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From reaserch to effective policy and practice in Early Care an Education

Lessons for Frank Porter Graham's 50 Years of Research W. S Barnett

What is the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Instute?

The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) is one of the nation's oldest and largest multidisciplinary centers devoted to the study of children and families. FPG was founded in 1966 by a small group of visionary scientists who sought to conduct research that would make a difference in children's lives, support families, and inform public policy.

3. The context for learning and Development Over Time

2. Generalization in the context of change

1. Generalization and Seminal Studies as Outliners

Designing Evidence-Based Policy


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est. 2019

The early childhood field has been remarkably successful in demonstraiting the potential of childhood education to improve learning and devolpment over the life course

  • Most families in the older seminal studies were African American
  • Today, the mayority of enrollees ib some pre-K programs are Dual-language Spanish Speakers
  • the percentage of Hispanic children nearly tripled to approximately 25%
  • The percentage of children in single-parent households has increased
  • The enrollment of young children with special needs in preschool programs has increased
  • Parents have more education today
  • parents engage in more learning activities with their young children than in years past
  • The percentage of children born to teenage mothers is much lower
  • Parents are less likely to smoke during and after pregnancy

Generalization in the context of change

The failure of most large-scale public programs to replicate the features of successful models is a design fllaw that can be attributed to this lack of political will.

Design Failure

Punitive discipline for preschool children The poor quelity of infant and toddler care can be directly trace to inadequate funding for the adults working on those programs. t

Implementation Failure

Process Quality


Preschool program impacts most directly depend on the experiences they provide to children and families.



Allowing more time for teachers to learn complex approaches Expanding outcomes measures to include creativity, intrinsic motivation to learn and ensuring that follow up is long enough.

Stuctural Quality


How Can Reaserch Improve Program Effectiveness

Research has failed to find much association between the structural features of early childhood programs and program effectiveness

Policy makers , practitioners, and reasearchers should find new ways to collaborate in studying the implementation and impacts of systemic efforts to producelarge and persistance gains at scale.


We need new appoaches to research that explicitly focus on learning how to scale up and sustain effective programs


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