Identifying Actionable Classroom and Program Features for Quality Improvement and Expansion in a Large-Scale Prekindergarten Program
Paola Andrea Guerrero-Rosada

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Michigan

Primary Discipline

My dissertation aims to provide actionable evidence on three related pressing questions for the early education field: what instructional features of preschool classrooms predict children?s academic gains; whether instructional alignment from prekindergarten to first grade contributes to sustaining children?s academic gains; and how to optimize the selection of centers participating in universal prekindergarten programs. For my first aim, I compare the measurement properties of two instructional quality observational instruments: the Narrative Record (Farran et al., 2015) and the Individualizing Student Instruction (Connor et al., 2009) systems. For my second aim, I estimate multi-level linear regression models to identify the contribution of instructional alignment to children?s gains in language (Dunn & Dunn, 2007), literacy (Good III et al., 2001), and math (Clements et al., 2008; Woodcock et al., 2001, 2005). Finally, for my third aim, I describe statistical and geo-spatial differences between centers that self-select to participate in the Boston Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) program and other centers in the Boston area, using administrative data from their licensing, quality rating and improvement system, and accreditation status. Then, for the sub-sample of centers participating in the Boston UPK program, I describe what center characteristics are associated with their engagement with quality improvement supports during their first two years in the program. My results have the potential to inform quality measurement and professional development in early education classrooms and effective recruitment strategies for universal prekindergarten programs.
About Paola Andrea Guerrero-Rosada
Paola Guerrero-Rosada is a Ph.D. candidate in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the classroom and center features that better support children?s development. She is interested on developing strategies to increase equitable access to high-quality early education settings, leveraging observational, geo-spatial, and administrative data. To that end, she has collaborated with a long-standing Research Practice Partnerships between Boston Public Schools, the University of Michigan, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and MDRC examining factors that promote children?s gains from preschool to third grade, and studying the implementation of the Boston Universal Prekindergarten Program. Prior to her doctoral studies, Paola collaborated in large-scale evaluations of professional development programs for early education in Colombia, and led undergraduate programs for pre-service teachers at the School of Education at Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia). Paola received a B.A. in psychology from Universidad del Valle (Colombia), a M.Sc. in psychology from the Universidad de Los Andes, and from the University of Michigan. She is a 2018 APPAM Equity and Diversity Fellow, and a 2022 Rackham Predoctoral Fellow.

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