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Preschool Enrollment, Classroom Instruction, Elementary School Context, and the Reading Achievement of Children from Low-Income Families

Family Environments, School Resources, and Educational Outcomes

ISBN: 978-1-78441-628-7, eISBN: 978-1-78441-627-0

ISSN: 1479-3539

Publication date: 28 June 2016

Abstract

Applying sociological and developmental theoretical perspectives to educational policy issues, this study analyzed data from 7,710 children from low-income families in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort. The goal was to examine how much the association between phonics instruction in kindergarten classrooms and children’s reading achievement during the first year of school in the low-income population would depend on whether children had previously attended preschool as well as the socioeconomic composition of their elementary schools. Lagged linear models with a series of sensitivity tests revealed that this association was strongest among children from low-income families who had not attended preschool and then enrolled in socioeconomically disadvantaged elementary schools and among children from low-income families who had attended preschool and then enrolled in socioeconomically advantaged elementary schools. These findings demonstrate how insights into educational inequality can be gained by situating developing children within their proximate ecologies and institutional settings, especially looking to the match between children and their contexts. They are especially relevant to timely policy discussions of early childhood education programs, classroom instructional practices, and school desegregation.

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Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Center for the Analysis of Pathways from Childhood to Adulthood (CAPCA), funded by the National Science Foundation (Grant 0322356; PI: Pamela Davis-Kean). The authors also acknowledge the support of grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD055359-01, PI: Robert Crosnoe; F32 HD056732; PI: Aprile Benner; R24 HD42849, PI: Mark Hayward) to the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Opinions reflect those of the authors and not necessarily the opinions of the granting agencies.

Citation

Crosnoe, R., Benner, A.D. and Davis-Kean, P. (2016), "Preschool Enrollment, Classroom Instruction, Elementary School Context, and the Reading Achievement of Children from Low-Income Families", Family Environments, School Resources, and Educational Outcomes (Research in the Sociology of Education, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 19-47. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-353920150000019003

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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