Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Teacher quality important for at-risk children

14.09.2005


Take a young child at high risk of doing poorly in the elementary school years, put him or her in a classroom with a great teacher, and that child will do just as well as children who have no such risks. This finding, published in the September/October issue of the journal Child Development, provides important evidence that the quality of everyday experiences in schools can greatly reduce children’s academic and social problems, even closing gaps between children of varying demographic, experiential and developmental backgrounds in the early school years.



Researchers from the University of Virginia used data from a large, national prospective study of children and families to examine whether exposing children at risk of early school failure to high levels of instructional and emotional support in first grade resulted in higher achievement and lower levels of conflict with teachers.

A critical component of this study was that researchers examined naturally occurring variation in everyday classroom interactions rather than an intervention designed to improve classroom interactions. Thus, their findings have implications for every school across the nation.


Researchers identified two groups of at-risk children: those whose mothers had less than a four-year college degree and those who displayed significant behavioral, social and/or academic problems in kindergarten. The at-risk groups were behind their peers in early achievement at age 4, fell further behind their low-risk peers by first grade, and had higher levels of conflict with first-grade teachers.

Yet not all children in these two categories of early risk for school problems displayed academic or relational problems in first grade. If placed in classrooms offering low instructional quality, children whose mothers had lower levels of education had poorer achievement than their peers who had more educated mothers.

However, in classrooms offering higher instructional quality, children with less-well-educated mothers achieved at the same level as those with mothers with a college degree. An when children displaying difficulties in kindergarten were placed in emotionally supportive first-grade classrooms, they showed achievement and adjustment levels identical to children who had no history of problems in kindergarten.

"These findings provide evidence of the potential for everyday experiences in schools to greatly reduce children’s academic and social problems--to close gaps in the early school years," said Bridget K. Hamre, Ph.D., research scientist at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia. "They support school reforms aimed at improving teacher quality but only when such efforts focus on the actual instructional and social-emotional interactions that take place in classrooms."

"Unfortunately, classroom quality is highly varied and overall rather mediocre," she noted, "and few children are consistently exposed to high quality from year to year, even within the same school. If children are not systematically exposed to high levels of classroom support across time, the effects of such positive placements are likely to be short-lived."

Andrea Browning | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.srcd.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>