Open Discussion Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

What is Quality?

  • 1.  What is Quality?

    Posted 04-02-2021 08:29 PM
    I recently interviewed for an academic director position in a private preschool. In addition to explaining to me that the only way children learn in the early years was through rote memorization, the owner told me that NAYEC was ridiculous because the standards for quality childcare centers have no basis in ANYTHING defined or explained. He told me that NAEYC had no definition for "quality". He says nothing is quantitative. While I am certain that he is full of a lot of hot air and I definitely do NOT want to work for him.... I am curious. What is NAEYC's definition of "quality"? Where do I find the research that I point out to parents and say "see? when you're kind and let children make choices, they learn better!" This man told me that as a progressive educator I lived in a fantasy world. How do I respond?
    Laura Denz


  • 2.  RE: What is Quality?

    Posted 04-05-2021 12:15 AM
    Wow - that was quite an interview. Here is a resource by Laura Colker and Derry Koralek, two leading members of the NAEYC circle, but they published this with Redleaf Press: High-Quality Early Childhood Programs: The What, Why, and How. It will help you feel more empowered in your views, even if you can't expect to have any impact to change that man's views.

    Karen Nemeth


    ------------------------------
    Karen Nemeth
    Author/consultant/keynotes
    Language Castle LLC
    Allentown PA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: What is Quality?

    Posted 04-05-2021 12:19 PM
    I am glad that you said that you would not work at this person's center. On the other hand, if you want back-up to your point of view/philosophy/values, there is research out there to support you. I would do a Google search. I think you will find a lot of support, especially in studies having to do with child development. One author who you should definitely look up is Dale Farran who has done much research out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. I would also look at Project Zero. Look at the references listed in books from which you developed your thinking on what quality looks like. There should be lots of studies and books listed there.

    On the other hand, quality definitions are almost in the eye of the beholder - what you view as important in the education of young children guides you to a certain way of thinking. In this case, the owner of this center is not impressed with the qualitative aspects of quality that in the long run promote learning and positive social/emotional outcomes for children. His/her measure of quality is all test-based where he can look at numbers to determine if the center is high quality.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: What is Quality?

    Posted 04-05-2021 04:43 PM
    What is a quality preschool? What does the classroom environment look like? Are there toys enough for every child to explore their individual interests? Probably not.  Finding quality care I first look at the shelves in the classroom and if there is plenty of toys to let the children play with. Then there has to be a system in place that children learn to put the toys they played with away. much like how Montessori children put their activity away.  The ECERS-R rating scale is used to measure quality in the whole preschool program.  With the highest rating in ECERS-R rating being number seven, most schools are around a three (because of no toys).  But I always found teaching in a classroom that doesn't have plenty of options toys materials has lots of children misbehaving.  So I prefer to teach at a preschool where I can tell the child to go play and watch them go explore the room full of toys and materials in a room with learning centers.  (for outside too).
    What is a quality preschool is at
    https://www.ersi.info/ecers_notes.html
    They used quantitative research in the classroom etc. to prove what is correctly needed to be a quality program.

    ------------------------------
    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: What is Quality?

    Posted 04-06-2021 08:46 AM
    Quality in Prek is more than the environment. It includes the processes and interactions within the classroom.

    Although ECERS is important in determining environment quality, quality measures are broader than that and that is where there might be controversy. I would definitely recommend looking at the research of Farran from Vanderbilt University who did multiple studies of Prek in Tenessee and how both the environment and the processes in those environments affected learning for the long term. One of the really interesting findings was that when children moved on from Prek, the kindergartens often did not build on what they came knowing already, which she felt set these children back.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: What is Quality?

    Posted 04-06-2021 11:28 AM
    The ECERS III tool addresses both interactions and materials, CLASS also looks at interactions with students. I couldn't agree more that there is a disconnect between Preschool and kindergarten, I teach in a public school district where we are starting to see a shift in using more DAP in kindergarten.

    ------------------------------
    Terri Kelley
    Elizabeth CO
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: What is Quality?

    Posted 04-07-2021 03:59 PM
    Hello,

    Thank you for sharing your experience and asking this question!
    NAEYC's accreditation process is guided by 10 standards, each one can be found with examples of what that might look like in a program, here. Some information on how these standards build the foundation for the accreditation process can be found, here.

    I would also look into the DAP position statement which provides more information in terms of teaching practices.
    If you have any further questions or need more support, I can put you in touch with a member from accreditation that can be of further help.
     
    In the meantime I'm sharing a few other NAEYC resources with you:
    If you search naeyc.org for the terms "quality" and "effective" you will find many more resources as well.


    ------------------------------
    Mary Samour
    Online Community Manager
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
    ------------------------------