I am reading the paper Effects of game‐based learning on students' mathematics achievement: A meta‐analysis and can't find a definition for the term "PreK‐12th‐grade students".

While I know that "K-12" is used to refer to education from kindergarten to 12th grade I am not sure about "pre". Does it mean that the study refers exclusively to children before kindergarten aged 0-3? Or to all students aged 0-18+ years?

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    $\begingroup$ Pre-K, in the U.S., only refers to students in the year prior to Kindergarten, or around age 3/4. Pre-K does not normally include 0-3 year old students in preschool prior to pre-K, nor headstart, or infant/toddler daycare, etc. It is unclear how the sample is defined in the article you cite. The answer below seems to be assuming that the author used preschool to be talking about the entire gamut of classes/levels prior Kindergarten courses instead of what is now commonly referred to as pre-K, i.e., the course just before Kindergarten and no others. $\endgroup$ – oemb1905 May 25 '19 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ If one wants to include head start, infant/toddler day care, etc., along with pre-K itself, they usually use the term "P-12" instead, or as is common in educational leadership, "P-20," to refer to the entire process of growing, from birth to PhD. $\endgroup$ – oemb1905 May 25 '19 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ @TommiBrander left a message for you ^^ $\endgroup$ – oemb1905 May 26 '19 at 15:05

From the article:

Grade level was a categorical factor consisting of three levels: preschool–kindergarten students (or its equivalent if outside of the United States), 1st‐ to 6th‐grade students, and 7th grade and above. This variable evaluated whether the effectiveness of mathematics game‐based learning varied across different grade levels as to accommodate for a continued increase in difficulty of mathematics skills and decrease in student motivation to learn from preschool‐elementary to middle‐high school settings

So "PreK‐12th‐grade students" means any student in school, preschool or kindergarten.

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    $\begingroup$ I could imagine this answer being improved by defining exactly what "preschool" means (e.g., someone unfamiliar with the term might read it as any age before schooling starts). $\endgroup$ – Daniel R. Collins May 26 '19 at 2:20
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    $\begingroup$ @paracosmiste unfortunately, the article conflated preschool with pre-kindergarten, and moreover, it did not delimit preschool, I.e., is this including 1 year olds in infant day care (often called preschool), or is it limited to 3/4 year olds. The sample was horribly defined in the original piece and I consider the question technically unanswerable because of that sloppiness. You may be right, but the article did not delimit preschool, so it is an assumption. $\endgroup$ – oemb1905 Jun 3 '19 at 21:26

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