The purpose of the Illinois LINC study was to collect data on the state of the learning continuum in Illinois school districts and early learning centers. The goals of the research was to make informed policy recommendations based on the data collected in this study and to inform the larger education community on those policies and practices that pose as barriers to a seamless learning continuum and those that support it.
The Illinois LINC study used mixed method data collection and analysis through:
Surveys to early childhood directors, elementary education principals, and early childhood and K-12 professional development providers;
Document reviews of supporting district, school , or childcare provider artifacts; and,
Delphi surveys data gathering of expert advisory committee members
This was done through the consideration of four primary research questions:
What is the current nature of the linkages and partnerships between early learning providers and K-12 school systems in Illinois?
What are the most current issues and challenges that are barriers to creating a seamless learning continuum in Illinois?
How are early learning program directors/coordinators and elementary school principals facilitating the alignment of a learning continuum?
What actions do practitioners recommend that would facilitate their efforts to develop and sustain a learning continuum?