Curriculum Research

Marsico Institite works with educators and researchers to develop and evaluate early childhood education curricula, with the goals of supporting teachers and enhancing learning opportunities for the whole child.

  • ULTIMATE – Understanding Learning Trajectories in Mathematics: Advancing Teacher Education [In Progress]

    ULTIMATE is a new research project that will support teachers in deepening their understanding of how children learn mathematics and how to incorporate this understanding into their classrooms to help children develop math ideas and skills—joyfully. Over two decades, Drs. Clements and Sarama have built a professional development tool, called Learning and Teaching with Learning Trajectories, or [LT]2. The DU team will work with teachers, blending high quality in-person professional development and classroom-based coaching with teachers' use of the [LT]2 tool. The team will investigate the impacts of the intervention on teachers and students.

  • EPIC: Evaluating the Efficacy of a Preschool Interdisciplinary Curriculum (Connect4Learning) [In Progress]

    Connect4Learning (C4L) is an interdisciplinary early childhood prekindergarten curriculum, which aims to synthesize research-based approaches in four domains of learning: literacy, mathematics, science, and social-emotional development. C4L uses an interdisciplinary approach to address growing concerns that most preschool instructional time is devoted to literacy at the expense of other content areas, particularly math and science. The aim of the EPIC four-year longitudinal project, funded by the Institute for Education Sciences (IES), is to evaluate the efficacy of the C4L curriculum when it is implemented as intended. We are partnering with 60 classrooms for this study, including 30 C4L classrooms and 30 “business as usual” classrooms. C4L teachers will receive regular professional development on the curriculum and will receive regular coaching to support curriculum implementation and fidelity. Data will include classroom observations in core domains, teacher surveys, coaching data, and child assessments in all core domains.

  • Connect4Learning (C4L)—Early Childhood Education in the Context of Mathematics, Science, and Literacy [Completed]

    Marsico Institute was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to combine our work on the Building Blocks math curriculum with colleagues in other core fields to develop and pilot test an interdisciplinary preschool curriculum: Connect4Learning. The Connect4Learning curriculum connects four core domains of learning: math, science, literacy, and social-emotional learning. This grant was a collaboration of experts in math (Douglas Clements and Julie Sarama – co-Executive Directors of the Marsico Institute), science (Kimberly Brenneman), literacy/language (Nell Duke) and social-emotional development (M. L. Hemmeter).