what do you think?
That’s an interesting idea.
I like what you have done there…what…
Have you seen what X has done…why…
I wondered why you had…
I’ve never thought about that before…
You’ve really made me think…
What would happen if we did…
The role of the pedagogue: Enquiry Questions
Questions can often be started with ‘I wonder…what, if, why, how,
when, where…’
Exploration & Investigation
Investigating
Finding out
Identifying
Observing
Looking closely
Asking questions
How could you find out?
What do you think is
happening?
Why do you think this
happens?
What do you think is
happening?
What can you see?
What do you think?
What would you like to
ask?
The role of the pedagogue
Questions can often be started with ‘I wonder…what, if, why, how,
when, where…’
Sense of Time
Finding out
When did it happen?
Do you think that it was
always like this?
The role of the teacher/adult: Enquiry Questions
Questions can often be started with ‘I wonder…what, if, why, how,
when, where…’
Knowing
Why do you think that?
Comparing
Do you think everyone
would think the same?
Curriculum and pedagogy
 Teaching and learning will be most
effective if they engage and build on
children's existing understandings.
 Key concepts involved in each domain
of early years learning,
 Metacognitive skill development
allows children to learn to solve
problems more effectively.
Professional understandings
(1)
mastery of information on the pedagogy
of teaching early years children,
including:
 Knowledge of teaching and learning and
child development and how to integrate
them into practice.
 Information about how to provide rich
conceptual experiences that promote
growth in specific content areas, as well as
particular areas of development, such as
language (vocabulary) and cognition
(reasoning).
Professional understandings
(2)
 Knowledge of effective teaching
strategies, including organizing the
environment and routines so as to
promote activities that build socialemotional relationships in the
classroom.
 Knowledge of subject-matter content
appropriate for young children and
knowledge of professional standards
in specific content areas.
Professional understandings
(3)
 Knowledge of assessment procedures
(observation/performance records, work
sampling, interview methods) that can be
used to inform instruction.
 Knowledge of the variability among
children, in terms of teaching methods and
strategies that may be required, including
teaching children who have EAL, children
from various economic and regional
contexts, and children with identified
disabilities.
Professional understandings
(4)
 Ability to work with teams of professionals.
 Appreciation of the parents' role and
knowledge of methods of collaboration
with parents and families.
 Appreciation of the need for appropriate
strategies for accountability.
National Research Council (US) Committee on Early
Childhood Pedagogy. Eager to Learn: Educating
Our Preschoolers. National Academy Press,
Washington (2001) pp1-21.
For further Information about EPPSE project
visit the
www.ioe.ac.uk/projects/eppe
or Tel 00 44 (0)20 7612 6219 Brenda Taggart Research Co-ordinator
([email protected])
or the DCSF website at:
http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/research/
Principal Investigators:
Professor Kathy Sylva, University of Oxford
Professor Edward Melhuish, Birkbeck, University of London
Professor Pam Sammons, University of Nottingham
Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Institute of Education, University of London
Brenda Taggart , Institute of Education, University of London
Analyses Team at the Institute of Education, University of London:
Dr. Stephen Hunt, Dr. Helena Jeličić, Rebecca Smees and Wesley Welcomme
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