Newest Journal Issue Features Research on Makerspaces, Theater, Critical Media Literacy, and More

A young boy happily sitting at a desk holding a pencil and writing in a notebook.

The newest issue of the Journal of Research in Childhood Education features research from around the world focused on topics such as gender representation, theater performance, early home learning, and more.

Articles in Volume 38, Issue 3, include:

Get That App!: Examining Parental Evaluations of Numeracy Apps

The accessibility of mobile technologies opens a new world of possibilities for parents to support their children’s learning through game-based numeracy apps. Carefully designed numeracy apps can be effective at improving children’s foundational numeracy skills. In the absence of industry standards for quality, however, it is important to understand how parents choose numeracy apps for their children.

The Relationships Between Linguistic Literacy and Geometric Thinking in 2nd-Graders

The correlation between linguistic literacy and geometric thinking was investigated in this study, which was conducted among 99 native Hebrew-speaking 2nd-graders. Current results suggest a positive correlation between the study measures. Higher linguistic literacy achievement was linked to higher geometric thinking achievement. Significant differences were found in most literacy measures between children with low and medium-high geometric thinking, in favor of the latter group. The findings suggest that students with a lower level of geometric thinking are also at literacy risk, and that the two processes share cognitive aspects.

Hybrid Homeschooling: A Missing Piece of the Gifted Education Puzzle

Hybrid homeschooling is still in its initial phase in the Iranian education system and is still a mystery to many educators and parents. This study aimed to explore the reasons for choosing the homeschooling approach for gifted students using a grounded theory method. The sample of this qualitative study included 15 parents of gifted children and 10 specialists in giftedness recruited through purposive sampling.

Promoting Critical Media Literacy in Bilingual Households Through Mother-Child Conversations About Gender: A Multiple Case Study

This qualitative case study explores the intersection of family literacy, bilingualism, and critical media literacy by examining how mother-child conversations about children’s videos helped preschool, bilingual children develop critical perspectives on gender roles. As part of a larger qualitative study, this study focused on 4-year-old, Korean-descent children’s conversations with their mothers about gender representations in children’s videos as well as in their drawing.

On the Inter-Relationships Between Teachers, Technologies, and Children in Makerspace Environments: A Comparative Case Study in Kindergarten Classrooms

While early childhood education worldwide has become increasingly interested in integrating makerspaces into their curricula, little research has examined how this can be done. The authors conducted a comparative case study to understand how three pioneering and prominent teachers have established such spaces, their perspectives regarding makerspaces and their role in them, and what characterizes these spaces.

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Where Have All the Girls Gone? Examining Gender Representation Within Children’s Picture Books

The underrepresentation of women and girls in children’s picture books and the use of gender stereotypes persists, as seen in a sample of 335 books published between 2010 and 2020. Previous research showed a significant lack of female representation in children’s picture books and stereotyped presentation.

Exploring Public Montessori Education: Equity and Achievement in South Carolina

This article examines the expansion of public Montessori education and its implications for student participation and outcomes. The study focuses on the state of South Carolina, which has the largest number of public Montessori programs in the United States. Through a comprehensive analysis of demographic characteristics and standardized test scores, the authors investigate the participation of different student groups in public Montessori programs and compare the academic achievement of public Montessori students to that of their peers in traditional public schools. The findings indicate that public Montessori attracts a diverse range of students, but there is an underrepresentation of less-resourced students and students of color in public Montessori programs.

The Goal to Perform in Readers’ Theater Motivates Boys Who Struggle With Reading

There is a global concern regarding boys’ poor engagement in literacy activities. It is suggested that boys enjoy ways of learning that are active and have explicit goals. Readers’ theater (RT) provides an active and collaborative means of practicing oral reading fluency, with a clear goal of performing for an audience at the end of training. In the context of an intervention study for struggling readers in grades 3 and 4 (9–10 years old), the authors investigated whether boys benefit more than girls from the goal to perform in readers’ theater in terms of reading fluency development, engagement, and retrospective perception of their learning.

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The Impact of Early Home Learning Environment and Preschool Quality on School-Relevant Language Proficiency in Primary School

Using data from a longitudinal German large-scale study and structural equation modeling, this study investigated the effects of different dimensions of the early home learning environment (HLE) as well as the effect of language-related preschool quality at the age of 3 to 5 years on students’ later school-relevant language proficiency (as indicated by their school-relevant listening comprehension) in primary school (N = 316; Mage in months at Grade 1 = 88.22, SD = 3.98). Results show significant direct effects of both the book exposure at home as well as of the language and literacy-related preschool quality on later school-relevant language proficiency, even when controlling for earlier language skills at preschool entry (age 3/4) and other relevant child (working memory, nonverbal cognitive abilities) and family-related (socioeconomic status) factors.

Two of these articles are currently freely available to the public, while the others are available to journal subscribers or for a download fee. Access to the free articles is available here:

The Journal of Research in Childhood Education (JRCE) presents education research on a wide range of ideas, including theory articles and studies on all scales. From empirical research projects to small-case studies carried out in naturalistic settings, such as schools and community centers, articles track data across cultures and study research design. Published 4 times a year, JRCE keeps teacher educators informed about best practices for advancing education and learning.

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