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College Students’ Beliefs about Preschooler’s Literacy Development: Results from a National Study of Jumpstart

Author(s): Martha A. Adler | Mary Trepanier-Street

Journal: Early Childhood Research & Practice
ISSN 1524-5039

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Early Childhood Education | Literacy | College Students | Teacher Education | Jumpstart | Mentoring

Although research indicates that early childhood literacy programs can be effective for preschoolers, little is known about the effects of programs on college student mentors. This study explored the beliefs of college students about literacy development in preschool children and whether these beliefs change after their involvement in a yearlong, intensive mentoring program intended to facilitate at-risk preschoolers’ literacy development. Survey data from a large-scale national service program and a smaller local Jumpstart program were analyzed. Surveys from the national program investigated college students’ beliefs about developmentally appropriate literacy practices. Sample surveys further investigated the nature of the students' beliefs, i.e., constructivist based versus skill based. Results indicate that a yearlong mentoring program positively impacted college students’ beliefs and understanding about developmentally appropriate literacy practices.
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