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Is there a relationship between early education and the development of social and emotional skills of children - Research Proposal Example

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The researcher will look into the importance of quality early education. According to Szente (2007), a positive experience can lead children to…
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Is There a Difference in the Social and Emotional Development of Children in Preschool and Children that do not Attend Preschool? XXXXXX Bowie University
Introduction to Research
XXXXXX
July 27, 2014
Introduction
This paper will explore the relationship between early education and the development of social and emotional skills in young children. The researcher will look into the importance of quality early education. According to Szente (2007), a positive experience can lead children to move in positive direction while an abusive experience will create barriers for future success. Lack of motivation or self worth is as a result of lack of support from home. Szente states that the early years are important in the healthy development of one’s belief system which is influenced by early interactions with adults. Also, self perceptions about some attributes are formed by values placed on such attributes by a culture or society (Szente). The literature findings supports how early education is effective at laying a solid foundation for later success and increases school readiness. A study will be conducted to find out if children who experience early education have better social and emotional skills than their counterparts who did not have preschool education. This topic is of importance to me as a previous early educator and future School Counselor because it is noticed that because of the current wave of accountability, it appears that developmentally appropriate practice in the early years which includes social and emotional skills are not receiving much emphasis.
Statement of the Problem
Children need the ability to communicate emotions effectively and to listen to instructions. Children need the skills to solve problems. Research has established that preschoolers and the other educational settings are vital to the psychosocial, ethical and moral development of children (Paccione-Dyslewski & Boekamp, 2005). How can every child be exposed to have a positive experience through a model from parents, guardians, caregivers, and teachers? According to Szente (2007), a positive experience can lead children to move in positive directions while an abusive experience will create barriers for future success.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to explore the relationship between early education and the development of social and emotional skills in young children. This study will be conducted through observations of students in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in a title 1 school. Teachers and parents will be interviewed. This is an attempt to find out if emotional and social skills improve student’s achievement in grade school. The hope is to add to the research about quality early education that addresses the full range of social, emotional and academic needs of children.
Questions/Hypothesis
What are the drivers of social inequalities in schools? How can educators mitigate negative impacts of social inequalities upon the early education of children? Will
Teacher education be supported in order for teachers to have capabilities of managing their classrooms?
Significance of the Study
The significance of this study to the field of education far outweighs the possible risks to the participants. If the data analysis at the end of the study shows a positive outcome of children that experience preschool education, the report might support the ongoing call for an universal preschool education system. Also, the government might pay more attention to early education to benefit children who might be considered “at risk”.
Preschool Education -
Low-income background -
Components of a high quality preschool program -
Social development -
Emotional Development -
School readiness -
Cognitive Development –
Limitations of the Study
This study presents some possible risks to both the participants and their teachers, although these possible risks are minimal. Some children might react to my physical presence in their classroom and might wonder why they are being observed. As a former early childhood educator, I will be sensitive to this. In an attempt to combat this, I will reassure the children by making them comfortable and clearly explaining to them and letting them know the purpose of my observation. The normal routine and flow of daily curriculum will not be disrupted as a result of my presence. It is important for the children to understand that they are not expected to do anything differently than they normally would, although it is understood that my presence will alter the dynamics of the classroom no matter what. Another possible risk might be the use of the teacher’s time to answer my questions. In an attempt to minimize the use of the teacher’s time, I will offer to meet with the teachers at lunch time and provide lunch for time.
The theoretical framework I will be using is a pragmatic approach that considers dominant theories in early childhood education. These theories include those established by Szente (2007) and Paccione-Dyslewski & Boekamp (2005), both of whom highlight the importance that early childhood education has on children’s social and emotional development. These dominant theories will then drive observational and interview-based research that contribute to understandings regarding these previous theories.
Review of Literature
The topic of this research study, Is There a Difference in the Social and Emotional Development of Children in Preschool and Children that do not Attend Preschool? This research is important to the field of education because it will add on to the research about how quality early education addresses the full range of social, emotional and academic needs of children. The data will be collected through the research may also support the call for early education for all children. Key concepts discussed are importance of early education, social and emotional skills and components of high quality preschool program.
Importance of early childhood education
It is a given fact that high-quality early education is effective at laying a solid foundation for later success and increasing school readiness. Some children, especially of low-income backgrounds, often do not have access to preschool services (Zeigler, Gilliam & Jones, 2006).
As reported in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (July 2009), early childhood education is currently being regarded as one of the essential human services that will help the United States prosper and reach its potential. The report stated that President Obama and the 111th Congress have as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) known as “stimulus package” significant new funds to support the long-neglected early childhood programs. The ARRA will make sure that there are no cuts to early childhood and there will be opportunities to improve policies at both the state and local levels (YC, July 2009). This will generate a lasting value for early childhood even after the end of stimulus funding.
According to Jacobson (2005), findings, children who attend high-quality preschool programs with well trained teachers make significant academic gains regardless of their families’ economic status. However, Jacobson cited Bridges (2005), saying that preschool has positive cognitive effects on children, but that social-developmental growth is not up to par. In another report of Jacobson (2008), it was said that there are tremendous variations in the quality of preschool programs across the country. There was a call for policymakers to focus on expanding effective preschool with high standards rather than handing out more child-care subsidies for preschool. One type of early childhood program is preschool education which is a program run by professionally trained adults. Children who are enrolled in the program are usually between the ages of three and five. Sometimes some schools enroll children who are two years old (Swartout-Corbell, 2006). Preschools differ from day care in that they are mainly created to enable parents go to work or do other activities. Preschools’ emphasis is usually on learning and development. According to Swartout-Corbell, preschool are sponsored either by a church, a non-profit or for profit organization, or may be part of the public school system or the Federal Head Start program.
Social and Emotional Competences
Research has established that strong social-emotional development is the foundation of later social, emotional and academic success (Bowman & Moore, 2006). About 20-50 percent of children who enter kindergarten are not ready and the area of their unpreparedness is in the
social-emotional development (Bowman & Moore). Social and emotional competence is rooted in the relationships children experience in their early years. Emotional and social competence enables children to participate fully in learning experiences and form good relationships with teachers and peers (Bowman & Moore).
Children need social-emotional skills in order to succeed in grade schools as well as in adulthood. They need the ability to communicate emotions effectively, listen to instructions and skills to solve social problems. Social and emotional competences are considered critical to children’s success in transitioning into grade school but about “10-15% of typically developing preschoolers will have chronic mild to moderate levels of behavior problems” (Hemmeter, Ostrosky & Fox, 2006, p. 584). Hemmeter et al. citied Qi & Kaiser, 2003 that there are greater percentage of children with behavioral problems among those from low socioeconomic background and those with disabilities.
A short term longitudinal research conducted by Fantuzzo, Shearer, McDermott, McWayne, Frye & Perlman (2007), investigated the social-emotional classroom behavior and school readiness of low-income urban preschool children. The emotional and behavioral adjustments of students were measured in the early fall and at the end of the school year. The results produced two factors; regulated behavior and academically disengaged behavior. The study concluded that children who exhibited poorly regulated behavior or poor academically-engaged behavior were more likely to be at risk for school failure. The findings of this study led to the belief that social and emotional competences support school success. A more extensive
longitudinal study would make investigation of relationship of these dimensions to a more diverse set of early academic and social adjustment outcomes.
Different factors may contribute to misbehavior of children. Among them are individual child’s issue like language difficulties; family situations such as “harsh parenting”, stressful life events; and limited social support and instability. Children who exhibit challenging behaviors might be helped by intervention implemented by early childhood professionals (Hemmeter et al., 2006). Preschool curriculum alone may not help youngsters with challenging behaviors overcome their problems. It is evident that when families receive training on social and emotional development it serves as a supplement to the curriculum. Deliberate change in family child rearing style has a significant effect on children (Hemmeter et al.) Families and professionals need to have an understanding of acceptable behaviors. Individually and culturally-based beliefs may affect one’s perspective on attitude about social-emotional competence. It is important that both parties (home and school) have a positive relationship for the benefit of the child. Teachers and families need to learn from each other.
The home environment constitutes a significant aspect in the development of a child. How can every child be exposed to have a positive experience through a model from parents, guardians, caregivers, and teachers? According to Szente (2007), a positive experience can lead children to move in positive direction while an abusive experience will create barriers for future success. Lack of motivation or self worth is as result of lack of support from home. Szente states that the early years are important in the healthy development of one’s belief system which is
influenced by early interactions with adults. Also, self perceptions about some attributes are formed by values placed on such attributes by a culture or society (Szente).
The long and short term consequences of behavioral difficulties are numerous, it is imperative to establish a comprehensive intervention approach for supporting social-emotional development in early childhood settings (Hemmeter et al., 2006). Young children are served in a variety of settings so there are variations in the training and experience of staff, staff-child ratios, and access to professional mental or behavioral manpower. However, there are indications across the board for a need for teachers and care givers to be trained in handling behavioral issues that may occur in their setting (Hemmeter et al.).
Joseph and Strain (2003), in their study investigated social-emotional curricula for children under the age of six. Findings revealed that early interventions of maladjusted behaviors of children yielded a positive result. It was revealed that a socially and emotionally competent school ready child is confident and has better relationships with peers and teachers. This research calls for further studies of the curricular on wider range of children.
School Readiness
According to Webster-Stratton, Reid & Stoolmiller, (2008), it is said that school readiness is beyond intelligence, it encompasses emotional self-regulatory ability, social competence, absence of behavioral problems and parent-teacher involvement (p.471). Children who exhibit the mentioned challenges are said to be at risk for academic failure. A survey report indicated that “46% of kindergarten teachers reported that more than half of the children in their classes were not ready for school” (Webster-Stratton et al., p. 471). These kindergarteners lack
the self-regulatory skills and emotional and social competences needed to function in kindergarten (Webster-Stratton et al.).
The report of Webster-Stratton indicated that exposure to multiple poverty-related risks increases the odds that children will demonstrate lower social competence and emotional self-regulations and more behavior problems than children who have a higher economic advantage (2008, p. 471). It was indicated that early gaps in social competence persists and widens as children progress in school.
In the study, An intervention to promote social emotional school readiness in foster children (2007), Pears, Fisher & Bronz measured school readiness of foster children using the method of child behavior checklist, teacher report form and emotion regulation checklist to collect data. The findings of this study indicated that when “at risk” children receive intervention it paves way for self regulation which in turns helps to encourage positive behavior that help children succeed in school.
A study of students with behavior disorder (BD) conducted by Nelson & Benner (2005), measured the use of intervention strategies to improve early literacy skills of children who exhibit phonological processing deficit at school entry. The program known as “stepping stone to literacy” was used for 25 consecutive sessions with each session lasting 10-20 minutes with a set of instructional activities designed to promote early literacy skills. Results of the study pointed that because of early literacy intervention, there was an evidence of improvement on the academic performance of these students (Nelson & Benner).
Magnuson, Lahaie & Waldfogel (2006), conducted a study on school readiness of children of immigrants using data from early childhood survey to measure the links between preschool attendance and school readiness. The children whose mothers were born outside of the United States were less likely to enroll in preschool than other children. The findings of the study showed that children of immigrants who attended preschool had a better English-language proficiency and better reading and math scores Magnuson et al., (2006). This findings support the call for preschool education for all children.
Components of Quality early education
In her study, An examination of the opinions of preschool teachers about preschool learning settings in their schools,(2008) Mine Cana Durmusoglu focused on the role of learning settings of preschool classrooms to the development of children. Teachers gave positive reports as to the quality of their teaching environments. This finding may not be objective enough because the teachers would have influence on the condition of the environment where they make their living. A multimethod is needed to give an objective evaluation of the quality of a preschool.
The quality of a preschool encompasses the environment, developmentally sound activities and emotionally supportive program of such institution. A policy report statement stated that “Early brain and child development research unequivocally demonstrates that human development is powerfully affected by con textual surroundings and experiences” (Pediatrics, 2005). Children’s health, development and learning is affected by the quality of the early education that they experience (AAP).
Research Paper 11
In a study conducted by Mashburn et al. (2008) that examined the quality of prekindergarten, it was revealed that “for young children, learning occurs via interactions, and high-quality emotional and instructional interactions are the mechanisms through which pre-K programs transmit academic, language, and social competences to children” (p.744). The study called for teachers to be provided with active, classroom and school culture relevant in-service professional development through the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program (Masburn et al.). The study revealed that high quality interactions breed positive outcomes for the well being of children. The study recommended that policies and practices are to make promotion of high quality programs their priorities.
Other findings state that teachers with poor classroom management skills have higher overall levels of classroom aggression and peer rejection which in turn leads to children’s social and conduct problems (Webster-Stratton et al., 2008). It seems as though children who are at the highest risk are often taught by teachers who are the least prepared for challenging behaviors of their students. These teachers tend to use more harsh and ineffective teaching strategies. These students are less likely to be liked by teachers and consequently, they grow to like school less (Huffman, Mehlinger, & Kerivan, 2001).
A report on the best policy for preschool education states the quality of a preschool program based on the infrastructure and classroom environment are important. In order for a program to be termed “high-quality”, it has to fulfill certain criteria which includes adherence to recommended standards. Such standards have to do with fundamental structure which may include class size, teacher qualification, interaction of teachers and children and the physical safety of the environment (Mashburn et al., 2008). It is imperative that class size is appropriate, that is, the ratio of child-to-staff meets the standard recommended. It is believed that the right ratio contributes to better experiences and results for children. Barnett et al., (2004) was cited in Mashburn et al. to have included ten benchmarks recommended by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) to be a yardstick for measuring the effectiveness of preschool program.
In light of this literature review, it has been discovered that more research is needed about risk and impact of ethnicity and culture on children’s social and emotional development. Educators need to be aware of the social-emotional skills necessary to be an effective learner.
Details concerning the research methodology, procedure, participant selection, procedures, risks and benefits, confidentiality, information and consent, debriefing, location of the study, data analysis and conclusion are outlined in the following pages of this paper.
The methodology research used is a qualitative methodology that implements a phenomenological analytical model. In terms of process, the research involves observation of the population study, children at the kindergarten and first grade levels at Ideal Academy Public Charter School in Washington D.C. The researcher will observe these children over a two-month period, for 5-10 hours a week. The researcher will record the observational data. The second portion of the qualitative methodology will involve semi-structured interviews with the students’ teachers. The interview questions will focus on the instructional content the teachers are implementing, the children’s response to this instructional content, and the teachers’ perceptions regarding the children’s social and emotional development. This observational data and the semi-structured interviews will then be used by the researcher to develop thematic insights into the processes taking place at the school. This data will be structured through a phenomenological method that examines the data for its deep structure and underlining content. This analysis will be used to establish a number of thematic nodes that will constitute the research’s findings.
Population
The targeted participants will be students in the kindergarten and first grade at Ideal Academy Public Charter School in Washington, DC.
Sample
There will be a total of four classrooms: two per grade level. Each classroom has 15 students. The grade levels consist of students who are of diverse family backgrounds. This is the first school experience for some of the students in kindergarten class. Some of the first graders did not attend preschool.
The instruments that will be used are semi-structured interviews. These semi-structured interviews will involve a series of fifteen questions that will be given to the teachers of the kindergarten and first grade students.
Confidentiality
The confidentiality of participants in this study is paramount. Parents will be assured that their identities will not be disclosed under any circumstances. Necessary steps will be taken to maintain the anonymity and confidentiality of the participants. All identifying information about participants will be blacked out. The confidentiality practices of the school will be applied in handling the data. The information that will be made available to the researcher will be immediately destroyed upon completion of the study. Audio tapes of interviews will be destroyed after the study. The participants will be informed about their right to refuse, or withdraw participation at any point of the study.

Information and Consent Forms
Consent forms for kindergarten and first grade (appendix A) contain information about the study. Consent forms require signatures of parents and their children. Information about the study will be related to the parents, students, teachers and administrators at the “back to school night” session. The consent forms contain information about the purpose of the study, the risks involved, and what the data collected will be used for.
Debriefing
The participants and their parents will be informed about the anonymous findings of the study after its completion through mail that will be sent home. The mail will contain contact information of the researcher for their use in case a question should arise.
Location of Research Project
This study will take place at Ideal Academy Public Charter School (www.idealacademypcs.org) located at 6130 N. Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC, 20011. Kindergarten classrooms are in rooms # 112 &113, first grade rooms # 212 & 213. The school has been selected because of the diversity in the population of the school. The school has a preschool program and it caters for students from preschool to 12th grade. The teachers of the school are highly qualified and the school uses the DCPS standards.
Data Analysis
The procedures that will be used to analysis the data will be the collection of data from the field notes and interviews. Data will be collected from notes taken on observations days. Data will possibly be collected from parents and teachers as this becomes necessary. This data will be reviewed at the end of the week, and at the end of the summer. The field notes will be organized and classified as themes arise from the study. Data will be analyzed by the researcher; coded and stored. Analysis will be coded and stored using NVIVO software. Audio recordings of the interviews will be transcribed and combined with notes. The research will use casual comparative statistics in differential mean, medium, mode.
Conclusion
Quality early education enhances social and emotional development of children. It appears as if undue focus on academic results placed by stakeholders tends to discount the importance of social and emotional development of young children. Research was conducted to gather information about the importance of early education for school readiness. Through the research it became apparent that early education is effective at laying a foundation for later success and it increases school readiness. A high quality early education gives children the opportunity to develop ability to learn persistence when working at task, good listening skills, and the ability to develop problem-solving skills. It was discovered through research that in the first five years of life, children acquire the basic capabilities that prepare them for later success in school and life. Many children who attend preschool are better prepared to enter grade school.
From the information gathered through the research, a qualitative research was designed to explore the relationship between early education and the development of social and emotional skills for school readiness. The research design was outlined in details following literature review in the body of the paper. Issues of ethics and confidentiality were discussed. The procedures that will be followed and the sample of participants who will be studied as well as the location and the possible risks to the participants were explained in detail.
References
Bagby, J. H., Rudd, L.C., & Woods, M. (2005). The effects of socioeconomic diversity
on language, cognitive and social-emotional development of children from low-income backgrounds. Early Child Development and Care, 175(5), 395-505.
Retrieved July 12, 2014, from http://web.ebscohost.com
Bowman, B. & Moore, E.K. (2006). School readiness and social-emotional development:
Perspectives on cultural diversity. National Black Child Development Institute.
Brigman, G. & Cambell, C. (2003). Helping students improve academic achievement and school
success behavior. ASCA Professional School Counseling 7 (2). Retrieved July 7, 2014, from http://web.ebscohost.com
Durmusoglu, C. M.(20080. An examination of the opinion of preschool teachers about
preschool learning settings in their schools. Eurasain Journal of Educational Research 32, 39-54. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from http://web.ebscohost.com
Early Childhood Education Helps the United States Prosper and Reach Its Potential (2009)
Young Children, 64 (4) 75.
Fantuzzo, J., Bulotsky-Shearer, R., McDermott, p. A., McWayne, C., Frey, D. Perlman, S
(2007). Investigation of dimensions of social-emotional classroom behavior and school readiness for low-income urban preschool children. School Psychology Review, 369(1), 44-62. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://web.ebscohost.com
Hemmeter. M. L., Ostrosky, M., & Fox, L. (2006). Social and emotional foundations for early
learning: A conceptual model for intervention. Social Psychology Review, 33 (4), 583-601. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from http://webebscohost.com
Huffman, L. C., Mehlinger, S. L., & Kerivan, A. S. (2001). Risk factors for academic and
behavioral problems at the beginning of school. Chapel Hill, NC: Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center. Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com
Jacobson, L. (2005). Report details of pre-k programs. Education Week. Retrieved July 24, 2014,
from www.edweek.org
Joseph, G.E. & Strain, P.S. (2003). Comprehensive evidence-based social-emotional
Curricula for young children: An analysis of efficacious adoption potential.
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 23(2). Retrieved July 24, 2014, from
http://proquest.umi.com
Kaufman-Rimm, S. (2007). Special issue on data-based investigations of quality of Preschool
and early childhood classroom environments. Early Education and Development 18(1),
163-164. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://web.ebscohost.com
Magnuson, K., Lahaie, C. & Waldfogel, J. (2006). Preschool and school readiness of children of
immigrants. Social Science Quarterly, 87(5). Retrieved July 25, 2014, from
http://web.ebscohost.com
Mashburn, A.J., Pianta, R.C., Hamre, B.K., Downer, J.T., Barbarin, O.A., Bryant, D., Burchial,
M., & Early, D.M. (2008). Measures of classroom quality in prekindergarten and
children’s development of academic, language, and social skills. Child Development, 79(3), 732-749. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://web.ebscohost.com
Nelson, R.J. & Benner, G.J. (2005). Improving the early literacy skills of children with
behavioral disorders and phonological processing deficits at school entry Reading & Writing Quarterly, 21: 105-108. Retrieved July 18, 2014, from http://web.ebscohost.com
Psychiatry, 49(5), 471-488. Retrieved June 27, 2009 from
http://web.ebscohost.com
Zeigler, E., Gilliam, W.S, & Jones, S. M. (2006). A Vision for universal preschool
Education. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Appendix A
Consent Form for kindergarten and first grade students
Dear Student and Parent,
Your child and his/her classmates have been invited to participate in a research study by Ms. (name) , a graduate student at the Bowie State University, Bowie Maryland. The research is an effort to find out the relationship between early education and the development of social and emotional skills of children. This study will provide evidence as to the importance of early education on school readiness and overall well being of children.
The study will take place throughout the school year 2014-2015. Researcher will only visit your child’s class once a week. The study will occur in the classroom or wherever your child is at the school for the day. Regular class schedule will not be altered as a result of this study. The study will not affect the instructional time of your child.
The identity of participants will not be disclosed. Anonymity and confidentiality of participants will be mainstreamed. Information collected during the study will be destroyed as soon as data has been analyzed. Please be aware that participation in this study is optional and you are free to withdraw your consent and to discontinue participation at anytime.
If you have any questions or concern about this study feel free to contact me at 202-555-5555 or by e-mail [email protected]
Please read the statement below and sign and date the appropriate lines.
I have read the above information about proposed study at the Ideal Academy Public Charter School. I voluntarily give permission to allow my child to participate in this research study.
___________________________
Printed Name of Participant (Child)
___________________________ __________
Signature of Parent Date
___________________________
Printed Name of Parent
__________________________ _________
Signature of Child Date Read More
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...also have significantly influenced child A’s self-image and identity to the extent that he started showing early signs of ADHD. All these factors are also associated with potential consequences for personal, emotional, and social welfare of a child. Research stresses that any strategy to combat negative behaviors in a child in any setting must be implemented after acknowledging the associated consequences. Children in crisis are basically children in agony, turbulence, and anxiety. It is clear than child A is exposed to some sort of internal or external crisis which is not letting him concentrate, build relationships, and...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay
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