IES Grant Awarded to UVa to Study CKLA Read-Alouds

In a first of its kind study, researchers at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education received a 3.3 million dollar grant from the Institute of Education Sciences. The grant was awarded to test the fully-developed and widely-implemented Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA): Listening and Learning read‐aloud program. The researchers will follow children from kindergarten entry to second grade and will investigate the effects of the reading curriculum on their vocabulary skills, listening comprehension, domain knowledge, and ultimately reading comprehension at the end of second grade. More than 1,400 children in 48 schools will participate in the study. The project started during the summer of 2016, and schools will begin implementing the program in the Fall of 2017. Read more from the University of Virginia.

Impact of Core Knowledge on Third Grade Reading, Writing, English, and Math Achievement

Dave Grissmer and Thomas White, Research Professors at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia, have been conducting IES-funded, longitudinal research regarding the impact of Core Knowledge in Colorado charter schools. Read more about this six-year investigation into student achievement from the researchers themselves.

Core Knowledge Language Arts Pilot Study

The Core Knowledge Language Arts™ (CKLA) program was piloted in 10 public schools in New York City and an additional 7 schools throughout the country, including rural and suburban schools. These diverse schools comprised 172 classrooms, 200 teachers and 4,466 students. Across these schools, 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 at the heart of CKLA’s Skills strand. The training also provided teachers techniques for building students’ background knowledge and vocabulary during read-alouds, which are at the heart of the CKLA Listening & Learning strand.

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 outperformed their peers in 10 comparison schools on measures of reading, science, and social studies.

The Science of Learning

Deans for Impact, a nonprofit organization committed to improving student-learning outcomes by transforming educator preparation, posed these questions: “What do we know about how students learn and what does that mean for how we teach?” They provide concise and cogent answers in The Science of Learning. According to Deans for Impact, “Building off many efforts that came before it and reflecting the general consensus of the scientific community, The Science of Learning is intended to serve as a resource to teacher-educators, new teachers, and anyone in the education profession who is interested in our best scientific understanding of how learning takes place.” While not directly addressing Core Knowledge, the study provides a helpful summary of major findings from cognitive science relevant to the Core Knowledge approach.

Additional Research on Core Knowledge