Cross-site Evaluation of the Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) contracted with Child Trends, Inc. to conduct a cross-site evaluation of the activities supported by the ECEPD. The purpose of the cross-site evaluation was to provide a descriptive portrayal of the approaches used by 18 ECEPD projects funded in 2003, 2004 and 2005 to increase access to and quality of professional development for early childhood educators, and (2) to identify in greater detail the specific features of professional development that appear most consistently across those specific programs that met specific criteria for rigor and that showed evidence of statistically significant effects on early educator knowledge; early educator practice in working directly with children; and/or child outcomes. A defining feature across ECEPD projects was the reliance on both a knowledge-focused and practice-focused component of professional development. Knowledge-focused professional development activities sought to convey knowledge about early childhood development, age-appropriate practices and techniques to support children’s language, literacy, and socio-emotional development, and/or using a particular early childhood curriculum. Practice-focused activities help support and/or improve the early childhood educators’ practice or the quality of the early childhood environment.
This brief presents the findings of the cross-site evaluation with descriptive findings on the eight projects that met specific criteria for rigor and showed evidence of statistically significant effects. (Child Trends, Inc. also published a literature review in conjunction with the study entitled, “Professional Development for Early Childhoods Educators: A Review of the Literature”
Forging a New Framework for Professional Development
The U.S. Department of Education's, Early Childhood Educator Professional Development (ECEPD) Program under NCLB, Title II), grantees convened a national summit to identify emerging and critical gaps in knowledge and research on effective professional development for early childhood educators, hosted by the Zero to Three National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families and the Georgetown University Center on Health and Education, both 2007 ECEPD grantees. Among the special guests were Secretary Arne Duncan, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Barbara Bowman, Jacqueline Jones, Sr. Advisor to the Secretary Duncan on Early Learning and Joan Lombardi, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Also visit OPEPD, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (professional development) for a copy of "Towards the Identification of Features of Effective Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators – Literature Review," which presents the research on professional development of early childhood educators to characterize features of effective professional development.http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html
Parent - Child Literacy Activity Calendar 2005-2006. This colorful calendar offers tips, activities, suggested reading materials and more!
Evaluation Plans Helpful Hints
The resources below may be helpful to applicants as they work on evaluation plans for the 2006 Early Childhood Educator Professional Development (ECEPD) program grant award competition. The resources include descriptions of and links to the documents that [ been found to be most useful. Since this site just came up a couple of weeks ago, many of our competitions have already been announced. However, for the couple that haven't been announced, we're going to provide a link from our application package to the sites for any interested applicants.
- Random Assignment in Program Evaluation, Qs and As. This is a 9 page document that lists basic questions and answers that an educator or administrator might have about random assignment and why it is an effective and beneficial tool to use in education.
- How to Report the Results of Your Study:A User-Friendly Guide for Evaluators of Educational Programs and Practices: This is a 13 page guide that would be helpful to grantees conducting evaluations. This can help grantees produce reports that are user-friendly and include the appropriate information needed to accurately and fully convey their findings to an audience.
- Key Items to Get Right When Conducting a Randomized Control Trial in Education: Although this is geared a little more toward an evaluator (rather than an educator), it does offer advice for educators to think about as they work with their evaluator in conducting a randomized control trial. It discusses planning the study, the random assignment process, measuring outcomes, and analysis.
- What Works Clearinghouse of Outcome Evaluators: This link lets applicants/grantees search for a qualified evaluator by geographic area, individual or organization, content area, and target population. (If an evaluator would like to be included in this list, information on how to submit registry data is available at: Submit Registry Data
Other Early Childhood Resources