WWC review of this study

An evaluation of curriculum, setting, and mentoring on the performance of children enrolled in pre-kindergarten [Doors to Discovery vs. business as usual]

Assel, M. A., Landry, S. H., Swank, P. R., & Gunnewig, S. (2007). Reading and Writing, 20(5), 463–494. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ774756

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    273
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: May 2022

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Language outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Woodcock-Johnson test of academic achievement (WJ-3) Sound Awareness/Rhyming subtest

Doors to Discovery vs. Business as usual

0 Days

DDN vs. Control;
272 students

3.58

3.20

No

--
More Outcomes

Pre-school language scale-IV edition—auditory comprehension subscale (PLS)

Doors to Discovery vs. Business as usual

0 Days

DDN vs. Control;
273 students

46.20

47.54

No

--

Expressive Vocabulary Test

Doors to Discovery vs. Business as usual

0 Days

DDN vs. Control;
272 students

40.55

43.04

No

--

Developing Skills Checklist (DSC)

Doors to Discovery vs. Business as usual

0 Days

DDN vs. Control;
272 students

7.90

9.07

No

--
Reading & Literacy Related outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III) Letter-Word Identification Subtest

Doors to Discovery vs. Business as usual

0 Days

DDN vs. Control;
270 students

9.50

9.99

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


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    Texas

Setting

The study took place in Head Start, Title I, and Universal Pre-K centers from a single large district in the Houston, Texas area.

Study sample

Sample characteristics were shared at the overall study level. The study was performed with children ranging in age from 3 to 5 years (average 4.6 years); 54% of the sample were male and 46% were female.

Intervention Group

The Doors to Discovery (The Wright Group, McGraw Hill, 2001) curriculum is designed to improve the development of children's literacy by using oral language, phonological awareness, concepts of print, alphabet knowledge, writing and comprehension. The curriculum focuses on vocabulary and receptive and expressive language development. Teachers are encouraged to use cloze techniques, student retelling, think alouds, and scaffolding to help children development their language skills. Themes such as Built it Big, Discovery Street, or Our Water Wonderland are used across multiple weeks across the school year.

Comparison Group

Comparison classrooms lacked a specific curriculum, used different materials in the classrooms, or did not follow a curriculum systematically. Some material was developed in the school while some curriculum that was used was outdated.

Support for implementation

Teachers received 4 days of teacher training specific to the Doors to Discovery and were provided a complete set of materials for Doors to Discovery. Some conditions of the study had curriculum mentors who supported the teachers. Conditions that combined curriculum with mentoring support were not of interest to this review.

 

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