WWC review of this study

The effects of a well-designed literacy program on young children’s language and literacy development.

Christie, J., Roskos, K., Vukelich, C., & Han, M. (2003). In F. Lamb-Parker, J. Hagen, R. Robinson, & H. Rhee (Eds.), The first eight years. Pathways to the future: Implications for research, policy, and practice. Proceedings of the Head Start National Research Conference (pp. 447–448). New York: Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

  • Randomized controlled trial
     examining 
    37
     Students
    , grade
    PK
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: June 2013

Oral language outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III (PPVT-III)

Doors to Discovery vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Preschool children;
37 students

35.98

30.25

No

 
 
11
Print knowledge outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Developing Skills Checklist-Concepts of Print subtest

Doors to Discovery vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Preschool children;
37 students

4.48

2.82

Yes

 
 
34
More Outcomes

Get Ready to Read! (GRTR)

Doors to Discovery vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Preschool children;
37 students

8.62

7.06

No

 
 
14

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


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    South

Setting

The study was conducted with children from five Head Start classrooms in a large metropolitan area in the southwest United States.

Study sample

In this study, four Head Start classrooms—two serving English-speaking children and two serving Spanish-speaking children—were blocked on primary language of the children and randomly assigned to implement either Doors to Discovery™ or The Creative Curriculum®. One additional classroom served a mixed-language group and was assigned to implement Doors to Discovery™. Since this classroom was not assigned at random, it was omitted from WWC analyses. At baseline, the four-classroom study included 35 children in the Doors to Discovery™ group and 28 children in the comparison group. The four-classroom analysis sample included 21 children in the Doors to Discovery™ group and 16 children in the comparison group.

Intervention Group

Teachers in the intervention classrooms used three units from the Doors to Discovery™ curriculum: Vroom! Vroom!; Build It Big!; and Tabby Tiger’s Diner. Each unit was taught for 4 weeks.

Comparison Group

The comparison classrooms used the existing curriculum, which the study authors described as loosely based on The Creative Curriculum®.

Outcome descriptions

The outcomes assessed were children’s oral language and print knowledge. Oral language was assessed with the PPVT-III. Print knowledge was assessed with Get Ready to Read! and the Developing Skills Checklist—Concepts of Print subtest. All assessments were conducted in English (J. Christie, personal communication, January 23, 2009). For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

A professional development specialist employed by the distributer conducted a 5-hour training session on Doors to Discovery™ for teachers in the intervention group. During the training, teachers were provided with specific guidance on how to implement the first unit. Research assistants provided teachers with suggestions about how to implement the second and third units before teachers introduced these units in the classroom.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Han, M., Roskos, K., Christie, J., Mandzuk, S., & Vukelich, C. (2005). Learning words: Large group time as a vocabulary development opportunity. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 19(4), 333–345.

 

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