Publications & Resources
Preschool Participation and the Cognitive and Social Development of Language-Minority Students
Russell W. Rumberger and Loan Tran
This study examined participation in preschool and its relationship with the cognitive and social development of language-minority students. Although there is a large body of research that demonstrates the cognitive and social benefits of attending preschool (Barnett, 1995; Gorey, 2001; National Research Council, Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy, 2000; Vandell, 2004), very little of this research has included language-minority students, or at least those who do not speak English. Either non-English speaking families are not included in the design of the study, such as with the widely cited National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD) Early Child Care Study, or the studies are based on cognitive and social assessments that are only conducted in English (e.g., Magnuson, Meyers, Ruhm, & Waldfogel, 2004). Consequently, little is known about participation in and outcomes of preschool for the growing population of language-minority students. This report addressed three research questions: (1) How widespread is participation in preschool the year before kindergarten and does participation vary by language background? (2) What is the relationship between preschool participation and cognitive and social development at entry to kindergarten and does this relationship vary by language background? (3) What is the relationship between preschool participation and cognitive and social development at the end of third grade and does this relationship vary by language background?
Rumberger, R. W., & Tran, L. (2006). Preschool participation and the cognitive and social development of languageminority students (CSE Report 675). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).