Measures of classroom quality in prekindergarten and children's development of academic, language, and social skills

Child Dev. 2008 May-Jun;79(3):732-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01154.x.


This study examined development of academic, language, and social skills among 4-year-olds in publicly supported prekindergarten (pre-K) programs in relation to 3 methods of measuring pre-K quality, which are as follows: (a) adherence to 9 standards of quality related to program infrastructure and design, (b) observations of the overall quality of classroom environments, and (c) observations of teachers' emotional and instructional interactions with children in classrooms. Participants were 2,439 children enrolled in 671 pre-K classrooms in 11 states. Adjusting for prior skill levels, child and family characteristics, program characteristics, and state, teachers' instructional interactions predicted academic and language skills and teachers' emotional interactions predicted teacher-reported social skills. Findings suggest that policies, program development, and professional development efforts that improve teacher-child interactions can facilitate children's school readiness.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Language Development*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychology, Child
  • Public Sector
  • Schools / standards*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Environment
  • Teaching / standards*
  • United States