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IES Grant

Title: Evaluation of the Language-Focused Curriculum
Center: NCER Year: 2003
Principal Investigator: Justice, Laura Awardee: University of Virginia
Program: Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $1,426,418
Goal: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305J030084
Description:

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of The Language-Focused Curriculum on preschool children's learning. The Language-Focused Curriculum is designed to improve at-risk children's language development. Evidence suggests that early language delays may lead to later problems in literacy skills and social relations. This research team is investigating whether the Language-Focused Curriculum fosters children's oral language development, thereby reducing the chances of later language and social difficulties. The study takes place in half-day Head Start Program classrooms in central Virginia.

Half of the classrooms were randomly assigned to the Language-Focused Curriculum; in the remaining classrooms teachers continue to use their regular curriculum. The researchers are collecting data on the children's language skills before and after the pre-K year, at the end of kindergarten, and at the end of first grade. In addition, the researchers are examining the effect of the curriculum on teacher-child relationships and children's literacy and social skills. The relations between social, family, and child characteristics and child outcomes are also being examined. The study involves 12 classrooms and 195 4-year-old children from low-income families.

Publications from this project:

Bowles, R.P., Skibbe, L.E., and Justice, L.M. (2011). Analysis Of Letter Name Knowledge Using Rasch Measurement. Journal Of Applied Measurement, 12 (4): 387–399.

Cottone, E. (2012). Preschoolers' Emergent Literacy Skills: The Mediating Role Of Maternal Reading Beliefs. Early Education and Development, 23 (3): 351–372.

Justice, L.M., Cottone, E.A., Mashburn, A., and Rimm-Kaufman, S.E. (2008). Relationships Between Teachers and Preschoolers Who Are At Risk: Contribution Of Children's Language Skills, Temperamentally-Based Attributes, and Gender. Early Education and Development, 19(4): 600–621.

Justice, L.M., Mashburn, A., Pence, K., and Wiggins, A. (2008). Experimental Evaluation Of A Preschool Language Curriculum: Influence On Children's Expressive Language Skills. Journal Of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 51 (4): 983–1001.

Justice, L.M., Pence, K., and Wiggins, A. (2008). Training Teachers To Use The Language-Focused Curriculum. In B. Bunce, The Language-Focused Curriculum, 2nd Edition. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes.

Justice, L.M., Pence, K., Bowles, R., and Wiggins, A.K. (2006). An Investigation Of Four Hypotheses Concerning The Order By Which 4–Year-Old Children Learn The Alphabet Letters. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 21 (3): 374–389.

Logan, J.R., Piasta, S.B., Justice, L.M., Schatschneider, C., and Petrill, S. (2011). Children's Attendance Rates and Quality Of Teacher-Child Interactions In At-Risk Preschool Classrooms: Contribution To Children's Expressive Language Growth. Child and Youth Care Forum, 40 (6): 457–477.

Massey, S., Pence, K.L., Justice, L.M., and Bowles, R.P. (2008). Abstract Questioning In The Preschool Classroom. Early Education and Development, 19 (2): 340–360.

Massey, S.L., Pence, K.L., Justice, L.M., and Bowles, R.P. (2008). Educators' Use Of Cognitively Challenging Questions In Economically Disadvantaged Preschool Classroom Contexts. Early Education and Development, 19 (2): 340–360.

Mcginty, A., Justice, L.M., and Rimm-Kaufman, S.E. (2008). Sense Of School Community For Preschool Teachers Serving At-Risk Pupils. Early Education and Development, 19 (2): 361–384.

Pence, K., Beckman, A., Justice, L.M., and Bowles, R. (2009). Preschoolers' Exposure To Language Stimulation In Classrooms Serving At-Risk Children: The Contribution Of Group Size and Activity Context. Early Education and Development, 20 (1): 53–79.

Pence, K., Justice, L.M., and Wiggins, A. (2008). Preschool Teachers' Fidelity Of Implementation For A Language-Rich Preschool Curriculum. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services In Schools, 39: 1–14.

Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research Consortium (2008). Effects of Preschool Curriculum Programs on School Readiness (NCER 2008–2009). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Research. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Rudasill, K.M., Rimm-Kaufman, S.E., Justice, L.M., and Pence, K. (2006). Temperament and Language Skills As Predictors Of Teacher-Child Relationship Quality In Preschool. Early Education and Development, 17 (2): 271–291.

Turnbull Pence, K., Beckman, A., Justice, L.M., and Bowles, R. (2009). Preschoolers' Exposure To Language Stimulation In Classrooms Serving At-Risk Children: The Contribution Of Group Size and Activity Context. Early Education and Development, 20 (1): 53–79.

Turnbull, K., Bowles, R.P., Skibbe, L.E., Justice, L.M., and Wiggins, A.K. (2010). Theoretical Explanations For Preschoolers' Lowercase Alphabet Knowledge. Journal Of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53 (6): 1757–1768.


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