Welcome to Parsimony’s blog, where we help K-12 educators identify evidence based ways to maximize student outcomes.

This blog post is part of our What Works Clearinghouse review series. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an initiative by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) which is the independent statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the United States Department of Education. WWC estimates the effectiveness of programs by evaluating the quality and quantity of evidence for that program.

This week’s blog post is about the evidence behind [Name of Program]’s impact on students. Here’s the short version:

Curiosity Corner is a comprehensive early childhood curriculum designed to help children at risk of school failure because of poverty. The program offers children experiences that develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary for later school success, with a special emphasis on children’s language and literacy skills. Curiosity Corner has two sets of 38 weekly thematic units, one set for 3-year-olds and one set for 4-year-olds.

The evidence for Curiosity Corner covers students in pre-kindergarten.

The outcomes examined include: cognition, general mathematics achievement, oral language, phonological processing, and print knowledge. Here’s what the evidence suggests about Curiosity Corner’s impact on each outcome:

  • Cognition: No detectable impact
  • General mathematics achievement:  No detectable impact
  • Oral language: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 2 percentile points)
  • Phonological processing:  No detectable impact
  • Print knowledge:  No detectable impact

The studies looking into Curiosity Corner had student samples that were in urban areas in New Jersey, Florida, and Kansas, had students who were White, Black, and Hispanic, and were male and female.

You can find the full report from the What Works Clearinghouse here:

https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_curiosity_010609.pdf

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