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Teacher Qualifications, Instructional Practices, and Reading and Mathematics Gains of Kindergartners

Abstract

"This report uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) to explore relationships between kindergarten teachers' reports of their qualifications and instructional practices and direct assessments of children's reading and mathematics achievement during the kindergarten year. The study estimates the degree to which specific aspects of teacher training--the teaching credential and coursework in pedagogy--and teaching experience were associated with student achievement. In addition, the study identified teacher-reported instructional practices associated with student achievement gains and examined the qualifications of teachers and aspects of teacher training that were related to the use of these practices. Spending more time on subject and working within a full-day kindergarten structure were found to be associated with relatively large gains in achievement. Also, certain teacher background variables--particularly the self-reported amount of coursework in methods of teaching reading and mathematics--were positively related to the teacher-reported frequency of various instructional practices that in turn were associated with higher achievement."

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