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Quality of Social and Physical Environments in Preschools and Children's Development of Academic, Language, and Literacy Skills


Looking at 540 preschool-aged children in Georgia this study looks at how the quality of social and physical environments affect children's development in the areas of academic, language, and literacy skills. A review of the existing literature notes that there are inconsistencies in associations between quality ECCE environments and development; however, Mashburn notes that this could be caused by three factors: how the study was designed to detect effects, characteristics of children participating in the study, and how quality and outcomes were defined and measured (p. 114). This study breaks quality down by looking specifically at the social and physical environment rather than viewing quality as one general facet of ECCE environments. There are two broad types of quality: structural and process. Structural quality consists of regulations, teacher education levels, ratio, etc. Process quality are the aspects of care that directly affect children such as relationships with teachers, learning materials, and the quality of space. The author notes that many studies have looked at quality in ECCE on a linear scale of bad to good, but notes that process quality in ECCE environments is actually multidimensional.
The research found that high quality physical environments did not correlate with children's competencies overall, but they were useful as protective factors for those children who had risk factors for developmental delays.

You can find a copy of this article at
http://0-web.ebscohost.com.library.capilanou.ca/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&hid=9&sid=a4f293e7-74af-49c5-814d-f05c525e666f%40sessionmgr12

Reference:

Mashburn, A. J., (2008). Quality of Social and Physical Environments in Preschools and Children's Development of Academic, Language, and Literacy Skills. Applied Developmental Science, 12(3), 113–127. doi: 10.1080/10888690802199392