The study took place in preschool classrooms located in two urban areas, one located in the Midwest and one located in the Southeast, over a two year period. The first year of the study included 126 preschool classrooms and the second year of the study included 69 preschool classrooms.
The analytic sample included between 612 and 687 preschool children in year 1 and between 350 and 383 preschool children in year 2. All children in the analytic sample were 4 years old, English-speaking, and eligible for kindergarten in the following year. No children had an individualized education plan. Demographic data were not presented separately for each study year. Of the 1,371 children who took at least one preintervention or postintervention assessment, 50.0 percent were male, 53.4 percent were white, 29.2 percent were Black, and 17.4 percent were another race.
Demographic data were not presented for the teachers remaining in the analytic sample at the time of the postintervention assessments in the Spring of each year. Of the 140 teachers who were in the Fall of Year 1 analytic sample, 2.1 percent were male, 92.1 percent were female, and the remaining 5.7 percent did not report their gender. In addition, 68.6 percent were white, 18.6 percent were Black, and 12.9 percent were another race. The average number of years of education and teaching experience were 15.35 and 6.92 years, respectively.
Preschool children in the intervention group received mathematics and science instruction using the MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science (MTP-M/S) curricula. The MTP-M/S curricula included two mathematics and two science activities for each week of the 33 week school year, for 132 activities in total. Each activity lasted 15-20 minutes and was conducted in a large or small group. The activities were designed to be student-centered and used a structured inquiry approach. The mathematics activities covered number sense, operations, geometry, and measurement topics while the science activities covered life science, earth science, and physical science topics. The MTP-M/S curricula was designed to align with national and state standards. Teachers introduced one investigation activity, an extension of one of the weekly mathematics or science activities, at the beginning of each week. Children completed the investigation activity independently throughout the week. Parents of children in the intervention group received a monthly newsletter with suggested activities to do with their children in support of the MTP-M/S curricula objectives.
Preschool children in the comparison group received business-as-usual mathematics and science instruction.
Support for implementation
Teachers in both conditions were invited to attend professional development workshops. Teachers in the MTP-M/S curricula intervention group attended an introductory workshop prior to the start of the intervention and eight additional workshops during the course of the intervention (5 in the first year of implementation and 3 in the second year of implementation). The workshops were designed to align their teaching practices with the MTP-M/S curricula and encourage teachers to use the professional development supports available through the intervention. Each workshop lasted 2.5 hours. Teachers in the business-as-usual comparison group were invited to attend the same number of professional development workshops as the MTP-M/S intervention group teachers, however, the workshop topics focused on social-emotional development. Teachers in the MTP-M/S curricula intervention group also received within activity and online professional development support. The within activity support consisted of narrative text with teaching tips for each activity, reflection questions, examples of how to model mathematical and scientific language, and proposed adaptations for children with differing abilities. The online support consisted of 130 video demonstrations showcasing high quality and high fidelity implementations of MTP-M/S. The video demonstrations were each between 3 to 5 minutes in length. Teachers in both groups received up to $400 for each year in which they participated in the study ($175 each year for their data collection efforts and $25 for each month in which they submitted videos).