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Professor Kathy Sylva University of Oxford School of Education University of Edinburgh 7 th June 2011 The effects of early experiences at home and pre-school.

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Presentation on theme: "Professor Kathy Sylva University of Oxford School of Education University of Edinburgh 7 th June 2011 The effects of early experiences at home and pre-school."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professor Kathy Sylva University of Oxford School of Education University of Edinburgh 7 th June 2011 The effects of early experiences at home and pre-school on learning how to learn

2 The EPPE/EPPSE Team Principal Investigators: Kathy Sylva Department of Education, University of Oxford Edward Melhuish Birkbeck, University of London Pam Sammons Department of Education, University of Oxford Iram Siraj-Blatchford Institute of Education, University of London Brenda Taggart Institute of Education, University of London

3 An educational effectiveness approach: fixed effects The EPPE Project has shown the contribution of families and educational settings to children’s developmental progress 3–11 years. It uses an educational or school effectiveness design which investigates ‘natural’ variation using multi-level modelling (pupil and class/school level)

4  Six local authorities strategically selected in England  141 pre-school centres randomly selected within the authorities to include: playgroups, nursery classes, private day nurseries, day care centres run by local authorities, nursery schools and integrated centres  2800 randomly selected children from 141 centres; 300 from home  Linked study of 800 children in Northern Ireland; ‘strength of replication’ The EPPE Sample

5 EPPE has an ‘educational effectiveness’ design which includes both:  Quantitative (led by Sammons) (comparisons of outcomes taking account of child, family and home environment) and  Qualitative methods (led by Siraj-Blatchford) (detailed case studies of ‘effective’ settings). The EPPE Mixed Method Design

6 25 nursery classes 590 children 34 playgroups 610 children 31 private day nurseries 520 children 20 nursery schools 520 children 7 integrated centres 190 children 24 local authority day care nurseries 430 children home 310 children Design of EPPE 3-11: 6 LA, 141 pre-schools, 3,000 children Reception Yr 1Yr 2 Pre-school Provision (3+ yrs) Key Stage Schools Yr 5 Yr 6 Key Stage Schools

7 Neighbourhood The Developing Child Family Settings Cultural context Immediate environment Social and economic context Bronfenbrenner’s model of human development

8 Different influences on child outcomes Child Factors Family Factors Home- Learning- Environment Cognitive outcomes: English & maths Social/Behavioural: Self Regulation Likes to work things out for self Pro-social Considerate of others feelings Hyperactivity Restless, cannot stay still for long Anti-social Has been in trouble with the law Primary School Pre-School Secondary School

9 Sources of data  Child assessments over time  Child/Family background information, e.g., SES, birthweight  Interviews with all parents  Case studies of settings and also of children who were ‘resilient’  Observation rating scales

10 Gender + Attainment at age 10 Multiple disadvantage + Attainment

11 Early Years Home Learning Environment (HLE at ages 3-4 years) HLE index constructed (Melhuish, 2001), measuring frequency of the following activities: 1. Reading with child 2. Painting and drawing 3. Library visits 4. Playing with letters/numbers 5. Teaching alphabet 6. Playing or teaching numbers/shapes 7. Playing with songs/nursery rhymes HLE index related to children’s BAS scores, measures of socio-economic status and educational qualifications of parents.

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13 Qualitative case studies (Iram Siraj- Blatchford, in press) on resilient children were carried out across the study

14 Excerpts from parents of a resilient child from an ethnic minority background Daniella’s Father: We did our best because it was always when [Daniella] was born I was a bus driver so I was always there swapping shifts to be at home in the evenings and if I wasn’t there the mum was always there so we feel we’ve done well. Daniella’s Mother: I did most of the thing but if I am at work then she would do it in the evenings. Most times I always try, he will be there and sit down with them, if I am in the kitchen, you know, he will help them out with their studies and reading and stuff. And when I am free I will join in as well.

15 Excerpt from a working class girl Lorraine: I didn’t know the sounds of the letters, I knew how to say them, like ABC, but not “a”, “buh”, “cuh”, because that’s what they were teaching then, that’s what the pre- school tried to teach me, but my mum had taught me the ABC, so I had to get used to a totally new thing.

16 And … attainment is only half the story Not only may the experience at home provide something not readily available in school but also it seems that the skills involved apply as much to the process of attention, perseverance, task performance and work organisation as to particular areas of knowledge. Learning how to learn may be as important as the specifics of what is learned. (Rutter, 1985)

17 ECERS-R  Based on observation  7 sub-scales:  Space and furnishings  Personal care routines  Language reasoning  Activities  Interaction  Programme structure  Parents and staff  Harms, Clifford & Cryer (1998) ECERS-E  Based on observation  4 sub-scales:  Literacy  Mathematics  Science and environment  Diversity  Sylva, Siraj-Blatchford & Taggart (2010) Two Early Childhood Environment Rating Scales

18 Example ECERS-R item: Greeting/departing (Personal Care Routines) InadequateMinimalGoodExcellent Greeting of children is often neglected 3.1 Most children greeted warmly (Ex. staff seem pleased to see children, smile, use pleasant tone of voice) 5.1 Each child is greeted individually (Ex. staff say “hello” and use child’s name; use child’s primary language spoken at home to say “hello”) 7.1 When they arrive, children are helped to become involved in activities, if needed 1.2 Departure is not well organised 3.2 Departure well organised (Ex. children’s things reading to go) 5.2 Pleasant departure (Ex. children not rushed, hugs and good-byes for everyone) 7.2 Children busily involved until departure (Ex. no long waiting without activity; allowed to come to comfortable stopping point in play) 1.3 Parents not allowed to bring children into the classroom 3.3 Parents allowed to bring children into the classroom 5.3 Parents greeted warmly by staff 7.3 Staff use greeting and departure as information sharing time with parents

19 Example ECERS-E item: Sounds in words (Literacy) InadequateMinimalGoodExcellent Few or no rhymes or poems are spoken or sung 3.1 Rhymes are often spoken or sung by adults to children 5.1 The rhyming components of songs or rhymes are brought to the attention of children 7.1 Attention is paid to syllabification of words (Ex. through clapping games, jumping) 3.2 Children are encouraged to speak and/or sing rhymes 5.2 The initial sounds in words are brought to the attention of children 7.2 Some attention is given to linking sounds to letters

20 Example ECERS-E item: Food preparation (Science) InadequateMinimalGoodExcellent No preparation of food/drink is undertaken in front of children 3.1 Food preparation is undertaken by staff in front of the children 5.1 Food preparation / cooking activities are provided regularly 7.1 A variety of cooking activities in which all children may take part are provided regularly 3.2 Some children can choose to participate in food preparation 5.2 Most of the children have the opportunity to participate in food preparation 7.2 The ingredients are attractive and the end result is edible and appreciated 3.3 Some food-related discussion takes place where appropriate 5.3 The staff lead discussion about the food involved and use appropriate language 7.3 The staff lead and encourage discussion on the process of food preparation and/or question children about it 5.4 Children are encouraged to use more than one sense (feel, smell, taste) to explore raw ingredients

21 ECERS-E subscales by manager qualification

22 The impact of pre-school pedagogical quality (ECERS-E) on English and Mathematics in Year 6

23 There is no effect of the ECERS-R on English or Mathematics at age 11 Effects of the ECERS-R on academic attainment

24 The social behavioural outcomes (Goodman scale extended) Hyperactivity e.g. Restless, overactive, cannot stay still for long’ Self regulation e.g. ‘Likes to work out things for self’ Pro-social behaviour e.g. ‘Considerate of other people’s feelings’ Antisocial behaviour e.g. ‘Has been in trouble with the law’

25 The impact of pre-school quality (ECERS-R and ECERS-E) on self-regulation at age 11

26 The impact of pre-school quality (ECERS-R and ECERS-E) on anti-social behaviour at age 11

27 The combined impact of pre-school quality and HLE on Mathematics attainment

28 Summary of Value-added model predicting academic progress in English from Years 2-6 ComparatorExperimental GroupCoefsezSigESSig English Year 2Continuous Variable Gender: BoysGender: Girls * Ethnicity: U.K. White Heritage White European heritage Black Caribbean heritage Black African heritage Any other ethnic minority heritage Indian heritage Pakistani heritage Bangladeshi heritage * Mixed race heritage * Family Socio Economic Status: Highest Other professional non manual Skilled non manual Skilled manual * Semi skilled Unskilled Unemployed: not working * Missing Mother’s Educational Qualification: None Missing Vocational * 16 academic academic Degree or equivalent * Higher degree Other professional * Early Years Home Learning Index: Lowest Missing * Key Stage 1 Home Learning Environment: Computers: High: Missing Low * Low - Moderate Moderate-High Low Low - Moderate Moderate-High *Statistically significant at (Only the significant variables are shown.)

29 The net effect of pre-school quality on academic progress in English at Key Stage 2

30 Representation of mediated effects upon literacy and numeracy Early Years HLE 3+ Pre-school Effectiveness 3-5 years Literacy ages 7, 11, 14 Numeracy ages 7, 11, 14 Self-regulation at age 5

31 Quality fosters capacity for learning how to learn  Pre-school attendance alone (irrespective of quality or effectiveness) was associated with better attainment in English and Mathematics during Primary school, but this did not translate into a predictor of better progress in either subject.  However, there was evidence of the importance of pre-school quality for progress: for English and Maths, children who attended high quality pre- schools made greater progress between Years 2 and 6 than ‘home’ children.  This suggests that quality pre-school experience not only provides children with an initial boost to attainment levels at school entry, but also helps promote progress (possibly by fostering children’s capacity to learn and their motivation).

32 Harms. T., Clifford, R. M., & Cryer, D. (1998). Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale Revised Edition (ECERS-R). New York: Teachers’ College Press. Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2010). Early Childhood Matters: Evidence from the Effective Pre-school and Primary Education Project. Oxford: Routledge. Sylva, K., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2003, Second Edition 2010). Assessing quality in the early years. Trentham Books. EPPSE Project Families, Early Learning and Literacy (FELL) research group


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