University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Early Learning Network
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Project Name

Early Education in Rural North Carolina

Studies

Policy and Practice Study

Researchers will study the policy context surrounding a cohort of children as they progress from prekindergarten through third grade in six rural counties. Specifically, the North Carolina team will focus on whether policies are aligned in ways that help sustain learning across early grades. To investigate these issues, researchers will draw upon semi-structured interviews, survey data from school and program administrators, and content analysis of policy documents.

Classroom Observation Study

Researchers will observe the quality of teacher-child relationships, conversations between teachers and children, differentiated instruction, instructional content, and policies, and relate them to gains during the school year in children’s academic and social behavioral skills to examine associations between classroom practices and child outcomes.

Longitudinal Study

Researchers will investigate the extent to which classroom policies and practices relate to gains in student’s academic and social skills across five years, from PreK through third grade. The extent to which these patterns are similar for children whose home language is Spanish and English will be examined.

Setting

The research studies will take place in six rural counties in North Carolina. Three counties have a higher expenditure rate per publicly-funded PreK classroom and the other three counties have a lower expenditure rate per publicly-funded PreK classroom.

About the Team

Personnel

Margaret Burchinal, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Margaret Burchinal, Ph.D.

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
burchinal@unc.edu

Biography

Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator

Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, Ph.D.

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Epeisner.feinberg@unc.edu

Biography

Lora Vogel-Cohen

Co-Principal Investigator

Lora Cohen-Vogel, Ph.D.

School of Education
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lora.cohen-vogel@unc.edu

Biography

Claire Baker

Investigator

Claire Baker, Ph.D.

School of Education
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
claire.baker@unc.edu

Biography

Ximena Franco

Investigator

Ximena Franco, Ph.D.

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
ximena.franco@unc.edu

Biography

Lynne Vernon-Feagans

Investigator

Lynne Vernon-Feagans, Ph.D.

School of Education
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
lynnevf@email.unc.edu

Biography

Mary Bratsch-Hines

Investigator and Project Director

Mary Bratsch-Hines, Ph.D.

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
bratsch@email.unc.edu

Biography