Support for Pre-K Teachers may Reduce Expulsions, Study Suggests

A new study suggests ways to reduce the alarming number of expulsions from pre-kindergarten due to disruptive behavior.

Tuesday January 15th - 3:22pm

A recent study by a researcher at Yale University found that students in Pre-K classroom were being expelled for problem behavior at higher rates than older K-12 students. These children, many of whom have developmental or mental health disorders like ADHD, were expelled before they even started their formal education. That same researcher, Walter S. Gilliam, has now published a new study that provides ways to cut down that number.

Gilliam's study states that children in early-education programs should not be expelled, but instead, that teachers and administrators should work to determine necessary supports for each child's needs. Some of the key areas in doing this involve supporting teachers. The study suggests that giving teachers access to mental health consultants, reducing class sizes, and giving teachers more breaks could all help reduce expulsions.

Other studies have also suggested that teacher training and more focus on social and emotional development, rather than academics, can help reduce problem behaviors in preschool classrooms. Gilliam agrees, but also emphasizes the need to support teachers and for federal and state governments to keep track of expulsion rates and study the issue.

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