PREPRIMARY PROJECT

International Organization

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement

Years of Data Collection

Phase 1: 1989-1991

Phase 2: 1991-1993

Phase 3: 1994-1996

Purpose In countries throughout the world, demographic, social, and economic changes are driving an accelerating demand for early childhood services. At the same time, a growing body of research is demonstrating the long-term benefits of high-quality early childhood programs, thus increasing the general awareness of the importance of children's early years. These developments point to a need for sound and adequate information on which to base early childhood services. The IEA Preprimary Project is a response to the dearth of information about children 's care and education experiences prior to formal schooling.

Some key questions inspired by current trends in early childhood care and education that have dictated the objectives and design of each phase of the Preprimary Project are as follows:

Phase 1:

  • What kinds of early childhood care and education services do families use in various countries around the world?

  • What are factors (socioeconomic, cultural) that influence parents ' choice of early childhood care arrangements for their 4-year-old children?

  • What are the characteristics of the early childhood care and education settings parents choose for their 4-year-olds?

Phase 2:

  • What is the “quality of Life” for 4-year-old children in such settings as pre-schools, child care centers, and family day care homes?

  • How do adults' educational values and expectations for 4-year-olds affect the way they (parents, teachers, caregivers) organize environments and activities for these children and the way they interact with these children?

  • In any given nation, how does the “quality of life” for 4-year-old children in early childhood settings compare with that of 4-year-old children in early childhood settings in other nations?

  • What is the relationship between children's developmental status and specific structural features and/or interactional processes of care/education settings?

Phase 3:

  • What is the relationship between 4-year-old children's experiences in care/education settings and their later developmental status?

  • What role might early childhood care and education play in preparing children for formal schooling?



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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies PREPRIMARY PROJECT International Organization International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement Years of Data Collection Phase 1: 1989-1991 Phase 2: 1991-1993 Phase 3: 1994-1996 Purpose In countries throughout the world, demographic, social, and economic changes are driving an accelerating demand for early childhood services. At the same time, a growing body of research is demonstrating the long-term benefits of high-quality early childhood programs, thus increasing the general awareness of the importance of children's early years. These developments point to a need for sound and adequate information on which to base early childhood services. The IEA Preprimary Project is a response to the dearth of information about children 's care and education experiences prior to formal schooling. Some key questions inspired by current trends in early childhood care and education that have dictated the objectives and design of each phase of the Preprimary Project are as follows: Phase 1: What kinds of early childhood care and education services do families use in various countries around the world? What are factors (socioeconomic, cultural) that influence parents ' choice of early childhood care arrangements for their 4-year-old children? What are the characteristics of the early childhood care and education settings parents choose for their 4-year-olds? Phase 2: What is the “quality of Life” for 4-year-old children in such settings as pre-schools, child care centers, and family day care homes? How do adults' educational values and expectations for 4-year-olds affect the way they (parents, teachers, caregivers) organize environments and activities for these children and the way they interact with these children? In any given nation, how does the “quality of life” for 4-year-old children in early childhood settings compare with that of 4-year-old children in early childhood settings in other nations? What is the relationship between children's developmental status and specific structural features and/or interactional processes of care/education settings? Phase 3: What is the relationship between 4-year-old children's experiences in care/education settings and their later developmental status? What role might early childhood care and education play in preparing children for formal schooling?

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies The approach of the project has also been governed by methodological considerations about the study of young children and by the multi-disciplinary perspectives that guide public policy in the area of early childhood services. An additional consideration has been the relative lack of knowledge about preprimary service as compared with knowledge about services at other educational levels (elementary and secondary school). To guide public policy formulation, each participating country's national study will provide timely information tailored to address that country's most salient issues and gaps in knowledge. In addition, the cross-national analyses will provide a valuable comparative baseline. By examining a greater range of variation in early childhood experiences than occurs within any one country, researchers will be able to test the cross-cultural generalizability of country-specific explanations of child development and early school achievement. The Preprimary Project is designed to extend scientific knowledge about early socialization and to provide data to evaluate early childhood models aimed at promoting the wellbeing of children. Organization and Management Fifteen IEA member countries have participated in one or more phases of the Preprimary Project. Each participating country has established a national research center, appointed a national research coordinator to supervise the study, and assembled additional staff to coordinate data collection and analysis. In its capacity as international coordinating center, the High/Scope Foundation has appointed a research team to provide general supervision of project activities and to provide technical assistance to participating countries. Dr. Leslie Kish, a noted expert in the field of international sampling, works cooperatively with the participating countries and the ICC staff to provide technical assistance with sampling issues. The international coordinator, deputy international coordinator, and international project center are located at High/Scope. The international coordinator chairs the international project committee, which is comprised of those who put the study into operation (national research coordinators, international steering committee, and international coordinator). National research coordinators meet once a year, or sometimes more frequently. Design The three interrelated phases of the Preprimary Project are designed to: Identify and describe the types of early childhood care and education settings used by the families with 4-year-old children Describe the processes that occur within the context of various types of early childhood settings Look at the differential effects of these settings on children's later development. Participants Phase 1: Belgium (French), China (PRC), Germany (Federal Republic), Finland, Hong Kong, Italy, Nigeria, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, and the United States. Phase 2: Belgium (French), China (PRC), Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain (Catalonia), Thailand, and the United States. Phase 3: Same countries as in Phase 2. Follow-up of children at age 7, who were observed in Phase 2 at age 4.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Sample Phase 1: In each participating nation, researchers identified a probability sample of children 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years old and interviewed their families using a household survey questionnaire. In most countries, multi-stage stratified cluster sampling procedures were used. The Phase 1 achieved sample sizes ranged from 424 in Belgium (Fr.) to 12,835 in China (PRC). In 7 of the 11 participating countries (China, Finland, Hong Kong, Italy, Nigeria, Thailand, United States), response rates were 80% or higher. Phase 2: The population of settings included the major types of settings used by families (as indicated by Phase 1 data or by other information sources) and settings of particular interest to policy makers. It was expected that each participating country would identify at least two major types of extra-familial settings for the study. In addition, whenever feasible, countries would include familial care as a type of setting (to include children receiving only this form of care). To achieve levels of statistical power in data analyses commensurate with likely magnitudes of effects, researchers needed to include a sufficient number of settings. Preliminary considerations suggested that it would be sufficient to sample a minimum of 24 settings of each major extra-familial type, assuming that the total number of children attending each type of extra-familial settings sampled was at least 96. Within each setting selected, researchers randomly chose one or more children for inclusion in the study. Procedures and Summary of Content Phase 1: This phase was conducted between 1987 and 1991 and consisted of a household survey of families with 4-year-old children. Researchers in each of the 11 Phase 2 countries interviewed a representative sample of families. In doing so, they used the joint-national project directors-developed instrument, the Parent/Guardian Interview, which asked about the types of formal and informal care arrangements families use for their 4-year-olds. Other information collected in the interview included the number of different settings attended by children, the reasons families use care/education services, the amount of time children spent in their various settings, family satisfaction with services, family background, and a detailed description of a typical day in the child 's life. The design of Phase 1 allowed researchers to establish a typology of settings and to examine the patterns of use of various settings and to examine the patterns of use of various settings as they relate to a number of variables, such as urban/rural residence and family characteristics. Funding to complete the Phase 1 data analysis and to prepare the final report were delayed and the timeline was revised by the steering committee and international coordinating center. The final report will be published in Fall 1994 jointly by Pergamon Press and the High/Scope Press. Phase 2: This phase of the Preprimary Project is called the Quality of Life Study. It is an observation study that nationally and cross-nationally examines the characteristics of settings experienced by 4-year-old children and the relationship between the children's developmental status and their experiences in these settings. The 15 countries participating in Phase 2 observed the major settings identified in their national Phase 1 Preprimary Project.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Three key types of setting processes were addressed through on-site observations during Phase 2: adults' organization of the children 's time, children's activities, and adults' behaviors. The children observed in each setting were assessed with respect to developmental criteria (language development, fine-motor coordination). Along with the observation and assessment data, interviews and questionnaires were used to collect several other types of information, including: structural characteristics of settings (such as adult-child ratio, group size, management features, staff qualifications, and materials and equipment); family background data (such as socioeconomic information and household composition); and adult perceptions (such as educational values and expectations for children). Phase 3: The third and final phase of the Preprimary Project is a follow-up study of the children observed at age 4. The 4-year-old children selected for observation and assessment in Phase 2 will be reassessed at age 7, the age when children from all participating countries will have completed at least a year of primary school. The evaluation at age 7 will draw on many sources to gather information about the children, including school records, interviews with teachers and parents, and assessment tests. Through the use of a wide variety of data sources, it will be possible to determine the effects of children's experiences in various settings during the preschool years. Four general areas will be assessed in Phase 3: child developmental status (including cognitive, language, social/emotional, and academic) family background teacher and classroom characteristics national curriculum Using measures and guidelines from national research coordinators, the international coordinating center has developed measures for each of the areas. Participating countries are pilot-testing these measures between January and June 1994 with final measures to be determined in Fall 1994. Data Collection and Analyses Phase 1: Researchers in each participating country used household survey procedures to gather data directly from families with preschool-aged children about their use of early childhood care and education services. The data were coded and sent to the international coordinating center where the cross-national data analyses were completed. The finding volume containing a wealth of descriptive information about the use of early childhood services in various countries is being published in Fall 1994. Additional reporting activities included presentations at the 1990 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association meeting and at the 1992 annual meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Phase 2: Data collection consisted of the following components: In each early childhood setting selected, observers used the 3 observation systems to collect data on two nonconsecutive mornings. The teacher/caregiver in each selected setting completed a setting-information about their beliefs about the importance of specific areas of development for young children (expectations).

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Data collectors administered 2 to 5 Child Developmental Status measures to each child and administered a family background interview and a “beliefs” questionnaire to the parent/guardian of each child. With the data obtained through observations, assessments, interviews, and questionnaires, researchers are evaluating the effects of different types of care settings on child development by exploring the relationships among the structural features of settings, the socialization processes occurring in settings, various features of the child's background, and the child's developmental status. An early Phase 2 reporting activity was conducted at the 1989 annual meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children in a symposium co-sponsored with Organisation Modiale pour l'education Prescolaire (OMEP). The Phase 2 findings will be reported in a set of six monographs: #1 Teacher/parent beliefs about children's development #2 Provider survey findings presenting data bout the characteristics of group settings in various nations #3 and #4 Observation system findings. Observation system findings will be the major results used to develop a new view of “quality” in early childhood programs, a view based on process characteristics such as adult/child interactions and adult involvement. The monographs will present findings about the amount of time children spend in different areas of learning, how adults interact with children, and who determines how children spend their time in early childhood settings. Findings will be available for various types of U.S. settings and for different types of settings in other nations, producing a very rich body of data for early childhood professionals and policy makers. #5 Child assessment findings from each participating nation will be reported. In the United States, these findings will provide information related to the first of the six U.S. national educational goals, which states that “by the end of the decade all children in America will start school ready to learn.” Phase 2 will provide information about the developmental status of children in many areas (cognitive, language, social competence) as they enter the formal educational system. With the study's design, researchers will be able to examine the relationship between children's developmental status and their preschool experiences, in the United States and in other countries. #6 Causal models of the complete set of findings will present the major cross-national findings for Phase 2. In connection with Phase 2, the High/Scope Foundation is preparing a set of 15 videotapes that illustrate the variety of early childhood settings encountered in various Phase 2 participating countries. Each of the 15 countries is represented by a 45-minute videotape that describes the care/education settings available to families and the nature of children's experiences in each setting. The set of tapes will show how facilities, materials, teaching styles, and program philosophies vary from setting to setting, and from country to country. They will reveal how political, socioeconomic, and cultural differences worldwide impact young children's development.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Phase 2 preliminary data were reported at the 1993 annual meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The international coordinator and international deputy coordinator presented preliminary findings about teacher and parent beliefs about important areas of development for 4-year-old children. Timetable 1980 Researchers outlined ideas for an IEA study. 1982 The IEA General Assembly approved the planning group's draft proposal; an international project steering committee was appointed; an international coordinator and a coordinating center were selected. 1984 The international steering committee and international coordinating center completed the final proposal for the three-phase project; the General Assembly approved the proposal. 1987-1991: Phase 2 1989 The Preprimary Project co-sponsored a symposium at the NAEYC annual meeting. 1990 National research coordinators and the deputy international coordinator made presentations at the AERA annual meeting. The international coordinating center and international steering committee presented Phase 2 (Quality of Life Study) and Phase 3 (Follow-up Study) workplan to the IEA General Assembly. (June) 1991 Phase 1 data collection was completed. Phase 2 data collection was initiated. 1992 Phase 1 national data analyses were completed. National project coordinators presented major Phase 1 findings at the NAEYC annual meeting. 1993 Phase 2 data collection was completed in 13 of 15 countries. Phase 1 cross-national data analyses were completed. Phase 3 measures were developed for pilot-testing. Phase 2 reports timeline and contents were revised. The international coordinator presented the Phase 2 report with policy implications and the Phase 3 proposal to the IEA General Assembly; the IEA General Assembly approved the Phase 3 proposal. (September) Phase 2 findings were presented at the NAEYC annual meeting. 1994 The Phase 1 findings volume will be published by Pergamon Press and by High/Scope Press. Phase 2 national and cross-national data analyses are being conducted. Phase 2 Monograph #1 - teacher and parent beliefs about children's development will be published. Phase 3 pilot-testing is being conducted. Phase 3 data collection will begin.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies 1995 Phase 2 cross-national data analyses will be conducted. Phase 2 Monograph #2 - group-setting characteristics will be published. 1996 Phase 2 Monographs #3 and #4 - observation system findings will be published. Phase 2 Monograph #5 - child assessment findings will be published. Phase 3 data collection will be completed. 1997 Phase 2 Monograph #6 - causal models of the complete set of findings will be published. Publications How Nations Serve Young Children: Profiles of Child Care and Education in 14 Countries. Ypsilanti, Michigan: High/Scope Press. (1989) Families Speak: Early Childhood Care and Education in 11 Countries. Report of Phase 1 of the IEA Preprimary Project. Oxford: Pergamon Press and Ypsilanti, Michigan: High/Scope Press. (1994) Phase 2 findings report will be published 1994-95. Phase 2 Monograph #1 - Teacher/parent beliefs about children's development. (1994) Phase 2 Monograph #2 - Provider survey findings. (1995) Phase 2 Monographs #3 and #4 - Observation system findings. (1996) Phase 2 Monograph #5 - Child assessment findings. (1996) Database Name IEA Preprimary Project -- Phase 1 Description Information about families' use of early childhood services collected using household survey procedures with nationally representative samples of families in 11 countries. Data include types of services used, reasons for using services, cost, problems, and satisfaction with services. A portion of each country's file contains a detailed description of a 24-hour period in the 4-year-old child's life, including where the child was and who was supervising the child. Finally, the data include family background information. (Countries: Belgium, China [PRC], Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Nigeria, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, United States) To whom available To be determined. Restrictions To be determined. By what means available To be determined. Charge to user To be determined.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies When available January 1995 (Phase 1 of the 3-phase IEA Preprimary Project is completed. As the IEA international coordinating center for this project, High/Scope has prepared the database for Phase 1, and will send a copy of the database to IEA headquarters, where it will become part of the overall set of IEA databases.) For further information about access to this database, contact: Patricia P. Olmsted High/Scope Educational Research Foundation 600 North River Street Ypsilanti, Michigan 48198 telephone: 313/ 485-2000 facsimile: 313/ 485-0704 electronic mail: PAT_OLMSTED@UM.CC.UMICH.EDU Funding Each participating country is responsible for locating the funds and other resources necessary to conduct the Preprimary Project nationally. Support to the international coordinating center has been provided by government agencies (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Education), the National Academy of Sciences, and foundations (Carnegie Corporation, High/Scope Foundation, Packard Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, Spencer Foundation). Information Sources Dr. David P. Weikart, International Coordinator and International Project Committee Chair High/Scope Educational Research Foundation 600 North River Street Ypsilanti, Michigan 48198-2898 telephone: 313/ 485-2000 facsimile: 313/ 485-0704 Dr. Patricia P. Olmsted, International Deputy Coordinator High/Scope Educational Research Foundation 600 North River Street Ypsilanti, Michigan 48198-2898 telephone: 313/ 485-2000 facsimile: 313/ 485-0704 e-mail: Pat_Olmsted@UM.CC.UMICH.EDU International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement Secretariat c/o SVO Sweelinckplein 14 2517 GK The Hague THE NETHERLANDS telephone: 31-70-346-96-79 facsimile: 31-70-360-99-51 e-mail: iea@svo.nl

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Gordon M. Ambach, U.S. Liaison to IEA Council of Chief State School Officers One Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 700 Washington, D.C. 20001-1431 telephone: 202/ 408-5505 facsimile: 202/ 408-8076 e-mail: gambach@nas.edu Bridgman, A. 1989 The IEA Preprimary Project: How a dream became reality. Childhood Education. 65:157-159. High/Scope Educational Research Foundation 1988 IEA Preprimary Project International Study: Overview, Parent/Guardian Interview, Sampling Information, and Funding Information. High/Scope, Ypsilanti, Michigan. 1990 IEA Preprimary Project. Status reports prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. David P. Weikart. September and December. 1991 IEA Preprimary Project. Status report prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. Ellyn J. Zeve. April and September. 1992 IEA Preprimary Project. Status report prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. Patricia P. Olmsted. January, April, and September. 1993 IEA Preprimary Project. Status report prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. Shannon Lockhart. January. Patricia P. Olmsted. May and October. 1994 IEA Preprimary Project. Status report prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. Shannon Lockhart. January and April. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement 1990 IEA Preprimary Project Phase 2: Quality of Life Study and Phase 3: Follow-up Study Workplan. Submitted to the IEA General Assembly by the International Coordinating Center and International Steering Committee. June. 1993 Activities, Institutions, and People: IEA Guidebook 1993-1994. IEA, The Hague, The Netherlands. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement and High/Scope Educational Research Foundation 1986 Parent/Guardian Interview: U.S. Child Care Survey. IEA, Stockholm; High/Scope, Ypsilanti, Michigan. Olmsted, Patricia P. 1992 A cross-national perspective on the demand for and supply of early childhood services. In Booth, A. (Editor), Child Care in the 1990s: Trends and Consequences. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Olmsted, P.P., and H. Hoas 1989 Preschool teacher training in Finland, Hong Kong, Italy, and Thailand: Accounts from the IEA Preprimary Project. Childhood Education. 65:283-287. Olmsted, Patricia P., and David P. Weikart 1988 IEA-Preprimary Project. Presentation to the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. November.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Olmsted, P.P., and D.P. Weikart, Editors 1989 How Nations Serve Young Children: Profiles of Child Care and Education in 14 Countries. Ypsilanti, Michigan: High/Scope Press. 1993 Families Speak: Early Childhood Care and Education in 11 Countries. Report of Phase 1 of the IEA Preprimary Project. Oxford: Pergamon Press and Ypsilanti, Michigan: High/Scope Press. ****** NOTE: This study summary was reviewed and edited by Patricia Olmsted at the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation in Ypsilanti, Michigan on June 24, 1994; Olmsted provided database information on December 1, 1994.