When Head Start programs used a broad curriculum that emphasizes both academics and social awareness over academics alone, pupils outperformed their fellow Head Start alumni in kindergarten, a new study finds.
The study looked at 356 Pennsylvania children whose preschool teachers had used the REDI curriculum—otherwise known as the Research-based, Developmentally Informed Intervention Program—funded by the federal Interagency School Readiness Consortium. The researchers found that the children in the REDI classrooms could better decode words, were more engaged in learning, more competent in solving social problems, and less aggressive than their peers whose teachers had used traditional curricula that aimed to impart specific knowledge.
A report on the study was published this month in the journal Child Development.
A version of this article appeared in the May 22, 2013 edition of Education Week as Early Childhood