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Head Start Classrooms and Children’s School Readiness Benefit from Teachers’ Qualifications and Ongoing Training
Faculty Publications from Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools
  • Seung-Hee Claire Son, University of Utah
  • Kyong-Ah Kwon, Georgia State University
  • Hyun-Joo Jeon, University of Nevada - Reno
  • Soo-Young Hong, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Soo-Young Hong

Date of this Version

Child and Youth Care Forum (2013). DOI: 10.1007/s10566-013-9213-2.


Copyright 2013, Springer Science+Business Media. Used by permission.


Background Teacher qualifications have been emphasized as a basis of professional development to improve classroom practices for at-risk children’s school readiness. However, teacher qualifications have often not been compared to another form of professional development, in-service training.

Objective The current study attempts to investigate contributions of multiple types of professional development to school readiness skills of low-income preschoolers. Specifically, we examined the significance of teachers’ education level, degree, teaching certificate, teaching experiences as well as specialized in-service training and coaching support as these teacher trainings are linked to preschoolers’ school readiness through proximal classroom practices.

Method We used a multi-level path analysis to examine multiple pathways from teachers’ professional development to classroom environments and school readiness with Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2003 (N = 2,159).

Results Teachers with an early childhood education major provided higher-quality provision for learning and social-emotional practices in the classroom; teachers who received coaching provided higher-quality social-emotional and parent involvement practices. Further, children in higher-quality social-emotional classrooms had better math skills, social skills and learning behaviors; children in the classrooms with higher-quality parent involvement practices had higher receptive vocabulary and parent-reported social skills and positive approaches to learning.

Conclusions Along with early childhood education degree, ongoing coaching support would work effectively, improving classroom environments and a broad array of school readiness skills of at-risk children.

Citation Information
Seung-Hee Claire Son, Kyong-Ah Kwon, Hyun-Joo Jeon and Soo-Young Hong. "Head Start Classrooms and Children’s School Readiness Benefit from Teachers’ Qualifications and Ongoing Training" (2013)
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