Can the ECERS-R be used to measure quality in a kindergarten setting?
Co-author Dick Clifford is currently conducting (with a number of colleagues at UNC, at UCLA and at UVA) a large-scale study of pre-kindergarten programs in six states, which will be extended to an additional five states this fall. In this study ECERS-R data were collected in approximately 240 pre-k classrooms in 2001-02. They have followed these children into kindergarten in the school year just ending, and have also used the ECERS-R in more than 750 classrooms the sample children attended this year. The ECERS-R seems to work quite well in these setting as it has in previous studies of kindergarten programs. Minor adjustments have been made to the Notes for Clarification and an item or two may not be used in the analysis because of a very low variation in the sample, but overall the ECERS-R functions well at the kindergarten level. Dr. Clifford would be glad to send, upon request, the adjustments they made if anyone decides to pursue use of the Scale in work with kindergartens.
Some time ago, Dr. Clifford did a study (with Donna Bryant and Ellen Peisner-Feinberg) of public kindergartens in North Carolina with a randomly selected sample of about 100 kindergarten classrooms. They used the original version of the ECERS. Again, they made slight adjustments in the Scale to fit with the public school setting, and the Scale worked well. [Bryant, D.M., Clifford, R.M., & Peisner, E.S. (1991). Best practices for beginners: Developmental appropriateness in kindergarten. American Educational Research Journal 28 (4), 783-803] As a result of these two large research projects, we feel that the ECERS-R can be used for work with kindergarten evaluation and program improvement efforts.