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Identifying patterns of approaches to learning in Head Start: A strength-based, ecological perspective


Approaches to learning are one of the most important yet understudied domains of school readiness in Head Start. Approaches to learning are associated with positive academic and social behavioral outcomes and can serve as a protective factor for children living in poverty. However, children exhibit wide individual variation in their approaches to learning skills at preschool entry and very little is known about the extent to which proximal factors within home and school learning contexts support the development of positive approaches to learning. To address these gaps, the current study aims to leverage the Head Start Family and Child Experience Survey (FACES 2014) nationally representative sample of Head Start children: (1) to identify profiles of children’s approaches to learning in Head Start; (2) to examine stability and change in profiles of approaches to learning across a Head Start year and home- and classroom-level factors associated with stability and change; and (3) to examine differential associations between patterns of approaches to learning and gains in academic skills. The sample will be obtained from the Head Start FACES 2014 dataset, including 2,462 children across 245 Head Start classrooms in the U.S. A multisource, multimethod approach will be used to measure approaches to learning and children’s academic skills, through observation, parent-, teacher-, and assessor report. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects
Principal Investigator(s):
Research Scholar(s):
United States

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