2014 Regional Conference
Oct. 6–8, 2014 Register now for for two and a half days of exploration, support, and enrichment with the Core Knowledge community in spectacular Niagara Falls, NY! More…
Join Us in Niagara Falls!
A foundation of knowledge prepares students for a lifetime of learning, and building this foundation begins with you! Join the Core Knowledge community of educators at the 2014 Regional Conference, October 6–8, 2014. More…
CKLA Research Basis and Program Pilot
Combing well-established findings from cognitive science with classroom-based feedback from hundreds of teachers, Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) ensures that children will learn to listen, speak, read, and write well. Researchers established decades ago that reading comprehension and critical thinking are only possible with relevant prior knowledge. Since students should be able to read and think about a wide variety of topics, their education must deliver broad knowledge of a wide variety of topics. But they shouldn’t just jump from one topic to the next. Learning about an academic domain, and acquiring the vocabulary of that domain, depends on staying focused on a topic and progressing from basic to in-depth materials and activities over two to three weeks. This gives students time to digest new concepts and practice using new words. These basic findings from cognitive science form the research foundation for CKLA (and the Core Knowledge Sequence).
CKLA Program Pilot
The Core Knowledge Language Arts program was piloted in 10 public schools in New York City and an additional 7 schools throughout the country, including rural and suburban schools. The 172 classrooms, 200 teachers and 4,466 students in these schools were wonderfully diverse. From school to school, the percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch ranged from 30 to 99%, and the percentage of students for whom English is a second language ranged from 15 to 60%.
Pilot teachers participated in extensive professional development prior to implementing the program. This training ensured that teachers had a clear understanding of the synthetic phonics that is at the heart of CKLA’s Skills strand, as well as techniques for engaging students during read-alouds, which are the heart of the Listening & Learning strand, so as to build their background knowledge and vocabulary.
Results from the three-year pilot of CKLA in kindergarten through second grade in 10 New York City public schools show that students in the schools using CKLA out-performed their peers in 10 comparison schools on measures of reading, science, and social studies.