Singapore Kindergarten Impact Project (SKIP)

Project Number
OER 09/14 RB

Project Duration
May 2014 - January 2019

Status
In-Progress

Abstract
One current strategic priority of the Ministry of Education (MOE) is a focus on preschool educational provision with MOE and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) forming an implementation committee to formulate and oversee strategies to enhance preschool education. This includes changes to preschool teacher training, changes to the preschool curriculum, and the set-up of government pilot kindergratens. As young children in Singapore are spending a large proportion of their time in preschools, it has become increasingly important to determine how they are affected by their experiences in preschool. In this study, we focus on the nature and impact of teacher-child interactions. We will also examine the organizational and structural aspects of preschool to arrive at an overall measure of the quality of the children's pedagogical experiences. Our main aim is to examine how pedagogical experiences, together with home support and the children's cognitive capabilities, influe nce children's school readiness and performance in later schooling. Specifically, we will focus on their impact on the development of children's mathematical, language, and socio-emotional competencies. We aim to recruit 1500 children from approximately 75 preschools (including the newly established MOE kindergartens). Our recruitment will also target preschools that vary in terms of time spent on mother tongue tuition, with the aim of addressing policy questions regarding the factors that lead to better language and literacy development in both English and Mother Tongue languages (time spent on MT, quality of the teacher-child interaction, home language environment). On entry to K1 children, parents, and teachers will complete a battery of measures to assess the child's numeracy and literacy skills, self regulation, and socio-emotional skills. We will also gather information about the child's home environment and teacher's professional demographics. We will then conduct classroom observations using the CLASS and other observational tools to examine the quality of teacher-child interaction and the kindergraten environment. The child outcome battery will be readministered at the end of K1. This initial year of data collection will allow us to conduct an analysis comparing the pedagogical experiences of children in different preschool settings and will assist our MoE colleagues in documenting pedagogical experiences in the new MOE kindergartens, and how these impact on child outcomes. A second round of classrooms observations will be conducted in K2, with the child outcome battery completed for a third time at the end of K2, and for the final time at entry to primary school. To address our research questions, we will model our longitudinal data using latent growth curve models and structural equation models. Results from the study will be disseminated to educators at NIE to allow changes to be made to current courses about early years education and child d om observations using the CLASS and other observational tools to examine the quality of teacher-child interaction and the kindergraten environment. The child outcome battery will be readministered at the end of K1. This initial year of data collection will allow us to conduct an analysis comparing the pedagogical experiences of children in different preschool settings and will assist our MoE colleagues in documenting pedagogical experiences in the new MOE kindergartens, and how these impact on child outcomes. A second round of classrooms observations will be conducted in K2, with the child outcome battery completed for a third time at the end of K2, and for the final time at entry to primary school. To address our research questions, we will model our longitudinal data using latent growth curve models and structural equation models. Results from the study will be disseminated to educators at NIE to allow changes to be made to current courses about early years education and child development.

Funding Source
NIE

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