Past Research

Home-based Predictors of Children’s Executive Function Skills

We used a nationally representative dataset to explore the relation between parents’ beliefs and practices, children’s executive function skills, and their early reading and math development.

Children’s Knowledge of How They Learn 

This study investigated the utility of a questionnaire designed to  tap children’s knowledge of their  learning  processes.  Such  learning  processes,  called,  at  times,  approaches  to  learning  or executive  function  skills,  are  related  to  children’s  school  performance.  However,  research  has  not looked at children’s knowledge of the role that their approaches to learning play. This study was designed  to determine  if:  (1)  the questionnaire  we  developed  is understandable  by  children  of  the  focal  age  group;  (2)  and whether  children’s  scores  on  an  actual performance  measure,  tapping  the  skills  in  the  questionnaire,  are  associated  with  children’s responses to the questionnaire.

Improving Children’s Math Skills Through Playing Board Games

We are examining whether playing certain board games improves children’s number concepts. Can sending home popular board games and asking parents to play these games with their children improve the children’s early math skills? Others have found it does when these games are played in the classroom. We are currently in the process of analyzing data from Head Start children from a large metropolitan area.

Parents’ Beliefs about How Children Learn Math

The overarching aim of this project was to document the role that the home plays in children’s math development. We interviewed parents to learn about what they believe is important for socializing their children’s math development. What is the frequency with which children engage in a variety of activities relevant for math acquisition? We conducted these interviews with low income parents of Head Start preschoolers, and with first-generation Chinese and Latino immigrant parents with children who are in preschool through first grade, and with others.

Children’s Understanding of the Purposes of Homework

We examined children’s beliefs about the purpose and utility of the homework that they receive from their teachers. We analyzed data collected from over 100 children.

Parents’ Knowledge of Developmental Milestones and Relations to Reading and Math Skills in Kindergarten

We used data from a national data set to test the relations between parents’ knowledge of early developmental milestones, the frequency of children’s engagement in reading and math-relevant activities, and children’s early reading and math development