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2017 - Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting Words: 488 words || 
1. Birungi, Bonita. "Children’s transition to primary school: Integration of ECD techniques into primary grade 1 curriculum and parenting in Zambia" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting, Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia, <Not Available>. 2019-09-16 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Objectives: Save the Children has been increasing support for Zambian children’s transition to primary school by incorporating foundational literacy and numeracy teaching techniques from successful ECCD programs into grade 1. In this paper, we examine the integration of ECD techniques into primary grade 1 curriculum and the extent to which such integration has improved the quality of early grade learning in Zambia.

A learning crisis threatens to undercut Zambia’s dramatic gains in education access. The National Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) 2013 results for grade 2 and 3 found that over half of pupils tested were below proficiency in oral reading. Similar findings were observed in a 2013 Save the Children study. For the oral reading fluency task, pupils were asked to read a short narrative story for one minute. A majority (91%) of grade 2 pupils were unable to read a single word in this passage. Although Grade 1 enrollment is virtually universal in Zambia, 12% of all children enrolled in grade 1 drop out by the end of the academic year. The dropout rate has been associated with children who begin school with weak prior knowledge and skills in emergent literacy, most notably general verbal abilities, basic phonological awareness, familiarity with the basic purposes and mechanisms of reading, and letter knowledge. Despite its importance, support for children’s early language and numeracy skills in early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs in Zambia is minimal. It is common for children to attend preschool program with no support on foundational language and numeracy skills; with teachers who are not able to address learning gaps. Thinking beyond children who are fortunate enough to attend an ECCE program, many of their peers do not have this opportunity and likely have even weaker early learning skills. According to UNICEF, only 17.1% of children enrolling in grade 1 have had prior ECD experience. All of these children will not only enter first grade with weak foundational skills but are also more likely to either drop out, repeat, or find learning too challenging and lose interest or confidence.

Methods: We use an EGRA/EGMA type approach to evaluate children in literacy and numeracy using a direct child assessment tool.

Results and conclusion: Results from a direct child assessment, the International Development and Early Learning Assessment, allows us to see progress over time in core skill areas. Thus program implementers, teachers, and parents can identify strengths and weaknesses in children’s skills as they begin classes as well as changes over the course of the year.

Scholarly significance: By providing young children with sustained, rich, and enjoyable literacy and numeracy skills in the early grade classes where such skills play a role in the daily curriculum, and through caregivers and teachers equipped with knowledge and skills to support their children, we adduce evidence on how ECCE programs enhance positive reading and learning experiences among in and out of school children.

2018 - Comparative and International Education Society Conference Words: 730 words || 
2. Ong'ele, Salome. and Piper, Benjamin. "Persistence of pre-primary program effects in Kenya: Evaluating how Tayari’s program impacts change over time and into primary school" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Hilton Mexico City Reforma Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico, <Not Available>. 2019-09-16 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Relevance:
Recent investments in improving literacy and numeracy outcomes have grown across low and middle income countries. This investment has not included longitudinal analysis to understanding the learning pathways of children in various intervention conditions, particularly in pre-primary. The Tayari program in Kenya is designed to track the learning pathways of children from pre-primary to primary education, and the midterm results show an impact of .3 standard deviations on school readiness after one year of intervention (Kwayumba & Piper, 2017). The endline results from two years of Tayari’s intervention provide longitudinal data on nearly 2500 children who have been evaluated across a range of early learning skills (literacy, numeracy, socio-emotional) at three data points, including their first year of Grade 1. The results presented will explain how Tayari program impacts change over these three data points and determine whether Tayari’s impact persists into Grade 1.

Tayari is being implemented in more than 2000 centers across four of Kenya’s decentralized counties, supporting more than 200,000 learners. The Tayari design utilizes the government of Kenya’s pre-primary structures to determine whether low cost inputs in learning materials, teacher professional development, and coaching for ECD teachers result in improved school readiness, with initial results showing significant gains (Kwayumba & Piper, 2017). The difference between Tayari and other ECD interventions in low and middle income countries is the scale of Tayari, as the program is a medium scale randomized controlled trial using an adapted version of the MELQO school readiness measures. While there has been recent evidence pointing to the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of pre-primary interventions, there remains little known about how those interventions might work at medium or national scale, nor whether the theoretical impacts of the programs increase, decrease or remain steady over time, nor whether the gains persist into primary school (Ngaruiya, 2006; Pence, 2011, UNICEF, 2012).

Tayari’s randomized control trial design and longitudinal panel data, with three rounds of data collection culminating in late 2017 with assessments of children who moved to Grade 1, allow for a detailed analysis of several items of interest to the educational community. We capitalize on the rich longitudinal data from nearly 2500 learners to determine whether the Tayari impacts identified in the second data collection point (in late 2016) persist through the third data collection point (in late 2017). We also are able to evaluate whether the cohort of children who have transitioned into Grade 1 continue to experience benefits of the program in EGRA after they left the Tayari intervention. Finally, we can capitalize on the longitudinal nature of the study and the range of assessments applied to children in the program to determine how initial status of socio-emotional learning and other proxies for executive function are related to the overall school readiness and learning outcomes of children over time (Schiae, 1983).

The presentation will answer several important research questions that have been without longitudinal data from a low and middle income country. In particular, do the effects of Tayari persist through the third data collection points? Do the effects of Tayari persist into Grade 1? Do the effects of Tayari differ by initial status of socio-emotional and executive function skills? And what are the pathways for learning of children across key demographic and gender categories? The results we will present will be groundbreaking in the field of pre-primary interventions in LMICs, and have relevance for additional research questions on the design of future pre-primary interventions such as Tayari.

Kwayumba, D. & Piper, B. (2017). Longitudinal Midterm Report for the Tayari Early Childhood Development and Education Programme. Prepared for the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Contract No. 338 (RTI Project No. 0214471). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International.
Ngaruiya, S. (2006). Pre-school education and school readiness: Kenya’s experience. Conference paper presented at the 2006 Biennale of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), Session C3-2, Preparing Children for School: The Role of Holistic Practices in the Early Years of Learning.
Pence, A. (2011). Early childhood care and development research in Africa: Historical, conceptual, and structural challenges. Child Development Perspectives, 5(2), 112–118.
Schaie, K. W. (1983). The Seattle Longitudinal Study: A twenty-one year exploration of psychometric intelligence in adulthood. In K. W. Schaie (Ed.), Longitudinal studies of adult psychological development (pp. 64–135). New York: Guilford.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (2012). Early childhood education and school readiness [Web page]. New York: UNICEF.

2018 - Comparative and International Education Society Conference Words: 595 words || 
3. Jeon, Haram., Kim, Kyung Keun. and Shim, Jaehwee. "Does school type in pre-primary education matter for learning outcomes? Inequalities in pre-primary education and academic achievement in Korea" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Hilton Mexico City Reforma Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico, <Not Available>. 2019-09-16 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Inequality in the opportunity to access pre-primary education has been importantly addressed to explain the mechanisms of social stratification by education and policy targeting educational inequality (e.g., the Head Start program). Pre-primary education can be strategically used for upper-class parents to establish a different starting line from other groups prior to beginning public schooling, because they can expend their socio-economic resources on their children’s education at the pre-primary level. Even though the impact on educational inequality at primary and secondary levels of unequal access to pre-primary education as determined by family socio-economic status is worrying, however, there is little empirical evidence on that impact using large-scale national or international data sets in Korea. In Korea where to the extent to which the opportunity to access to pre-primary education is open to most children regardless of their family background, the more serious concern related to educational inequality has become the type of pre-primary education that children can access. Especially, private schools at pre-primary education level that function as an effective tool to facilitate social reproduction among upper-class parents. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to clarify the complex associations among family socio-economic status, pre-primary education school type and academic achievement in Korea. Since Korea is a country where the public education system is well established and covers primary to upper-secondary levels, a study of unequal access to pre-primary education should reveal mechanism of underrepresentation for educational inequality.

In order to examine the associations of socio-economic status, pre-primary school type, and academic achievement among 15-year-old students in Korea, this study uses the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 data sets. The dependent variables are reading and math test scores provided as 10 plausible values, and the independent variables are school types of pre-primary education and family socio-economic status. Pre-primary education school type is categorized as ‘none’, ‘public management and mainly public funding’, ‘private management and mainly public funding’, and ‘private management and mainly private funding.’ Family socio-economic status is a single composite score created from parental education, parental occupational status and home possessions related with wealth. As a main analytical strategy, two regressions are employed to show unequal access to pre-primary education by family socio-economic status and its impact on learning outcomes among 15-year-old Korean students. First, a multinomial regression examines the association between school types of pre-primary education and family socio-economic status; second, an ordinary least squares (OLS) regression examines which type of pre-primary education matters for academic achievement, after controlling for family socio-economic status and other covariates.

Primarily, family socio-economic status is indeed found to significantly correlate with pre-primary education choice prior to elementary school entry. Compared to other groups, students at privately managed and mainly privately funded pre-primary schools showed the highest level of family socio-economic status. Then, after controlling for family socio-economic status, the hypothesis that pre-primary education in general matters for academic achievement among 15-year-old Korean students is found not to be supported, whereas private pre-primary education (i.e., private managed and mainly privately funded schools) does appear to have a positive effect on academic achievement.

This research has theoretical and policy implications. Theoretically, it confirms educational inequality prior to the commencement of public schooling and its impact on academic achievement at secondary level of education. The Korean case indicates that school choice at pre-primary education level differs by family socio-economic status and that private kindergartens can benefit academic achievement even where public schooling is highly equalized and widespread. Finally, therefore, on the basis of this theoretical implication, Korean national policy attempts related to relieving inequalities in pre-primary education are addressed.

2008 - MPSA Annual National Conference Words: 36 words || 
4. Min, Jeonghun. and Kwon, J.. "The Different Effect of Frontloading on State Primaries: Who Wants to Move its Primary Ahead in the Season? And Why?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the MPSA Annual National Conference, Palmer House Hotel, Hilton, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2019-09-16 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: We will try to examine the determinants of presidential primary scheduling. Specifically, we will examine nomination campaign schedules from 1972 to 2004 to find what factors lead to the different effect of frontloading on state primaries.

2008 - APSA 2008 Annual Meeting Pages: 37 pages || Words: 9460 words || 
5. Adkins, Randall. and Dowdle, Andrew. "Does The "Money Primary" Still Matter? Change and/or Continuity in Pre-Primary Presidential Fundraising, 1980-2008" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA 2008 Annual Meeting, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, Aug 28, 2008 Online <PDF>. 2019-09-16 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper attempts to answer two questions: (1) What factors influence pre-primary fundraising and (2) Does pre-primary fundraising success influence presidential primary outcomes in the manner it once did? From 1980 to 2000, the candidate that raised the most campaign funds before the start of the primary season tended to win the party nomination. We used two OLS regression models to examine whether developments such as frontloading and campaign finance reforms, which occurred prior to the 2004 nomination cycle, demonstrated change or continuity in presidential money primary. Overall, the results suggest a great degree of similarity, even though candidates may now be running harder to raise more money in a shorter time period. However, as the 2008 money primaries and the 2004 Democratic pre-primary fundraising contest demonstrate, these changes may have reduced the importance of the money primary in determining who will ultimately win the presidential nomination.

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