Do higher teacher qualifications mean better early childhood education and care?
This Campbell systematic reviewexamines the evidence on the correlation between teacher qualifications and the quality of early childhood learning environments, as measured by the Environment Rating Scale (ERS). The review summarizes findings from 48 studies with 82 independent samples. The studies had to be comparative or correlational and report either an overall quality scale or an environment rating scale.
Overall, the review suggests that higher teacher qualifications are positively associated with classroom quality in early childhood education and care (effect size = +0.20). The review also suggests a positive correlation between teacher qualifications and classroom quality on a number of subscales, including:
Program structure - focusing on the schedule, time for free play, group time, and provisions for children with disabilities (ES = +0.22).
Activities - this relates to fine motor, art, music/movement, blocks, sand/water, dramatic play, nature/science, math/number, use of digital technologies, and promoting acceptance of diversity (ES = +0.20).
Language and reasoning - encouraging children to communicate, use language to develop reasoning skills, and the informal use of language (ES = +0.20).
The researchers conclude that while there is evidence for the relationship between teacher qualification and classroom quality as measured by the ERS, further research is also needed into the specific knowledge and skills that are learned by teachers with higher qualifications that enable them to complete their roles effectively. It is important to note also, that while higher quality in early childhood education and care may lead to improved outcomes for children, we cannot assume that this is the case.
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