Early Child Development Announcement
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Pre-Kindergarten Results Published

The first classroom evaluation of the Positive Action Pre-K Program has been completed, and results suggest that the lessons are effective at improving children's social-emotional skills and behaviors. Students were randomly assigned to classrooms and instructors who had previously decided whether or not to offer Positive Action lessons. Educators in both the Positive Action and control classrooms rated their students' behavior before program delivery and immediately after.

Social-emotional development begins in infancy, but the early childhood years are when rapid brain development occurs and cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral competencies mature—abilities students require for kindergarten as well as long-term success and well-being. If they enter kindergarten without the skills they need, children have trouble learning in the classroom and developing positive relationships with peers and teachers. Some educators suggest these skills also are necessary to meet Common Core standards.

The Positive Action Pre-K Program is extended downward from the Positive Action K-12 curriculum, a comprehensive social-emotional learning and health promotion program that has been evaluated in many quasi-experimental and randomized trials and has been demonstrated effective for a wide range of child- and school-level outcomes. The development of the kit spans nearly a decade. With the assistance of a small group of pilot Teachers, Positive Action has invested its extensive experience in curriculum development to produce a kit that is effective for young children.

As a result, the program offers a comprehensive set of school readiness skills, including physical and intellectual health. The current study, by researchers from Purdue University, Oregon State University and the University of California-Davis, evaluated the school-based program for 10 weeks, averaging 4.8 lessons a week. It was taught to improve self-concept, intellectual and physical health, self-control, self-management (following directions, managing time), respect for others, social bonding, honesty with self and others, and self-improvement.

This trial also qualified the program for listing on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) as a social-emotional skills intervention. It met minimum requirements for review, was independently assessed and rated for Quality of Research and Readiness for Dissemination, and now appears in the online registry, which is maintained by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Click here to review the abstract of the article.

Click here to review the NREPP intervention summary.

Click here to review the Pre-Kindergarten research outcomes.