LEWISVILLE, N.C. – Kaplan Early Learning Company announced today the launch of an innovative approach to early childhood education that puts math and science at the forefront of learning. Connect4Learning: The Pre-K Curriculum is a research-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning that was developed by nationally recognized experts in early childhood education and through funding from the National Science Foundation.
The Connect4Learning (C4L) curriculum, available January, is exclusively sold through Kaplan Early Learning Company. A preview of the curriculum and its components will be revealed at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference on November 18. Curriculum principal investigators are Julie Sarama, PhD, University of Denver; Kimberly Brenneman, PhD, Heising-Simons Foundation; Douglas H. Clements, PhD, University of Denver; Nell K. Duke, EdD, University of Michigan; and Mary Louise Hemmeter, PhD, Vanderbilt University.
After years of research and classroom testing, C4L’s principal investigators designed the curriculum to address growing concerns that the majority of Pre-K instructional time is not balanced among literacy, science, math, and social-emotional domains. One study found that a literacy-based curriculum teaches only 58 seconds of mathematics instruction in a 6-hour day.* Limited opportunities for early math and science learning are factors that can contribute to the United States falling behind other countries in math and science proficiency**.
The C4L prekindergarten curriculum includes 6 units that address 140 measurable learning objectives and support children’s development of 10 fundamental cognitive processes. The learning objectives are fully aligned with the new Head Start Outcomes Framework and state early learning standards. C4L seamlessly integrates child-centered activities with teacher-led instruction. With its project-based approach and rich vocabulary use, C4L aligns with recommended practices to support dual-language learners and children from under-resourced communities. Fundamental to the curriculum is the importance of play-based learning:
“Research tells us that children naturally explore and engage with content areas such as mathematics during free play,” says Clements. “So we know that, when they are playing, they are acting out the foundations of their lessons from the classroom.”
Results from pilot programs report that children achieve their learning goals beyond expectations, and teachers and parents have been surprised at how effectively the curriculum improves the children’s performances across all domains.
The C4L curriculum also includes:
- Pre-K Teacher’s Handbook
- Director’s Handbook for Pre-K or Principal’s Handbook for Pre-K
- Pre-K Kit
- Classroom Book Set
- Formative Assessments
- Online Portal, including how-to videos, professional development offerings, classroom management tools, and math games
*Farran, Lipsey, Watson, & Hurley, 2007.
** Ginsburg, Cooke, Leinwand, Noell, & Pollock, 2005