Principal Investigator: Dr Sharon Wolf, University of Pennsylvania
The proposed study builds on a school-randomized experiment, Quality Preschool for Ghana (QP4G), to assess impacts of an affordable and potentially scalable in-service training and coaching program for kindergarten teachers (of 4-6 year olds, KG1 and KG2) in private and public schools in the Greater Accra Region. The original study found at the first follow-up (end of Year 1) that the training improved classroom quality, developmentally appropriate practices, and children’s school readiness (Wolf, Aber & Behrman, 2017). Results from the second follow-up one year later show sustained impacts on school readiness including social-emotional development, executive function, and early academic skills for younger (KG1) children. We seek to follow the 1475 KG1 children in their transition to primary school to assess if (1) longer-term impacts of high quality ECE are sustained (vs. fade-out), (2) there are differences in longer-term impacts based on primary school characteristics, and (3) there are differences in longer-term impacts by child age and gender and select parental characteristics.
Update Friday 6th April 2018
Dr Wolf's ECD research project has achieved the following media coverage. Please click the links below to find out more.
Update Tuesday 31st October 2017
Quality Preschool for Ghana (QP4G) is a project that developed and evaluated the impacts of two programs designed to improve the quality of Ghana’s universal pre-primary education system (i.e., kindergarten for 4-6 year olds). The programs included an in-service training and coaching program for teachers and parental awareness meetings for parents to align the standards of teachers and parents. The impact evaluation followed teachers, parents, and children for two academic years and found that the teacher training and coaching improved teachers’ use of developmentally-appropriate and kindergarten-specific pedagogical practices, and improved children’s school readiness outcomes in the intervention year in early literacy, early numeracy, and social-emotional skills. Impacts on social-emotional skills were sustained one year later. The parental-awareness meetings were not effective, and even counter-acted the positive impacts of the teacher training on child outcomes.
The next stage of this project addresses a policy issue of concern about children’s transition to primary school, where the national curriculum and pedagogical approaches are very different from those in kindergarten. The next phase will assess if there are sustained impacts of the teacher training and coaching program on children as they transition to early primary school, as well as what elements of primary schools and classrooms support sustained gains. During the 2017-2018 academic year, we will be following children and their caregivers for a third year during this transition to assess two key questions: (a) Are program impacts on children’s learning and social-emotional outcomes sustained in their transition to primary school? And, (b) what characteristics of early primary teachers, classrooms, and schools support children’s successful transition and sustained gains in learning and social-emotional outcomes?
Results will be shared with policymakers and education stakeholders in Ghana, as well as with academic and early childhood education stakeholders in the international community.