The grant allowed us to: (1) determine whether a preschool science program that was developed and used in UCLA ECE sites could be part of or even the full program for a sample of children who are from relatively poor, Spanish speaking families: (2) begin to determine what young children can start to learn about domain-based science-math organized units. Overall, we succeeded but also learned about where the program needs further attention from researchers.
Several preschools in the New Brunswick, NJ area and a preschool on the Rutgers, New Brunswick campus.
This project has a cross-sectional research design and generated evidence that is descriptive [design research and observational], associative/correlational [analytic essay and quasi-experimental], and experimental [propensity score matching]. Original data were collected on first generation, Spanish speaking children from relatively poor families (plus a small number from the campus center) using assessments of learning, observation [videography], and survey research [self-completion questionnaires and structured interviewer-administered questionnaires].
Instruments or measures being used varied, including theoretically generated questions, pretest-posttest training design, coding of science notebooks that were kept over time, etc. In all cases, efforts were made to obtain responses from a large enough N to ask whether results were comparable. Many of the analyses are done; remaining ones involve the latest round of testing.
We published a curriculum entitled Preschool Pathways to Science in 2009 and are consultants to the TV program Sid the Science Kid.