Publications: Education

  • Harris, F.,* Smith, M.,* Laurens, K.R., Green, M.J., Tzoumakis, S., Kariuki, M., Carr, V.J. (2018). Validation of a two-factor model of the Best Start Kindergarten Assessment of literacy and numeracy. Australian Journal of Education, doi: 10.1177/0004944118761381 (Published Online 13 March  2018). 

This study examined the structure of the Best Start Kindergarten Assessment (Best Start) of literacy and numeracy, in a general population sample of 37,734 children drawn from the NSW Child Development Study (NSW-CDS) cohort. Analyses conducted on the 11 Best Start scales supported a two-factor structure underpinning literacy and numeracy attainment. This two-factor measure of attainment at school entry is comparable in structure to standardised measures of literacy and numeracy administered in later school years, and may thus facilitate research examining pathways of academic performance over time.

  • Moore, E.A., Harris, F., Laurens, K.R., Green, M.J., Brinkman, S., Lenroot, R.K., Carr, V.J. (2014). Birth outcomes and academic achievement in childhood: A population record linkage study. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 12(3), 234–250.

This scientific report examined the association between early life risk factors and academic achievement at Kindergarten (approx. age 5) and in Grade 3 (approx. age 8). This was achieved by linking the NSW Midwives data collection with the Best Start Kindergarten Assessment. Increasing maternal age and lack of maternal prenatal smoking were associated with improved academic performance. The results suggest that programs that target children with less developed academic skills during the first year of school may improve subsequent results.