Stronger Workforce

Teacher Education and PreK Outcomes: Are We Asking the Right Questions?

This commentary by the Foundation for Child Development’s previous staff, published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, challenges recent research that finds no relationship between PK teacher qualifications (degree, major, or certification) and child outcomes.

These findings are aimed (or aim) to inform policymakers who make decisions about the qualifications of PK teachers, based on costs of PK programs and the jobs they provide. Staffing is the major part of the costs of providing PK programs.

The authors argue that researchers are not asking the right questions about the relationship between PK teacher qualifications and child outcomes. The preparation of PK teachers varies by states as do PK teacher certification requirements. Given that fact, the authors question whether measures of PK teacher qualifications can be meaningfully related to child outcomes.