1. Laurie Van Egeren
  2. Assistant Provost for University-Community Partnerships
  4. Michigan State University
  1. Christina Schwarz
  2. http://schwarz.wiki.educ.msu.edu/
  3. Associate Professor
  5. Michigan State University

Cluster Randomized Trial of the Efficacy of Early Childhood Science Education...

NSF Awards: 1119327

2015 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6

Despite increasing attention to the importance of science education in early childhood, preschoolers, particularly those from low-income families, receive few high-quality science experiences. To address these needs, our research group is evaluating the efficacy of an early childhood science program, Head Start on Science (HSOS), using a three-level cluster randomized longitudinal design. Eight Head Start programs serving a diverse group of children (72 classrooms) are participating in this five-year study, implemented in two cohorts. The intervention group attended workshops, used technology-based distance coaching, and participated in online learning communities; the control group received the curriculum guide and science materials, but no other supports. Analysis of data looks at effects of the intervention on several aspects including teacher attitudes about the value of science, the implementation of high-quality, active learning practices as well as child scientific reasoning and knowledge, language development, math achievement, and social competence.

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