The following research reports and policy briefs support our efforts to identify policy solutions that can increase access to effective educational and professional development opportunities.

Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education (Year 3 Report)

By Marcy Whitebook, Fran Kipnis, Laura Sakai, and Mirella Almaraz

The Year 3 interviews of the Learning Together study reveal that the vast majority of students successfully graduated from their B.A. cohort program. Year 3 interviews focused on two issues of concern about higher education programs – the practicum experiences for employed students and the adequacy of attention to working with children from linguistically diverse backgrounds. The graduates overwhelmingly reported that their B.A. classes provided them with skills and strategies needed to communicate with children who speak a language other than their own. While the majority of students reported that their practicum experiences helped them do a better job at their workplace, they also identified several areas for improvement. The Year 3 study also reports on the graduates’ perspectives about support at their jobs for ongoing learning and any changes in employment and/or compensation upon completing their degree.

Executive Summary (pdf)

Full Report (pdf)

Read more information about the Learning Together project, or read the Year 1 report, Year 2 report, or Year 4 report.

Posted 2011.


Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education (Year 2 Report)

By Marcy Whitebook, Laura Sakai, Fran Kipnis, Dan Bellm, and Mirella Almaraz

During the Year 2 interviews of the Learning Together study, the students resoundingly reported that the cohort model enabled them to access and succeed in a B.A.-level education in a way that would not otherwise have been possible. The students reported progress in overcoming the challenges described in the Year 1 report, and decreasing their reliance on some of the program supports as they progressed through the program. The students also identified the importance of employer support in successfully pursuing their educational goals.

Download the Year 2 report (pdf)

Read more information about the Learning Together project, or read the Year 1 report, Year 3 report, or Year 4 report.

Posted 2010.


Preparing Teachers of Young Children: The Current State of Knowledge, and a Blueprint for the Future

By Marcy Whitebook, Deanna Gomby, Dan Bellm, Laura Sakai, and Fran Kipnis

This two-part paper examines the early care and education (ECE) and K-12 research literature in depth to assess the current state of knowledge about the effective preparation of excellent teachers, and charts a research and policy agenda for the future.

» Executive summary (pdf)

» Comparison of K-12 and Early Care and Education Systems (pdf)

Part I: Teacher Preparation and Professional Development in Grades K-12 and in Early Care and Education: Differences and Similarities, and Implications for Research (pdf)
Part I summarizes the differences between the K-12 and the early care and education fields. We found more than enough similarities to warrant a close consideration of the combined wisdom of both fields.

Part II: Effective Teacher Preparation in Early Care and Education: Toward a Comprehensive Research Agenda (pdf)
Part II contains an in-depth review of our ECE and K-12 teacher preparation research and outlines what remains to be learned. It concludes with a set of key recommendations for research and policy.

Posted 2009.


Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education (Year I Report)

by Marcy Whitebook, Laura Sakai, Fran Kipnis, Mirella Almaraz, Esther Suarez, and Dan Bellm
 
 

 

 

This report presents the Year 1 findings of the Learning Together study, in which the research team conducted extensive interviews with over 90 percent of the 124 student cohort members, and with 13 administrators and faculty members. The report highlights the striking congruence between the student and institutional perspectives on aspects of the B.A. completion cohort programs that were working well, and on the adjustments or improvements that were still needed.

Download the report (pdf)

Read more information about the Learning Together project, or read the Year 2 report, Year 3 report, or Year 4 report.

Posted 2008.


Early Childhood Educator Competencies: A Literature Review of Current Best Practices, and a Public Input Process on Next Steps for California

Editor, Dan Bellm

By request from First 5 California and with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, we conducted an extensive literature review in 2007 on current best practices across the United States for defining early childhood educator competencies—the appropriate knowledge and skills for working effectively with young children. We also solicited feedback broadly from California’s early care and education field on the appropriate structure and content of such competencies for our state. This report compiles our research and the input received from the field.

Download the report (pdf)

Posted 2008.


Chutes or Ladders? Creating Support Services to Help Early Childhood Students Succeed in Higher Education

By Kara Dukakis, Dan Bellm, Natalie Seer, and Yuna Lee

This report looks at the challenges facing the growing number of “non-traditional students,” particularly in the early care and education field. It notes the wide range of supports often needed by these students and spotlights a number of promising efforts to address the many barriers to attainment of BA degrees. The report contains recommendations for institutions of higher education and communities wishing to provide targeted support for early care and education students to improve their success in school and beyond.

Download the report (pdf)

Spanish Version (pdf)

Posted 2007.


Clearing a Career Path: Lessons From Two Communities in Promoting Higher Education Access for the Early Care and Education Workforce

By Kara Dukakis and Dan Bellm

This report documents recent groundbreaking efforts in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, CA, including challenges faced and lessons learned, as a guide for other counties and institutions seeking to improve professional development in the early care and education field.

Download the report (pdf)

Posted 2006.


Time to Revamp and Expand: Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Programs in California’s Institutions of Higher Education

By Marcy Whitebook, Dan Bellm, Yuna Lee and Laura Sakai

This report presents the results of an inventory of nearly all (98.5%) of California institutions of higher education that train adults to teach children under the age of five, including certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. programs.

Download the report (pdf)
Executive Summary (pdf)

This study is linked to a national study of Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Programs in the US, led by researchers at the FPG Child Development Institute. Read their national report and state reports.

Posted 2005.