Ohio State Joins Initiative to Improve Early Education

Ohio State’s research team from the College of Education and Human Ecology will focus on the role of “classroom ecology” in children’s learning. That includes not only factors like student ability and relationships with teachers, but also the social status of students – whether they are popular with others or feel victimized.

In addition, the Ohio State team will conduct a statewide analysis of policies and procedures that affect classroom ecology. For example, some school districts give parents choices in which school their children will attend and that could have a major impact on classroom ecology, she said.

The researchers have received a $4.5 million federal grant as part of a national effort to improve early childhood education across the country. The study will last five years.

Other Ohio State investigators on the project, all from the College of Education and Human Ecology, are Kelly Purtell, Jessica Logan, Tzu-Jung Lin, Millie Gort and Richard Lomax.

Other Early Learning Network grants went to the University of Nebraska; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the University of California, Irvine; the University of Virginia; and MDRC, a policy research center.