May 8, 2018

Adam Winsler, (571) 221-9124,
Great Lakes Center, (517) 203-2940,

Review: Two reports focused on teacher prep for early childhood education mostly sound, useful

EAST LANSING, Mich. (May 8, 2018) – Two recent reports examined the current state of early childhood education (ECE) teacher preparation at the university and community college levels. A new review out today finds both reports to be mostly sound and useful, although some limitations in research and length were identified.

Adam Winsler, George Mason University, reviewed both reports for the Think Twice think thank project. Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), is funded in part by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice. The first report reviewed by Winsler was, It Takes a Community: Leveraging Community College Capacity to Transform the Early Childhood Workforce, from Bellwether Education Partners. He also reviewed New America's Pre-K Teachers and Bachelor's Degrees: Envisioning Equitable Access to High-Quality Preparation Programs.

Winsler writes that both reports raise awareness about the challenges facing the ECE workforce. In his review, Winsler also finds both reports to be valid and reasonable, although he notes that Bellwether's report is more comprehensive than the shorter one from New America. He says the New America report is "too short and rather awkward in presentation, which limits its effectiveness."

According to the review, the reports rely on thank tank white papers instead of peer-reviewed journal publications. However, the analyses appear to Winsler to be sound and the conclusions and recommendations were reasonable and supported by the limited data available.

He concludes, "these reports summarize key policy issues that are currently being discussed at multiple levels in the ECE policy community. Figuring out how best to ensure that our preschoolers are receiving high-quality educational and developmental appropriate experiences at ages 3 and 4 is high on the list of priorities for many."

Find the review on the web:

Find the Bellwether report here:

Find the New America report here:

Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

You can also find the review on the NEPC website:

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

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