An Ecobehavioral analysis of teacher and classroom factors influencing preschoolers' literacy engagement
University of Kansas
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Student engagement has been found to be an important indicator of high quality instruction and has served as a focus for improving learning outcomes in the elementary grades. This study focuses specifically on teacher and classroom factors that may increase children's literacy engagement. Participants of this study were selected from preschool classrooms that participated in an Early Reading First (ERF) program serving low-income children in a Midwestern urban area.Two out of the nine classrooms were chosen for this study based on teachers' fidelity of implementation of a set of ERF literacy practices. Ecobehavioral Assessment (EBA) was conducted to examine the differences in the amount of early literacy instruction in classrooms with High Fidelity (HF) versus those with Low Fidelity (LF) during small group and center time. EBA was also conducted to examine whether or not children would demonstrate higher levels of literacy engagement when they were in classrooms with greater amounts of literacy focus than when they were in classrooms with low literacy focus. Preliminary findings indicated that teachers in HF classrooms spent more time in literacy instruction than teachers in LF classrooms during small group time. All children demonstrated higher amounts of literacy engagement during small group time compared to center time. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of modifying instruction to increase children's literacy engagement and to improve their learning outcomes in literacy.
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