Teacher Effectiveness

Teachers -- those who hold primary responsibility for providing instructional and emotional support to children -- provide consistent influence on children's learning experiences. Teachers' skills, knowledge, dispositions, and perspectives should reflect a deep understanding of the early childhood developmental continuum.

P-3 Framework Goal:  Teachers are actively dedicated to providing high-quality instruction and effective learning experiences for all children, pre-school through 3rd grade.

The following resources highlight and support the importance of teacher effectiveness in comprehensive P-3 approaches:

Overview of Issues

Publication Date: Jan 2016
Authors:
Rachel Herzfeldt-Kamprath, Rebecca Ullrich
Synopsis:

This report examines the consistency of children’s access to effective teachers between preschool and third grade—as well as how that access differs by a child’s race/ethnicity and socio-economic status—within three broad factors of teacher effectiveness: qualifications, attitudes, and environment. These factors are inherently interconnected and typically accessed at lower rates by African American and Hispanic children, as well as children from low-income households. Furthermore, access to effective teachers varies between PreK and the K-3 grades because the standards, expectations, and supports for teachers are different for these two systems. 

Publication Date: Jul 2009
Authors:
Rima Shore
Synopsis:

This brief articulates why effective teaching matters for student outcomes; indicates how schools can organize to sustain effective teaching in every classroom; and describes, briefly, what quality looks like in PreK-3rd grade classrooms.

Publication Date: Sep 2014
Authors:
Marcy Whitebook
Synopsis:

In this paper Marcy Whitebook identifies the unique personnel-related opportunities and challenges the early childhood education sector faces, and describes how these differ from those encountered in grades K-12. Whitebook concludes that the four cornerstones of a sturdy early childhood personnel structure--human capital development, the professional development infrastructure, the teaching context, and system finance--call out for bold vision, creative approaches, and sustained investment. Additionally, she highlights the importance of offering early care personnel high salaries as a deterrent to staff turnover. 

Publication Date: Apr 2017
Authors:
Deborah Stipek, Doug Clements, Cynthia Coburn, Megan Franke, and Dale Farran
Synopsis:

This report from the Society for Research in Child Development provides guidance for policymakers and educational practitioners alike on how to purposefully connect instructional approaches from PreK to the early years of elementary school. 

As the authors note, "simply stating that there is a need for continuity from the preschool years to the early years of elementary school is not enough. Continuity can mean continuing poor educational practices, such as pushing down rote learning from the elementary school years into preschool programs.​" Further, "evidence in this report indicates that there is substantial repetition in the Kindergarten year of what many children have already learned in their PreK year -- repetition that can lead to boredom and a decline in motivation."

National Perspectives

Publication Date: Jan 2009
Authors:
Rebecca New, Sharon Ritchie, Harriet Boone
Synopsis:

Teacher education programs must include opportunities for future teachers to study contexts as well as texts, to develop a repertoire of tools for observing, assessing, and studying children's early learning, and to acquire the skills and dispositions to do this work with others through processes of collaborative inquiry. Graduates of such a program will enter the classroom with a deeper understanding of their own potential to support children's learning.

Local-Level Perspectives

Publication Date: Dec 2012
Authors:
Ounce of Prevention Fund, University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
Synopsis:

This teaching case study describes the evolutionary process undertaken by the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute and the Ounce of Prevention Fund in creating professional learning communities (PLCs) to create a true Birth-to-College model in their state. These PLCs are teacher-led, inclusive of family support staff, multidisciplinary in their focus of inquiry, and reflective of three schools within the birth-to-grade three learning continuum.

Policy Briefs

Publication Date: May 2013
Authors:
Laura Bornfreund
Synopsis:

This paper provides a snapshot of how student achievement data are being used in teacher evaluation systems today and illuminates the issues causing states and school districts the most struggles. Most states are using one or some combination of three evaluation approaches: student learning objectives, shared assessments, and shared attribution; each of these approaches carries its own risks and opportunities. 

Publication Date: Nov 2011
Authors:
Lisa Guernsey, Susan Ochshorn
Synopsis:
A growing number of policymakers are searching for new approaches to identify good teaching, promote it, and reward it. In the birth-to-five world, many states have developed Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) that identify, rate, and enhance the quality of programs based on a wide array of criteria, such as adult-child ratios and how well teachers respond to children’s needs. In the K-12 world, states are trying to identify good teaching at the level of the individual teacher.  Observation tools should play a significant role in the development of these evaluation and professional development systems. This policy brief makes recommendations to federal and state governments, as well as teacher preparation programs and researchers, to establish fair and reliable measures of teachers' practice.