Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Vol. 13, No. 2, Spring/Summer 1999
J. Stone, Sandra, Childhood Education
ACEI publishes two outstanding journals that have separate purposes, but both aim to inform. This biannual column assists that function by informing Childhood Education readers about the practical contents of the Journal of Research in Childhood Education. CE readers are encouraged to read the full articles to gain more information and insight (see JRCE, Vol. 13, No. 2).
* Pathways to Quality in Head Start, Public School, and Private Nonprofit Early Childhood Program - Epstein
This study examines the differences in teacher qualifications, inservice training, program quality, and children's development in three different early childhood settings: Head Start, public school, and private (nonprofit) school. The author found that inservice training was better in Head Start than in the other settings; public schools could point to superior levels of children's development. All of the settings, however, achieved high levels of program quality, which was positively related to teachers' formal education in public schools and to inservice training in Head Start. The author suggests that formal education and inservice training could help achieve high-quality early childhood programs. She advises combining both approaches, raising entry qualifications, and improving staff development activities.
* The Nature of Experiences of 4-year-olds in Two Russian Preschools - Kiger
The author compares two Russian preschools - one traditional and the other experimental. She compares the children's families from both settings, and finds many similarities. Both sets of parents, for example, wanted smaller classes for their children. Neither location offered teachers an extensive background in early childhood education. The experimental preschool, however, did provide inservice training and opportunities for collaboration. The author found that the traditional preschool fell back on a didactic nature of instruction, whereas children at the experimental preschool had ample opportunities to make their own decisions. The experimental preschool included families in the programming process, and offered flexible scheduling, mixed-age groups, and child-initiated learning. The experimental school had more control over issues of management, budget, and curriculum compared to the traditional school, and provided children with a greater variety of experiences. Their teachers also were able to use creativity in program development.
* The Effect of Origami Practice on Size Comparison Strategy Among Young Japanese and American Children - Yuzawa, Bart, Kinne, Sukemune, & Kataoka
The authors discuss how origami practice may help young children acquire knowledge about measurement before entering school, by allowing them to compare everyday objects of different sizes. They compared 46 Japanese children and 48 American children, ages 4 to 6. The American and Japanese children were divided into three treatment groups. One group folded origami paper triangles, superimposing the paper shapes to achieve congruence. The second group folded traditional origami forms, and the third group engaged in conversation with the experimenter. During the pretest and the posttest, children in all three groups were asked to judge the relative sizes of two figures. The researchers found some support for the hypothesis that size comparison strategies can be improved through origami practice. Although the Japanese children benefited more from the origami practice than did the American children, the authors suggest that the former group's experience with origami may have accounted for the difference. Based on this research, the authors suggest that engaging kindergarten children in activities with origami or similar paper work may help them develop a richer knowledge of comparative sizes.
* Come Join the Literacy Club: One Chinese ESL Child's Literacy Experience in a 1st-Grade Classroom - Han & Ernst-Slavit
The authors of this study explore how one Chinese ESL child became an active participant in the literacy events in his 1st-grade class. …