University of Nebraska–Lincoln – Early Learning Network
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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Project Name

Learning Frontiers: PreK to Grade 3

Studies

Policy and Practice Study

Researchers will assess and examine federal, state and local early childhood education policies, as well as local practices across rural and urban settings, determining how policy and practice are associated with prekindergarten through Grade 3 outcomes.

Classroom Observation Study

Researchers will study classroom practices and processes, identifying malleable factors that differentiate child outcomes across rural and urban communities. They will also explore how community setting (rural vs. urban) moderates the association between practices and child outcomes.

Longitudinal Study

Researchers will determine the effects of malleable factors on children’s academic and social-emotional outcomes, specifically examining transition periods across the PreK-3 continuum and effects on long-term developmental trajectories. They will also assess whether malleable factors narrow the achievement gap for children from disadvantaged backgrounds living in urban and rural community settings.

Setting

The Learning Frontiers studies will take place in 12 geographically-dispersed school districts across Nebraska (10 rural and 2 urban).

About the Team

Personnel

Susan Sheridan, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Susan Sheridan, Ph.D.

Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools University of Nebraska–Lincoln
ssheridan2@unl.edu

Biography

Lisa Knoche, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator

Lisa Knoche, Ph.D.

Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
lknoche2@unl.edu

Biography

Iheoma Iruka, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator

Iheoma Iruka, Ph.D.

Buffet Early Childhood Institute
University of Nebraska
iiruka@nebraska.edu

Biography

James Bovaird, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator

James Bovaird, Ph.D.

Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics Academy
Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
jbovaird2@unl.edu

Biography

Mark DeKraai, Ph.D.

Co-Investigator

Mark DeKraai, Ph.D.

Nebraska Public Policy Center
University of Nebraska
mdekraai2@unl.edu

Biography

Amanda Witte

Project Manager

Amanda Witte, Ph.D.

Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
awitte2@unl.edu

Biography