This study examined differences in literacy development between five students attending whole language pre-first-grade classes and five students eligible for pre-first-grade classes but attending modified traditional first-grade classes. Differences between whole language pre-first-grade classes and modified traditional first-grade classes in use of literacy materials, teaching procedures, and amount of time spent on literacy were also examined. The procedures involved testing the subjects on reading and writing skills, observations of the pre-first-grade and first-grade classes, and analysis of subjects' writing samples.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between family characteristics and parent involvement in Head Start, and the differences between parents who participated in Head Start parent involvement activities and parents who did not participate, as to their behaviors and attitudes concerning education, their children, their communities, and their children's academic achievement. This study analyzed existing data collected for a national parent involvement study. The sample consisted of 2,051 parent-child pairs (1,443 Head Start and 606 non-Head Start). Findings indicated a significant relationship between numerous family characteristics and parent involvement in Head Start, with variables related to a higher level of education of the mother or primary caregiver being the most dominant. Significant differences were found between the parents who participated in Head Start activities and parents who did not participate. The involved parents felt more strongly about teachers needing knowledge of their children's families, parents having knowledge worthy of sharing with their children's teachers, and parents wanting advice or input from their children's teachers. They reported a higher frequency of behaviors such as talking, reading, and playing with their children, trying to teach their children basic concepts, and having materials available for their children's use. Involved parents rated their level of participation, acceptance, and influence in their communities to be greater than did the uninvolved parents. Also, they had higher expectations concerning their children's education. The involved parents and the non-Head Start parents had heard of the resources available in their communities more than the uninvolved Head Start parents had; however, both groups of Head Start parents had used the resources more than the non-Head Start parents had. The children of the involved parents and the non-Head Start parents scored significantly higher on the Preschool Inventory than did the children of the uninvolved Head Start parents.