In the last decade, several efforts have been made to improve teaching and intervening practice in preschool classrooms by means of professional development programs (Mar-tinez-Beck & Zaslow, 2006; OECD, 2012). In-service professional development for pre-school teachers varies widely with respect to amount, duration, delivery format (traditional workshop and course vs. modern approaches such as coaching, mentoring, blended learning) and content (Oberhuemer, 2012; 2013). In general, it is assumed that in-service training enhances teachers’ knowledge, skills, and classroom practice. Improved teaching practice enhances student achievement. The connection seems intuitive, but empirical demonstration is difficult. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to conduct a research synthesis on the results of in-service professional development effects and to draw conclusions about the findings on potential effect modifiers into an integrated frame-work.
Systematic review procedures and meta-analytic techniques were used to estimate the effectiveness of in-service programs. The review consists of experimental studies (RCT, CRT, quasi-experimental and non-experimental studies) that have evaluated the impact of professional development for teachers working in center-based care on quality ratings and child development. Electronic searches (ERIC, PsycINFO, ProQuest, FIS, and WISO) and hand searches in renowned journals from 1970 to 2011 produced 1,162 hits. Two inde-pendent coders extracted statistical information from the full texts and screened the litera-ture on the quality of the studies, in-service characteristics, and training transfer factors. A randomized multi-level procedure was used to aggregate the summary impact, where effect sizes were nested under treatment.
Overall, 36 studies provided sufficient data to conduct a meta-analysis of in-service train-ing effects on quality ratings. The aggregation of findings revealed a medium summary effect g’ = 0.64 (SE = 0.071). Alongside methodological variables, the size of the effect was statistically moderated by training intensity and format. In-service programs with 45 to 60 hours of training and programs that used coaching as their sole format were the most effective.
The impact of professional development programs on the language and literacy abilities of young children have been investigated in 48 studies. The summary effect was small
g’ = 0.38 (SE = 0.045). Differential impacts and variations in the size of the effects were found for different outcome domains. Effect sizes were moderated by methodological as-pects, training design and intensity. Programs with 15 to 30 hours of training were the most effective in fostering language and literacy skills. Approaches that used mixed delivery types, in particular the combination of workshop and course had a larger impact.
For the meta-analysis of in-service training effects on social skills and reduced problem behavior, 13 studies provided sufficient data. A small summary effect was found: g’ = 0.45 (SE = 0.074). However, differential effects emerged for different outcome domains. In particular, larger effects were found for the promotion of social skills than for the reduction of problem behavior. Alongside methodological variables, training programs with a duration of 9 months or short-term programs with less than 30 hours of training were significantly more effective.
To investigate the link between in-service professional development, quality improvements and child development, 9 studies were found that provide data on both quality ratings and child development. In-service training effects on student achievement could be significantly predicted by quality improvements that occurred during training. More than
53 % of the variance in effects on child development was explained by the quality ratings which emerged as a result of in-service professional training.
In addition to the meta-analyses, narrative reviews identified some features of highly ef-fective in-service programs with a calculated effect of g > 0.80. Narrative analysis indicat-ed that a narrow content focus and educational principles matter. In particular, effective programs provided opportunities for active learning, guidance and feedback as well as performance-based assignments during training and between training sessions. Further, the trainers of highly effective programs were either the authors of the program or had a specific pretraining/license for the program.
Several effect modifiers were tested. In the majority of cases, the effects were influenced by methodological issues (e.g., pretest differences, reliability of scales or informants) and training intensity in hours. However, the results for training delivery variables were incon-sistent. Clear conclusions on other characteristics cannot be made from the meta-regression, because the findings were either inconsistent or missing information in primary studies hindered the investigation.
In summary, there are some beneficial programs and the synthesis of research findings suggests that most of the in-service training has positive effects on the quality of early education and child development. The results demonstrate that quality improvements are a key mechanism to enhance student achievement. Some conclusions for achieving highly professional development with regards to duration and intensity, educational principles and trainers can be drawn. Recommendations for further research include high quality research designs (e.g., equivalence of groups, reliable scales, etc.) and data collection on confounding and contextual variables. Nevertheless, some questions remain in analyzing in-service training effects. In particular, more research and primary studies are needed to investigate the heterogeneity of the results and the moderating role of implementation processes and program fidelity.
Large-scale surveys typically exhibit data structures characterized by rich mutual dependencies between surveyed variables and individual-specific skip patterns. Despite high efforts in fieldwork and questionnaire design, missing values inevitably occur. One approach for handling missing values is to provide multiply imputed data sets, thus enhancing the analytical potential of the surveyed data. To preserve possible nonlinear relationships among variables and incorporate skip patterns that make the full conditional distributions individual specific, we adapt a full conditional multiple imputation approach based on sequential classification and regression trees. Individual-specific skip patterns and constraints are handled within imputation in a way ensuring the consistency of the sequence of full conditional distributions. The suggested approach is illustrated in the context of income imputation in the adult cohort of the National Educational Panel Study.
This paper analyses the costs of housing crises in terms of GDP growth and the economic conditions under which crises are particularly costly. Housing crises are often followed by recessions that are longer than other recessions. According to empirical estimates, a housing crisis reduces the GDP growth rate in the following year on average by two percentage points and has still a considerable negative impact in the second year. One important channel through which the effect of housing crises is passed on seems to be the banking sector. In addition, our results suggest that negative wealth effects possibly cause further reductions in GDP growth.
Background: Human populations differ in height. Recent evidence suggests that social networks play an important role in the regulation of adolescent growth and adult height. We further investigated the effect of physical connectedness on height.
Material and methods: We considered Switzerland as a geographic network with 169 nodes (district capitals) and 335 edges (connecting roads) and studied effects of connectedness on height in Swiss conscript from 1884–1891, 1908–1910, and 2004–2009. We also created exponential-family random graph models to separate possible unspecific effects of geographic vicinity.
Results: In 1884–1891, in 1908–1910, and in 2004–2009, 1st, 2nd and 3rd order neighboring districts significantly correlate in height (p < 0.01). The correlations depend on the order of connectedness, they decline with increasing distance. Short stature districts tend to have short, tall stature districts tend to have tall neighbors. Random network analyses suggest direct road effects on height. Whereas in 1884–1891, direct road effects were only visible between 1st order neighbors, direct road effects extended to 2nd and 3rd in 1908–1910, and in 2004–2009, also to 4th order neighbors, and might reflect historic improvements in transportation. The spatial correlations did not significantly change when height was controlled for goiter (1884–1889) and for median per capita income (2006), suggesting direct road effects also in goiter-allowed-for height and income-allowed-for height.
Conclusion: Height in a district depends on height of physically connected neighboring districts. The association decreases with increasing distance in the net. The present data suggest that people can be short because their neighbors are short; or tall because their neighbors are tall (community effect on growth). Psycho-biological effects seem to control growth and development within communities that go far beyond our current understanding of growth regulation.
A public-private partnership (PPP) is an organizational arrangement in which knowledge and resources are pooled in order to realize outcomes. Although PPPs have become common practice in spatial planning and development, there is a continuous search for their ideal organizational form and management. This is fueled by the often poor performance in terms of e.g. time delays and budget overruns. Whilst comparative studies have been conducted into the outcomes of certain organizational forms and management strategies, fewer comparative studies evaluate their combined effects. The goal of this study is to explore what configurations of certain organizational forms and management may produce good outcomes. This is done by conducting a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) of survey data of 50 managers involved in urban regeneration companies (URCs) in the Netherlands.