Tag Archives: University of Virginia

University of Virginia study: Alzheimer’s drug may stop disease if used before symptoms develop, study suggests

5 Aug

The Alzheimer’s Association describes Alzheimer’s Disease:

Alzheimer’s and Dementia basics
• Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of dementia cases.
Learn more: What Is Dementia, Research and Progress
• Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. The greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s).
Learn more: Early-Onset Alzheimer’s, Risk Factors

• Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.
Learn more: 10 Warning Signs, Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
• Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.
Learn more: Treatments, Treatment Horizon, Prevention, Clinical Trials
Help is available
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, you are not alone. The Alzheimer’s Association is the trusted resource for reliable information, education, referral and support to millions of people affected by the disease.
• Call our 24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900
• Locate your local Alzheimer’s Association
• Use our Virtual Library
• Go to Alzheimer’s Navigator to create customized action plans and connect with local support services https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers

A University of Virginia study points to treating the disease before symptoms manifest as the most desired option.

Science Daily reported in Alzheimer’s drug may stop disease if used before symptoms develop, study suggests:

About 50 percent of people who reach the age of 85 will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Most will die within about five years of exhibiting the hallmark symptoms of the disease — severe memory loss and a precipitous decline in cognitive function.
But the molecular processes that lead to the disease will have begun years earlier.
Currently, there are no known ways to prevent the disease or to stop its progression once it has begun. But research at the University of Virginia offers new understanding of how the disease develops at the molecular level, long before extensive neuronal damage occurs and symptoms show up.
Additionally, the researchers have found that an FDA-approved drug, memantine, currently used only for alleviating the symptoms of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease, might be used to prevent or slow the progression of the disease if used before symptoms appear. The research also offers, based on extensive experimentation, a hypothesis as to why this might work.
The findings are published currently online in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
“Based on what we’ve learned so far, it is my opinion that we will never be able to cure Alzheimer’s disease by treating patients once they become symptomatic,” said George Bloom, a UVA professor and chair of the Department of Biology, who oversaw the study in his lab. “The best hope for conquering this disease is to first recognize patients who are at risk, and begin treating them prophylactically with new drugs and perhaps lifestyle adjustments that would reduce the rate at which the silent phase of the disease progresses.
“Ideally, we would prevent it from starting in the first place.”
As Alzheimer’s disease begins, there is a lengthy period of time, perhaps a decade or longer, when brain neurons affected by the disease attempt to divide, possibly as a way to compensate for the death of neurons. This is unusual in that most neurons develop prenatally and then never divide again. But in Alzheimer’s the cells make the attempt, and then die.
“It’s been estimated that as much as 90 percent of neuron death that occurs in the Alzheimer’s brain follows this cell cycle reentry process, which is an abnormal attempt to divide,” Bloom said. “By the end of the course of the disease, the patient will have lost about 30 percent of the neurons in the frontal lobes of the brain…” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180801160022.htm

Citation:

Alzheimer’s drug may stop disease if used before symptoms develop, study suggests
Date: August 1, 2018
Source: University of Virginia
Summary:
Biologists have gained new understanding of how Alzheimer’s disease begins, and how it might be halted using a current medication.
Journal Reference:
1. Erin J. Kodis, Sophie Choi, Eric Swanson, Gonzalo Ferreira, George S. Bloom. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor–mediated calcium influx connects amyloid-β oligomers to ectopic neuronal cell cycle reentry in Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.05.017

Here is the press release from the University of Virginia:

Study: Alzheimer’s Drug May Stop Disease if Used Before Symptoms Develop
July 31, 2018
• Fariss Samarrai, farisss@virginia.edu
About 50 percent of people who reach the age of 85 will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Most will die within about five years of exhibiting the hallmark symptoms of the disease – severe memory loss and a precipitous decline in cognitive function.
But the molecular processes that lead to the disease will have begun years earlier.
Currently, there are no known ways to prevent the disease or to stop its progression once it has begun. But research at the University of Virginia offers new understanding of how the disease develops at the molecular level, long before extensive neuronal damage occurs and symptoms show up.
Additionally, the researchers have found that an FDA-approved drug, memantine, currently used only for alleviating the symptoms of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease, might be used to prevent or slow the progression of the disease if used before symptoms appear. The research also offers, based on extensive experimentation, a hypothesis as to why this might work.
The findings are published currently online in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
“Based on what we’ve learned so far, it is my opinion that we will never be able to cure Alzheimer’s disease by treating patients once they become symptomatic,” said George Bloom, a UVA professor and chair of the Department of Biology, who oversaw the study in his lab. “The best hope for conquering this disease is to first recognize patients who are at risk, and begin treating them prophylactically with new drugs and perhaps lifestyle adjustments that would reduce the rate at which the silent phase of the disease progresses.
“Ideally, we would prevent it from starting in the first place.”
As Alzheimer’s disease begins, there is a lengthy period of time, perhaps a decade or longer, when brain neurons affected by the disease attempt to divide, possibly as a way to compensate for the death of neurons. This is unusual in that most neurons develop prenatally and then never divide again. But in Alzheimer’s the cells make the attempt, and then die.
“It’s been estimated that as much as 90 percent of neuron death that occurs in the Alzheimer’s brain follows this cell cycle reentry process, which is an abnormal attempt to divide,” Bloom said. “By the end of the course of the disease, the patient will have lost about 30 percent of the neurons in the frontal lobes of the brain.”
Erin Kodis, a former Ph.D. student in Bloom’s lab and now a scientific editor at AlphaBioCom, hypothesized that excess calcium entering neurons through calcium channels on their surface drive those neurons back into the cell cycle. This occurs before a chain of events that ultimately produce the plaques
The building blocks of the plaques are a protein called amyloid beta oligomers. Kodis found that when neurons are exposed to toxic amyloid oligomers, the channel, called the NMDA receptor, opens, thus allowing the calcium flow that drives neurons back into the cell cycle.
Memantine blocks cell cycle reentry by closing the NMDA receptor, Kodis found.
“The experiments suggest that memantine might have potent disease-modifying properties if it could be administered to patients long before they have become symptomatic and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,” Bloom said. “Perhaps this could prevent the disease or slow its progression long enough that the average age of symptom onset could be significantly later, if it happens at all.”
Side effects of the drug appear to be infrequent and modest.
Bloom said potential patients would need to be screened for Alzheimer’s biomarkers years before symptoms appear. Selected patients then would need to be treated with memantine, possibly for life, in hopes of stopping the disease from ever developing, or further developing.
“I don’t want to raise false hopes,” Bloom said, but “if this idea of using memantine as a prophylactic pans out, it will be because we now understand that calcium is one of the agents that gets the disease started, and we may be able to stop or slow the process if done very early.”
Bloom currently is working with colleagues at the UVA School of Medicine to design a clinical trial to investigate the feasibility of using memantine as an early intervention.
MEDIA CONTACT
Fariss Samarrai
University News AssociateOffice of University Communications
farisss@virginia.edu (434) 924-3778

The U.S. faces a fiscal crisis in dealing with Alzheimer’s.

Here are 2017 Alzheimer’s Statistics
Alzheimer’s Care Costs
• In 2016, 15.9 million family caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours and $230 billion to people with dementia.
• In 2017, Alzheimer’s cost the United States $259 billion.
• By 2050, costs associated with dementia could be as much as $1.1 trillion.
• The global cost of Alzheimer’s and dementia is estimated to be $605 billion, which is equivalent to 1% of the entire world’s gross domestic product.
• Aggregate Cost of Care by Payer for Americans Age 65 and Older with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias: Medicare $113 Billion, Medicaid $41 Billion, Out of Pocket $44 Billion, Other $29 Billion.
Alzheimer’s in the United States
• Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
• Alzheimer’s is the only disease in the 10 leading causes of deaths in the United States that cannot be cured, prevented or slowed.
• 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s.
• Between 2017 and 2025 every state is expected to see at least a 14% rise in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s.
• There has been an 89% increase in deaths due to Alzheimer’s between 2000 and 2014.
• More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.
• By 2050, it’s estimated there will be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s.
• Every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s.
• 1 in 3 seniors dies with some form of dementia.
• When the first wave of baby boomers reaches age 85 (in 2031), it is projected that more than 3 million people age 85 and older will have Alzheimer’s.
• One-third of Americans over age 85 are afflicted with the illness.
• Typical life expectancy after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is 4-to-8 years.
• By 2050, there could be as many as 7 million people age 85 and older with Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for half (51%) of all people 65 and older with Alzheimer’s.
• Proportion of People With Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States by Age: 85+ years – 38%, 75-84 years, 44%, 65-74 years, 15%, <65 years, 4% https://www.alzheimers.net/resources/alzheimers-statistics/

Continue reading

University of Virginia study: Tell kids that middle school is not the end of life, cool kids in middle school often have problems later

4 Aug

Javier Panzar reported in the Los Angeles Times article, ‘Cool’ kids in middle school struggle in their 20s, study finds:

In the study, published Thursday in the journal Child Development, scientists tracked nearly 200 13-years-olds in the Southeastern United States for 10 years, gauging how much they valued their popularity, how important appearance was in seeking out friends and if they used drugs or had romantic relationships.
The study found that young teens who acted old for their age by sneaking into movies, forming early romantic relationships, shoplifting and basing friendships on appearance were seen by peers as popular. But as these “pseudomature” teens and their less adventurous counterparts matured, their behavior was no longer linked with popularity.
Instead, they were thought to be less socially competent by their peers and had more problems with substance abuse, said Joseph Allen, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and lead author on the study.
Allen said the average “cool” teen, by age 22, had a 45% greater rate of problems due to substance use and a 22% greater rate of criminal behavior compared with the average teen in the study.
“Teens are intimidated by these kids, and parents are intimidated because they think that these pseudomature kids are on the fast track,” Allen said in an interview Thursday with the Los Angeles Times. “These kids are on the fast track, but it’s really to a dead end.
“They are gaining the appearance of maturity, but they are not gaining actual maturity.”
Researchers suggest that these kids spend so much time trying to gain status, they don’t develop the positive social skills needed for meaningful friendships.
The study followed 86 male and 98 female middle school students for a 10-year period beginning in 1998, and it yielded some surprises, Allen said. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-cool-kids-study-20140612-story.html

Here is the University of Virginia news release:

News Updates
For Middle Schoolers, Research Shows It’s Cool Not to Be Cool
06/16/2014
New research by Youth-Nex faculty affiliate Joseph Allen shows that trying to being cool in early teens predicts more problems in early adulthood.
“According to the study, which surveyed 184 seventh- and eighth-graders and then followed up with them 10 years later, the kids who were involved in minor delinquent behaviors or precocious romance and obsessed with physical appearance and social status were much worse off in adulthood than their less “cool” friends.
Allen found that at 22 or 23 years old, these kids had 45 percent higher rates of alcohol and drug problems and 22 percent higher rates of criminal behavior; their ratings of social competency — their ability to have normal and positive relationships with others — were 24 percent lower than their peers.”
Read Study. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12250/pdf
Wall Street Journal Video: “How Long Does the ‘Cool Kid’ Effect Last?” http://live.wsj.com/video/how-long-does-the-cool-kid-effect-last/5B2198BA-501C-43CF-9EEC-7B26C0575F78.html#!5B2198BA-501C-43CF-9EEC-7B26C0575F78

New York Times, “Thirteen in Years, but 10 or 15 in Thoughts and Action” http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/thirteen-in-years-but-10-or-15-in-thoughts-and-action/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1&amp;
Other Media:

CNN Video – Cool kids study offers ‘revenge’ for nerds http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/12/living/cool-kids-study-parents-duplicate-2/

The Boston Globe, “Being a ‘cool’ kid has downside later on, study shows” http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/06/26/being-cool-kid-has-downside-later-study-shows/93xNSnbVBSxdCh5YTQgGmK/story.html

The Washington Post – The middle school ‘cool kids’ are not alright http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/06/12/the-middle-school-cool-kids-are-not-alright/

Business Insider – Researchers Figured Out What Really Happens To Cool Kids When They Grow Up http://www.businessinsider.com/being-popular-in-high-school-leads-to-problems-in-adulthood-2014-6#ixzz34o7Ix28L

Here is the news release from the Society for Research in Child Development:

12-Jun-2014
[ Print | E-mail ] Share [ Close Window ]

Contact: Hannah Klein
hklein@srcd.org
202-289-0320
Society for Research in Child Development

New study sheds light on what happens to ‘cool’ kids
Teens who tried to act cool in early adolescence were more likely than their peers who didn’t act cool to experience a range of problems in early adulthood, according to a new decade-long study. The study, by researchers at the University of Virginia, appears in the journal Child Development.
While cool teens are often idolized in popular media—in depictions ranging from James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause to Tina Fey’s Mean Girls—seeking popularity and attention by trying to act older than one’s age may not yield the expected benefits, according to the study.
Researchers followed 184 teens from age 13, when they were in seventh and eighth grades, to age 23, collecting information from the teens themselves as well as from their peers and parents. The teens attended public school in suburban and urban areas in the southeastern United States and were from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Teens who were romantically involved at an early age, engaged in delinquent activity, and placed a premium on hanging out with physically attractive peers were thought to be popular by their peers at age 13. But over time, this sentiment faded: By 22, those once-cool teens were rated by their peers as being less competent in managing social relationships. They were also more likely to have had significant problems with alcohol and drugs, and to have engaged in criminal activities, according to the study.
“It appears that while so-called cool teens’ behavior might have been linked to early popularity, over time, these teens needed more and more extreme behaviors to try to appear cool, at least to a subgroup of other teens,” says Joseph P. Allen, Hugh P. Kelly Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, who led the study. “So they became involved in more serious criminal behavior and alcohol and drug use as adolescence progressed. These previously cool teens appeared less competent—socially and otherwise—than their less cool peers by the time they reached young adulthood.”
###
The study was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Summarized from Child Development, What Ever Happened To The ‘Cool’ Kids? Long-Term Sequelae Of Early Adolescent Pseudomature Behavior by Allen, JP, Schad, MM, Oudekerk, B, and Chango, J (University of Virginia). Copyright 2014 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.
Middle school aged students are particularly vulnerable because they are in the midst of emotional and physical transitions.

Goodlettsville Middle School posted a good list of characteristics of the average middle school student:

Developmental Characteristics of Middle School Students
Intellectual Development:
Are egocentric; argue to convince, and exhibit independent, critical thought
• Face decisions that may affect long term academic values
• Are intensely curious
• Personal-social concerns dominate, academics are secondary
• Move to abstract ways of thinking which allow for:
o projection of thoughts to the future
o establishing of goals
o consideration of ideas contrary to fact
o questioning of attitudes, behaviors, and values
o ability to think about thinking and how they learn
• Prefer active over passive learning experiences and cooperative learning activities
• Enjoy learning skills to apply to real life problems and situations
Physical Development:
Concerned about their physical appearance
• Experience accelerated physical development marked by increases in weight and height
• Experience fluctuations in metabolism causing extreme restlessness and listlessness
• Mature at varying rates; girls develop physically earlier than boys
• Lack physical health and have poor level of endurance, strength, and flexibility
• Have appetites for peculiar tastes; you adolescents may overtax their digestive systems with large amounts of improper foods
Psychological Development:
Easily offended and sensitive to criticism
• Exhibit erratic emotions and behavior
• Are moody and restless; often feel self-conscious and alienated, lack self-esteem, and are introspective
• Are optimistic and hopeful
• Search for adult identity and acceptance
• Strive for a sense of individual uniqueness
• Are vulnerable to one-sided arguments
• Exaggerate simple occurrences and believe that person issues are unique to themselves
• Have an emerging sense of humor
• Have emotions that are frightening and poorly understood, often triggered by hormonal imbalances. These may cause regression to more childish behavior patterns
Social Development:
Act out unusual or drastic behavior. At times, they may be aggressive, daring, boisterous, and argumentative.
• Confused and frightened by new school settings that are large and impersonal
• Are fiercely loyal to peer group values and sometimes cruel and insensitive to those outside of the peer group
• Are rebellious toward parents, but still strongly dependent on parental values
• Negative interactions with peers, parents, and teachers may compromise ideals and commitments
• Challenge authority figures and test limits of accepted behavior
• Distrust relationships with adults who show lack of sensitivity to adolescent needs
• Use peers and media role models as sources for standards of behavior
• Sense the negative impact of adolescent behavior on parents and teachers
• Desire love and acceptance from significant adults
Moral and Ethical Development:
Ask broad unanswerable questions about the meaning of life
• Depend on influence of home and church for moral and ethical choices and behaviors
• Explore the moral and ethical issues that confront them in the curriculum, the media, and daily interactions with their families and peer groups
• Are idealistic and have a strong sense of fairness in human relationships
• Are reflective, introspective, and analytical about their thoughts and feelings
• Experience thoughts and feeling of awe and wonder related to their expanding intellectual and emotional awareness
• Face hard moral and ethical questions for which they are unprepared to cope http://www.mnps.org/Page49120.aspx

There are no perfect people, no one has a perfect life and everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, children do not come with instruction manuals, which give specific instructions about how to relate to that particular child. Further, for many situations there is no one and only way to resolve a problem. The Child Development Institute has a good article about how to help your child develop healthy self esteem. http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/self-esteem/

Resources:

Characteristics of Middle Grade Students http://pubs.cde.ca.gov/tcsii/documentlibrary/characteristicsmg.aspx

Middle School Education – Developmental Characteristics http://www.davidson.k12.nc.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=16059

The Young Adolescent Learner http://www.learner.org/workshops/middlewriting/images/pdf/W1ReadAdLearn.pdf

Traits & Characteristics of Middle School Learners http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/traits-characteristics-middle-school-learners-17814.html

Association for Middle Level Education: AMLE http://www.amle.org/

Know your students: Nature of the middle school student http://undsci.berkeley.edu/teaching/68_nature.php

NEA – Brain Development in Young Adolescents http://www.nea.org/tools/16653.htm

Emotional Development in Middle School | Education.com http://www.education.com/reference/article/emotional-development-middle-school/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

University of Chicago study: Kindergarteners are not challenged in math

5 Apr

There is a battle brewing regarding whether kindergarten should be more challenging. Moi posted in University of Virginia research: Kindergarten is the new first grade:
Children are not “mini mes” or short adults. They are children and they should have time to play, to dream, and to use their imagination. Alison Gopnik has an excellent article in Slate which reports about the results of two new studies, Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School:

In the first study, MIT professor Laura Schulz, her graduate student Elizabeth Bonawitz, and their colleagues looked at how 4-year-olds learned about a new toy with four tubes. Each tube could do something interesting: If you pulled on one tube it squeaked, if you looked inside another tube you found a hidden mirror, and so on. For one group of children, the experimenter said: “I just found this toy!” As she brought out the toy, she pulled the first tube, as if by accident, and it squeaked. She acted surprised (“Huh! Did you see that? Let me try to do that!”) and pulled the tube again to make it squeak a second time. With the other children, the experimenter acted more like a teacher. She said, “I’m going to show you how my toy works. Watch this!” and deliberately made the tube squeak. Then she left both groups of children alone to play with the toy. …
As so often happens in science, two studies from different labs, using different techniques, have simultaneously produced strikingly similar results. They provide scientific support for the intuitions many teachers have had all along: Direct instruction really can limit young children’s learning. Teaching is a very effective way to get children to learn something specific—this tube squeaks, say, or a squish then a press then a pull causes the music to play. But it also makes children less likely to discover unexpected information and to draw unexpected conclusions….
These experts in machine learning argue that learning from teachers first requires you to learn about teachers. For example, if you know how teachers work, you tend to assume that they are trying to be informative. When the teacher in the tube-toy experiment doesn’t go looking for hidden features inside the tubes, the learner unconsciously thinks: “She’s a teacher. If there were something interesting in there, she would have showed it to me.” These assumptions lead children to narrow in, and to consider just the specific information a teacher provides. Without a teacher present, children look for a much wider range of information and consider a greater range of options.
Knowing what to expect from a teacher is a really good thing, of course: It lets you get the right answers more quickly than you would otherwise. Indeed, these studies show that 4-year-olds understand how teaching works and can learn from teachers. But there is an intrinsic trade-off between that kind of learning and the more wide-ranging learning that is so natural for young children. Knowing this, it’s more important than ever to give children’s remarkable, spontaneous learning abilities free rein. That means a rich, stable, and safe world, with affectionate and supportive grown-ups, and lots of opportunities for exploration and play. Not school for babies. http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/03/why_preschool_shouldnt_be_like_school.html

In the rush to produce baby Einsteins and child prodigies, perhaps we are missing the creativity that play activities by preschoolers produces.
https://drwilda.com/2014/02/03/university-of-virginia-research-kindergarten-is-the-new-first-grade/
Admittedly, these studies deal with preschool. Still, there is a rush to require more and more structured learning earlier.

Annie Murphy Paul reported in the New York Times article, Research on Children and Math: Underestimated and Unchallenged:

We hear a lot about how American students lag behind their international peers academically, especially in subjects like math. In the most recent Program for International Student Assessment, commonly known as PISA, students in the United States ranked 26th out of 34 countries in mathematics. On the surface, it would seem that we’re a nation of math dullards; simply no good at the subject. But a spate of new research suggests that we may be underestimating our students, especially the youngest ones, in terms of their ability to think about numbers.
A study published in the April issue of the American Educational Research Journal, for example, finds that kindergarten students learn more when they are exposed to challenging content such as advanced number concepts and even addition and subtraction. In turn, elementary school students who were taught more sophisticated math as kindergarteners made bigger gains in mathematics, reported the study’s lead author, Amy Claessens of the University of Chicago.
Another study, published last year by Dr. Claessens with co-authors Mimi Engel and Maida Finch, concluded that as things stand, many children in kindergarten are being taught information they already know. The “vast majority” of kindergarteners have already mastered counting numbers and recognizing shapes before they set foot in the classroom, Dr. Claessens and her co-authors noted, yet kindergarten teachers report spending much of their math teaching time on these skills.
The students don’t gain anything from going over familiar ground: In the article published this month, Dr. Claessens and her colleagues report that pupils do not benefit from basic content coverage, but that all the kindergarteners in the study, regardless of economic background or initial skill level, did benefit from exposure to more advanced content….
Young students are ready to learn more advanced math concepts, as long as they are presented in an engaging, developmentally appropriate way. The next time we lament the performance of older American students, we could think instead about how to improve the math instruction given to their younger brothers and sisters. http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/03/research-on-children-and-math-underestimated-and-unchallenged/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

See, Study Finds That Kindergarten is Too Easy
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2014/02/kindergarten_is_too_easy.html

Citation:

A more recent version of this article was published on [04-02-2014]
Academic Content, Student Learning, and the Persistence of Preschool Effects
1. Amy Claessens
1. University of Chicago
1. Mimi Engel
2. F. Chris Curran
1. Vanderbilt University
Abstract
Little research has examined the relationship between academic content coverage in kindergarten and student achievement. Using nationally representative data, we examine the association between reading and mathematics content coverage in kindergarten and student learning, both overall and for students who attended preschool, Head Start, or participated in other child care prior to kindergarten entry. We find that all children benefit from exposure to advanced content in reading and mathematics and that students do not benefit from basic content coverage. Interestingly, this is true regardless of whether they attended preschool, began kindergarten with more advanced skills, or are from families with low income. Policy implications are discussed.
academic content
student achievement
kindergarten
preschool
Article Notes
Received November 12, 2012.
Revision received August 20, 2013.
Accepted October 13, 2013.

Here is the press release from the University of Chicago:

More challenging content in kindergarten boosts later performance
By Wen Huang
MARCH 17, 2014
Children of all economic backgrounds could score bigger gains in math and reading if teachers introduced more advanced content in kindergarten, according to a new study from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies.
When kindergarten teachers neglect advanced content, children tend to stagnate in reading performance later in elementary school, said study co-author Amy Claessens, assistant professor of public policy at Chicago Harris. Those students also gain less in mathematics than students whose kindergarten experience included more advanced content.
According to Claessens, “basic content” is defined as skills that more than half of the children entering kindergarten have mastered. If the majority of children have not yet grasped it, the content is considered to be advanced.
“There have been many studies of the effects of full-day kindergarten and reduced class size on student learning during kindergarten,” Claessens said. “But we know relatively little about the role of content coverage during the kindergarten years.”
Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort, a nationally representative sample of kindergarteners, Claessens and her co-authors, Mimi Engel and Chris Curran from Vanderbilt University, examined the reading and math content covered in kindergarten classrooms and how they relate to later changes in children’s academic achievement.
The authors also looked at whether exposure to advanced content in reading and mathematics would enable kindergarten children to maintain and extend the advantages acquired from attending preschool programs.
The results indicate that adding four more days per month on advanced topics in reading or mathematics is associated with moderate increases of test score gains.
Claessens believes changing content coverage is a potentially easy and low-cost means to improve student achievement in kindergarten and beyond, especially compared with options such as lengthening the school day or reducing class size.
“At a time when education programs are facing budget constraints, this is a more viable option,” Claessens said. “Teachers could increase their time on advanced content while reducing time on basic content, without the need to increase overall instructional time, and do so in a developmentally appropriate way for young kids.”
The paper, “Academic Content, Student Learning, and the Persistence of Preschool Effects,” was published in the American Educational Research Journal.
Tags
Amy Claessens, Chicago Harris, Early childhood, early education, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, kindergarten
Media Contact
Wen Huang
News Officer for Law, Policy and Economics
News Office, University Communications
wenh@uchicago.edu
7737025341
Reserved for members of the media.
On Topic
UChicago’s Program on Global Environment shapes national Green Restaurant certification
March 20, 2014
The University of Chicago
© 2014 The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago
Edward H. Levi Hall
5801 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637
(773) 702-1234
 Contact Us
 Feedback
 RSS Feeds
– See more at: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/03/17/more-challenging-content-kindergarten-boosts-
later-performance#sthash.zREtMpST.dpuf

Claudio Sanchez of NPR reported in the story, What The U.S. Can Learn From Finland, Where School Starts At Age 7:

Finland, a country the size of Minnesota, beats the U.S. in math, reading and science, even though Finnish children don’t start school until age 7.
Despite the late start, the vast majority arrive with solid reading and math skills. By age 15, Finnish students outperform all but a few countries on international assessments…. http://www.npr.org/2014/03/08/287255411/what-the-u-s-can-learn-from-finland-where-school-starts-at-age-7

We must not so over-schedule children that they have no time to play and to dream.

Related:

‘Redshirting’ kindergarteners
https://drwilda.com/tag/redshirting-holding-kids-back-from-kindergarten/

The state of preschool education is dire
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-state-of-preschool-education-is-dire/

The ‘whole child’ approach to education
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
http://drwilda.com

University of Virginia research: Kindergarten is the new first grade

3 Feb

Children are not “mini mes” or short adults. They are children and they should have time to play, to dream, and to use their imagination. Alison Gopnik has an excellent article in Slate which reports about the results of two new studies, Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School:

In the first study, MIT professor Laura Schulz, her graduate student Elizabeth Bonawitz, and their colleagues looked at how 4-year-olds learned about a new toy with four tubes. Each tube could do something interesting: If you pulled on one tube it squeaked, if you looked inside another tube you found a hidden mirror, and so on. For one group of children, the experimenter said: “I just found this toy!” As she brought out the toy, she pulled the first tube, as if by accident, and it squeaked. She acted surprised (“Huh! Did you see that? Let me try to do that!”) and pulled the tube again to make it squeak a second time. With the other children, the experimenter acted more like a teacher. She said, “I’m going to show you how my toy works. Watch this!” and deliberately made the tube squeak. Then she left both groups of children alone to play with the toy. …
As so often happens in science, two studies from different labs, using different techniques, have simultaneously produced strikingly similar results. They provide scientific support for the intuitions many teachers have had all along: Direct instruction really can limit young children’s learning. Teaching is a very effective way to get children to learn something specific—this tube squeaks, say, or a squish then a press then a pull causes the music to play. But it also makes children less likely to discover unexpected information and to draw unexpected conclusions….
These experts in machine learning argue that learning from teachers first requires you to learn about teachers. For example, if you know how teachers work, you tend to assume that they are trying to be informative. When the teacher in the tube-toy experiment doesn’t go looking for hidden features inside the tubes, the learner unconsciously thinks: “She’s a teacher. If there were something interesting in there, she would have showed it to me.” These assumptions lead children to narrow in, and to consider just the specific information a teacher provides. Without a teacher present, children look for a much wider range of information and consider a greater range of options.
Knowing what to expect from a teacher is a really good thing, of course: It lets you get the right answers more quickly than you would otherwise. Indeed, these studies show that 4-year-olds understand how teaching works and can learn from teachers. But there is an intrinsic trade-off between that kind of learning and the more wide-ranging learning that is so natural for young children. Knowing this, it’s more important than ever to give children’s remarkable, spontaneous learning abilities free rein. That means a rich, stable, and safe world, with affectionate and supportive grown-ups, and lots of opportunities for exploration and play. Not school for babies. http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/03/why_preschool_shouldnt_be_like_school.html

In the rush to produce baby Einsteins and child prodigies, perhaps we are missing the creativity that play activities by preschoolers produces.

Sarah D. Sparks reported in the Education Week article, Is Kindergarten the New First Grade? Researchers Say Yes:

The days when kindergarten focused on playing and finger painting may be waning, as early-learning classrooms devote significantly more attention to preparing students to read, according to a new University of Virginia study.
From 1998 to 2006, kindergarten teachers reported devoting 25 percent more time to teaching early literacy, from 5.5 hours to seven hours per week, according to the working paper by Daphna Bassok, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Anna Rorem, a policy associate at the university’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
The researchers analyzed changes over time in teacher expectations, curriculum, and students’ time on task using data from the federal Early Childhood Longitudinal Study.
Though the overall time for kindergarten has increased since the late 1990s, with 75 percent of kindergartners now attending full-day classes—up from 56 percent in 1998—the researchers found that time devoted to mathematics flatlined and time for all other non-literacy subjects decreased: Kindergartners today now spend as much time on reading and language arts as they do on mathematics, science, social studies, music, and art combined.Time for the last four subjects dropped by 30 minutes per week for each of those subjects except for math.The percentage of teachers who reported their students never received physical education more than tripled, from 14 percent to 45 percent (and as the mother of a young son, I don’t even want to think about a class of 5-year-olds who don’t get their wriggles worn out regularly).

This change in curriiculum is particularly interesting considering that these data sets counted an integrated activity—say, a science experiment that included reading—for both subjects. So why the focus on reading to the exclusion of other topics?
Other findings suggest federal, state, and district accountabilty pressures and state initiatives to “read on grade level by 3rd grade” may have narrowed the focus. Bassok and Rorem found that the number of early-education teachers who believe students should begin learning to read in kindergarten more than doubled from 1998 to 2006, from 31 percent in 1998 to 65 percent in 2006. The teachers also became more likely to teach spelling and use standardized assessments in kindergarten, they found.
What I find telling is that, while kindergarten teachers became more and more likely to consider academic skills like knowing the alphabet, colors, and shapes vital for students to learn in the earliest grades, they still rated them as less crucial than skills associated with self-regulation—following directions, sitting still, and completing tasks, for example. As the entry point to school, kindergarten is still the place where children are learning to raise their hands and color inside the lines. Yet as more students attend preschool at ages 2, 3, and 4, academic expectations for kindergarten may continue to rise, increasing the potential for school-readiness gaps at ever younger ages….
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2014/01/is_kindergarten_the_new_first.html?intc=es

Here is the press release from the University of Virginia:

U.Va. Researchers Find that Kindergarten Is the New First Grade
January 29, 2014
Audrey Breen
Kindergarten classrooms nationwide have changed dramatically since the late 1990s and nearly all of these changes are in the direction of a heightened focus on academics, particularly literacy, according to researchers from EdPolicyWorks, the center on education policy and workforce competitiveness at the University of Virginia.
In a working paper titled “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade? The Changing Nature of Kindergarten in the Age of Accountability,” U.Va. researchers Daphna Bassok and Anna Rorem posit that increased emphasis on accountability led to meaningful changes in the kindergartener experience.
“In less than a decade we’ve seen the kindergarten experience essentially transformed,” said Bassok, assistant professor at the Curry School of Education. “Academic skill-building has really taken center stage in today’s kindergarten classrooms, in a way that just wasn’t the case” before the late 1990s.
The study by Bassok and Rorem, a policy associate at U.Va.’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service,, uses two large nationally representative datasets to track changes in kindergarten classrooms between 1998 and 2006. It shows that in 1998, 31 percent of kindergarten teachers indicated that most children should learn to read while in kindergarten. By 2006, 65 percent of teachers agreed with this statement. To accommodate this new reality, classroom time spent on literacy rose by 25 percent, from roughly 5.5 to seven hours per week.
Bassok said that, done correctly, this increased focus on academics could be helpful. “Young children are curious, enthusiastic learners, with immense potential. There are ways to teach early literacy and math content to young learners so that it’s engaging, fun and really helps them get a head start.”
But the increased emphasis on literacy may have a cost. As teachers spend more time and attention on academic content, time centered on play, exploration and social interactions may drop.
“It certainly doesn’t have to be an ‘either/or’ scenario, where academics crowd out everything else,” Bassok said, “but I worry that in practice, this is what is happening in many classrooms.”
Over the last decade, both media and research accounts have suggested that kindergarten classrooms were increasingly characterized by mounting homework demands, worksheets, pressure to learn to read as early as possible, and heightened levels of stress. Bassok’s and Rorem’s study is [db1] the first that provides nationally representative empirical evidence about the actual changes.
“We went into this project expecting to see some change over time,” Bassok said. “What was surprising to us was to see substantial changes in the kindergarten experience along essentially every dimension. And the magnitude of these changes was striking.”
The study focused on four dimensions: Teacher beliefs about school readiness and kindergarten learning, how teachers used their time during daily activities, what specific curricular content was covered and kindergarten teachers’ views about assessments.
Teachers’ expectations for their kindergarten students escalated rapidly. Between 1998 and 2006, the percentage of teachers who indicated that incoming kindergarteners need to know most of the letters or count to 20 doubled. Teachers also increasingly believe that children who begin formal reading and math instruction before kindergarten will do better in elementary school.
Over the time period analyzed in the study, teachers reported spending 25 percent more time on reading and language arts. Time spent on all other subjects decreased.
“We saw meaningful drops in time spent on physical education, art, music, science and social studies, which was really striking given that far more children now attend full-day kindergarten so, at least in theory, there should be more time available for all sorts of learning experiences,” Bassok said.
In fact, the data show that kindergarteners in 2006 spent as much time on reading and language arts as they did on mathematics, science, social studies, music and art combined. The number of kindergarten teachers who reported their students never have physical education also doubled over this period[P2] .
Physical activity and play are particularly important for kindergarten students, Rorem said.
“Playtime has been part of the kindergarten classroom since its beginnings,” Rorem said. “In fact, Freidrich Froebel, who helped make kindergarten popular in the United States, is said to have thought of play as ‘highly serious.’ Today, some research suggests that time for play and physical activity is beneficial for kids not only in its own right, but also as it helps them ’reset’ their attention spans.”
Bassok and Rorem reviewed teachers’ responses to 15 specific curricular elements of English language arts skills. The percentage of teachers reporting they taught a particular literacy skill every day went up for all 15 items considered.
Teachers were also asked specifically about language arts skills that in 1998 were considered “advanced” and taught in a later grade, such as composing and writing complete sentences, conventionally spelling and composing and writing stories with an understandable beginning, middle and end. By 2006, teaching each of these skills in kindergarten was much more commonplace. For example, in 1998, 45 percent of teachers said they never taught students “conventional spelling” because it was an advanced concept taught in later grades; this figure fell to 13 percent in the later period. The percentage who said they taught conventional spelling every day doubled from 18 percent to 36 percent.
The final dimension was how teachers’ views about assessment have changed over time. In the study, the researchers found that teachers who considered a child’s achievement relative to local, state or professional standards “very important” or “essential” rose from 57 percent to 76 percent.
Strikingly, kindergarten teachers in 2006 reported using standardized tests in their classrooms far more than even first-grade teachers did in the pre-accountability years. While a quarter of kindergarten teachers in 2006 reported using standardized tests at least once a month, in 1999, only 11 percent of first-grade teachers used these tests so often.
Kindergarten classrooms, at least traditionally, have included much broader goals beyond teaching reading and math skills, according to Bassok. Children were learning how to share and navigate friendships, how to cooperate but also how to be confident and self-sufficient.
“We know that these early social skills are important predictors of students’ learning trajectories,” Bassok said. “So our worry is that if done inappropriately, the focus on academics may have really pushed these other kind of learning opportunities aside.”
Bassok, who is currently studying the possible drivers for these shifts, believes that one key candidate is the introduction of No Child Left Behind, which was signed into law in 2002.
“Since the introduction of NCLB, there has been a greater focus on high-stakes assessments in literacy and math,” Bassok said. “There are many anecdotal accounts of a ‘trickling down’ of intense accountability pressures from the tested grades – beginning in grade three – down to lower elementary grades, including kindergarten and even preschool.”
Another likely factor, according to Bassok, is changes over this period in early childhood experiences before school entry.
“With our increased awareness of the importance of early childhood education, we have way more children attending preschool, and we have parents, particularly middle- and high-income families, investing in their young children’s early education in a way that likely wasn’t the case two decades ago. Children are exposed to academic content earlier than they used to be and, in part, kindergarten teachers may be responding to these changes.”
EdPolicyWorks is a joint collaboration between the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy that seeks to bring together researchers from across the University and the state to focus on important questions of educational policy and the competitiveness of labor in an era of globalization.
About the Author
Audrey Breen
Director of Communications
Curry School of Education
audreybreen@virginia.edu
434-924-0809
Media Contact:
Audrey Breen
Director of Communications
Curry School of Education
audreybreen@virginia.edu
434-924-0809

We must not so over-schedule children that they have no time to play and to dream.

Related:

‘Redshirting’ kindergarteners https://drwilda.com/tag/redshirting-holding-kids-back-from-kindergarten/

The state of preschool education is dire
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-state-of-preschool-education-is-dire/

The ‘whole child’ approach to education
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
http://drwilda.com

University of Virginia study: Child-care ratings are often not connected to learning outcomes

19 Sep

Child-care and preschool apparently fall into the category of we know good child-care when we see the effect. The National Network for Child Care says in INGREDIENTS FOR QUALITY CHILD CARE:

ENVIRONMENT
A quality environment is well planned and invites children to learn and grow. Centers and family day care homes that had a “neat, clean, orderly physical setting, organized into activity areas and oriented to the child’s activity” were found to have good child development (Clarke-Stewart, 1987, p. 113). Most states require 36 square feet of room per child for indoor areas, while 100 square feet per child is recommended outside (Gotts, 1988). There should be enough materials and equipment available that are developmentally appropriate for children of different age levels. Activities planned by the caregivers must also be developmentally appropriate and allow for imaginative play. Play opportunities that enhance children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development are another indicator of high quality programs (Bridgman, 1988). Children need to be given time to play and explore using concrete materials in order to enhance their natural curiosity and intellectual development.
http://www.nncc.org/Choose.Quality.Care/ingredients.html

A University of Virginia study finds that many rating systems don’t aid in finding quality child-care.

Christine A. Samuels reported in the Education Week article, Child-Care Rating Systems Earn Few Stars in Study: Tool said to fall short in predicting quality:

A new study on child-care rating systems appears to bolster concerns among some in the early-learning field that the ratings generated by those systems are only tenuously connected to learning outcomes.
The researchers, who were from several universities, found that children attending highly rated pre-K programs did not have significantly better results in math, prereading, language, and social skills when they finished the programs, compared with the children attending lower-rated programs.
The findings, published last month in the journal Science, could have implications for states as they work to tie their ratings to real-world outcomes.
Researchers were studying “quality rating and improvement systems.” As a result of federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants, funding from states, and foundation support, nearly every state has or is creating such a system, known by the shorthand QRIS. About 13,000 child-care programs in 20 states have been rated through a QRIS. Most of the systems use symbols such as stars to represent levels of quality. But those systems draw in so many elements that a center’s rank may end up with a distant connection to teacher-child interactions, which are known to be a strong predictor of how well children do in preschool and afterward, said Terri J. Sabol, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University and the study’s lead author.
“My biggest take-away is that states need to simplify their rating systems,” Ms. Sabol said in an interview. “There’s something really appealing about having these five-star systems, but that comes at a cost because those stars don’t mean a lot for child outcomes.”
Gladys Wilson, the president and CEO of Qualistar Colorado, an organization that rates child-care centers in that state, said the rating system has had the benefit of providing a clear path to continuous improvement for care providers. The “improvement” aspect of a QRIS is as important as the ratings themselves, she said.
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/09/11/03qris.h33.html?tkn=QZLFll1p9rMj4VpPniesUSGJQda2jpD5ew2V&cmp=clp-edweek

Citation:

Can Rating Pre-K Programs Predict Children’s Learning?
1. T. J. Sabol1,*,
2. S. L. Soliday Hong2,
3. R. C. Pianta3,
4. M. R. Burchinal2
+ Author Affiliations
1. 1Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
2. 2Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
3. 3Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.
1. ↵*Corresponding author: terri.sabol@northwestern.edu
Summary
Early childhood education programs [e.g., prekindergarten (pre-K)]—characterized by stimulating and supportive teacher-child interactions in enriched classroom settings—promote children’s learning and school readiness (1–3). But in the United States, most children, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, attend programs that may not be of sufficient quality to improve readiness for school success (4). States are adopting Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRISs) as a market-based approach for improving early education, but few states have evaluated the extent to which their QRIS relates to child outcomes. We studied the ability of several QRISs to distinguish among meaningful differences in quality that support learning.

See, Child-Care Quality Rating and Improvement Systems in Five States http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG795.pdf

Here is the press release from the University of Virginia:

States’ Methods for Rating Preschool Quality Fail to Predict Children’s Readiness for Kindergarten
Published on 08/22/13, in News [1] » Press Releases [2]
Website Addresses Used in the Document
1. http://curry.virginia.edu/news
2. http://curry.virginia.edu/press-releases
3. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6148/845.summary
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug. 22, 2013 — According to findings published today in the journal Science [3], publicly funded pre-kindergarten classrooms that received the highest marks in quality rating systems used by the majority of states are no better at fostering children’s school readiness than classrooms with lower ratings.
However, researchers at the University of Virginia, Northwestern University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill isolated one factor of the many used in the rating systems that did make a difference in school readiness: the quality of teacher-student interactions.
Preschool ClassEven before President Obama promised to work with states to “make high-quality preschool available to every child in America” during his February 2013 State of the Union Address, national debate was taking place to accurately define “high-quality preschool.”
“A primary purpose of preschool is to advance children’s learning and development in preparation for kindergarten; this is especially true for disadvantaged children who are mostly served by publicly funded programs,” said Robert Pianta, dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and founding director of U.Va.’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. “Yet these findings demonstrate that current program quality evaluation models don’t predict the very thing that public pre-K programs are being designed and funded to produce.”
The paper, “Can Policy-Relevant Ratings of Pre-K Programs Predict Children’s Learning?” is co-written by Pianta; Terri J. Sabol, postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern; Sandra L. Soliday Hong, postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina; and Margaret R. Burchinal, senior scientist at the University of North Carolina.
These researchers used data from two studies of nearly 3,000 children in 703 state-funded pre-kindergarten classrooms from nine states, representing a variety of pre-kindergarten models in use across the United States. Using this data set, investigators calculated the extent to which various features of program quality included in each of nine different states’ Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, or QRIS, actually predicted children’s readiness for kindergarten at the end of their year in pre-K.
A Quality Rating and Improvement System is a method for collecting and compiling information on program features presumed to measure program quality. Higher ratings should equal higher quality. To the extent that enrollment in high-quality pre-K programs is a means of fostering children’s success in school, then children attending higher-rated programs should perform better on measures of kindergarten readiness. To determine readiness, children’s learning and development were evaluated by assessing gains in academic skills, language skills, social skills and problem behaviors in the pre-kindergarten year.
The researchers selected the five most commonly used measures of quality used in multiple states’ QRIS: staff qualifications, physical environment, class size,teacher-child ratio and qualities of interactions between teachers and children. They combined these indicators to calculate overall quality ratings using formulas from the QRIS systems used in nine states.
Results demonstrated that whether a child was enrolled in a highly rated program was unrelated to their gains in learning during pre-K or their readiness to begin kindergarten.
While the aggregate ratings, with many measures, didn’t predict children’s learning, the researchers were able to pinpoint a single measure that would identify quality pre-K classrooms and consequently, which students would learn more.
“Children who were in classrooms with higher ratings based on observed interactions between teachers and students were more prepared for kindergarten,” Sabol said.
This study suggests that states ought to make changes in the ways they rate the quality of pre-K programs. Rating systems should focus on rating the quality of teacher-child interaction in order to assess and improve the components that matter most for children’s learning, Sabol said.
“Quality pre-K education can make a real difference for children,” Pianta said. “Yet when we measure program quality, we must focus on the features that actually make that difference for children. The major policy models being used for evaluation relate neither to children’s learning gains in the pre-K year nor to school readiness. Of all the features of preschool programs that can be measured, observations of teacher-child interactions may be most valuable.”
Website Addresses Used in the Document
1. http://curry.virginia.edu/news
2. http://curry.virginia.edu/press-releases
3. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6148/845.summary

Your toddler not only needs food for their body and appropriate physical activity, but you need to nourish their mind and spirit as well.
There are several good articles which explain why you do not want your toddler parked in front of a television several hours each day. Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE has a very good explanation of how television can be used as a resource by distinguishing between television watching and targeting viewing of specific programs designed to enhance learning. In Should Babies and Toddlers Watch Television? Weiss comments about the effects of young children and television. MSNBC was reporting about toddlers and television in 2004. http://pregnancy.about.com/od/yourbaby/a/babiesandtv.htm

In the MSNBC report, Watching TV May Hurt Toddlers’ Attention Spans the following comments were made:

Researchers have found that every hour preschoolers watch television each day boosts their chances — by about 10 percent — of developing attention deficit problems later in life.
The findings back up previous research showing that television can shorten attention spans and support American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that youngsters under age 2 not watch television.
“The truth is there are lots of reasons for children not to watch television. Other studies have shown it to be associated with obesity and aggressiveness” too, said lead author Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a researcher at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle.
The issue is whether prolonged television watching affects a child’s brain development. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4664749

See, How to Have a Happier, Healthier, Smarter Baby http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/childrens-health/articles/2010/10/19/how-to-have-a-happier-healthier-smarter-baby

Parents and caregivers must interact with their children and read to them. Television is not a parental substitute.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©
Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/