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IES Grant

Title: Building Language for Literacy and Core Knowledge
Center: NCER Year: 2003
Principal Investigator: Ramey, Sharon Awardee: Georgetown University
Program: Early Learning Programs and Policies      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $1,964,376
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305J030120

Purpose: In this project, the researchers proposed to evaluate the efficacy of two widely used prekindergarten—Building Language for Literacy and Core Knowledge—against business-as-usual. Through their evaluation, the researchers aimed to produce findings about the curricula and the different levels of implementation necessary for student learning. They were also to provide data about how well specific kinds of students learn in the various conditions.

Structured Abstract


Using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design, the investigators are comparing three curricula: Building Language for Literacy, Core Knowledge, and the curricular approach already in place as a comparison condition. Half of the teachers using each curriculum receive intensive support for implementing the curriculum, and half receive the support normally provided by the district. The intensive support includes expert-led professional development, weekly classroom observation and instructional coaching. The traditional support involves periodic help and summer workshops.

The students in the study come from low-income families with various ethnic and language backgrounds in Maryland. The research team randomly assigned schools to one of the curricula and levels of support.


ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Select Publications:

Book chapters

Ramey, C.T., Ramey, S.L., and Stokes, B.R. (2009). Effective Pre-K Programs: Research Evidence About Program Dosage and Student Achievement. In R. Pianta (Ed.), Pre-Kindergarten in the United States (pp. 79–105). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Ramey, S.L., and Ramey, C.T. (2007). Establishing a Science of Professional Development for Early Education Programs: The Knowledge Application Information Systems (KAIS) Theory of Professional Development. In L.M. Justice, and C. Vukelich (Eds.), Achieving Excellence in Preschool Language and Literacy instruction (pp. 41–63). New York: Guilford Press.

Ramey, S.L., Ramey, C.T., and Lanzi, R.G. (2004). The Transition to School: Building on Preschool Foundations and Preparing for Lifelong Learning. In E. Zigler, and S.J. Styfco (Eds.), The Head Start Debates (pp. 397–413). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes