Early Education Leaders, an Institute at UMass Boston

provides the leadership development opportunities and infrastructure that early educators need to support thriving children and families.

New research on ECE leadership 

Staff of the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation shared results from two studies at last week’s annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in Chicago. Director of Research Dr. Tim Zeng presented findings from “Effects of a Business Management Course on Child Care Program Leaders’ Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” showing that early care and education child care owners who completed a business management course designed specifically for ECE business owners demonstrated higher skills in business management as well as significantly higher levels of confidence in their skills.

L-R: Post Doctoral Research Fellow Dr. Yujin Lee, Executive Director Dr. Anne Douglass, and Director of Research Dr. Tim Zeng.

Post Doctoral Research Fellow Dr. Yujin Lee and Executive Director Dr. Anne Douglass presented findings from “A Scalability Study of an Evidence-Based Leadership Development Program,” which investigated the scale-up of a leadership development initiative delivered within a state’s ECE training and technical assistance system. Results showed that it is possible to effectively scale leadership development in a state ECE system and achieve positive outcomes for participating early educator leaders.

Both publications are expected to be published in the next year. 

The AERA annual meeting is the world’s largest gathering of education researchers and a showcase for groundbreaking, innovative studies in an array of areas. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Interrogating Consequential Education Research in Pursuit of Truth.”

“Education research is too often absent, underrepresented, misinterpreted, under-nuanced, and decontextualized in broader, societal, and public conversations about educational issues in pursuit of truth,” AERA President Rich Milner wrote in a letter to attendees, asking where policy and opinion makers get their information when making decisions about “banning and censoring books and curriculum materials” and deciding “what history is and is not taught in schools.”

“When education research is considered, the implications and outcomes for marginalized communities can be harmful or beneficial,” Milner continued. “In pursuit of truth, education research needs to be (a) designed to matter in public policy and practice and, concurrently, (b) interrogated to ensure equitable processes and results.” 

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