Supporting Vocabulary Teaching and Learning in Prekindergarten: The Role of Educative Curriculum Materials

Susan Neuman, Ashley Pinkham, Tanya Kaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this study was to support teachers' child-directed language and student outcomes by enhancing the educative features of an intervention targeted to vocabulary, conceptual development and comprehension. Using a set of design heuristics (Davis & Krajcik, 2005), our goal was to support teachers’ professional development within the curriculum materials. Ten pre-K classrooms with a total of 143 children were randomly selected into treatment and control groups. Observations of teacher talk, including characteristics of lexically-rich and cognitively demanding language were conducted before and during the intervention. Measures of child outcomes, pre- and post-intervention included both standardized and curriculum-based assessments. Results indicated significant improvements in the quality of teachers’ talk in the treatment compared to the control group, and significant gains for child outcomes. These results suggest that educative curriculum may be a promising approach to facilitate both teacher and student learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-1011
Number of pages24
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 3 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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