A Matter of Degrees: Preparing Teachers for the Pre-K Classroom

Mar 09, 2010

Teacher effectiveness is one of the most important factors impacting the quality of pre-kindergarten programs. But defining the optimal preparation for early childhood educators—both for supporting effective teaching to a diverse student population and encouraging salaries that can attract a stable, high-quality workforce—has been a subject of ongoing debate.

A new report from Pre-K Now reviews research on training for pre-k teachers and concludes that educators with at least a bachelor's degree—coupled with specialized training in early childhood—are best able to foster development of the cognitive, social and emotional skills children need to be ready for kindergarten. Evidence shows that states offering mandates, incentives and training programs for teachers create more effective pre-k classrooms.

A Matter of Degrees: Preparing Teachers for the Pre-K Classroom highlights state models for increasing teacher quality and shows how raising qualification requirements can professionalize the workforce and improve student outcomes. The report also documents

  • • research on teacher preparation and its relationship to effective teaching and other benefits to children and communities;
  • •  challenges states face as they aim to raise qualification requirements for pre-k teachers;
  • •  models for building a better-educated pre-k workforce; and
  • •  recommendations for steps states should take to implement research-based teacher education requirements for early childhood educators.

Pre-K Now, a campaign of the Pew Center on the States, collaborates with advocates and policy makers to advance high-quality, voluntary pre-k for all. 


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