The U.S. Department of Education’s “Doing What Works” Web site recently added a feature that will empower educators and administrators with research-based strategies to help boost their early childhood language and literacy practices. This new feature brings online the recommendations outlined in five research reports previously released by the Department’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) on early childhood education.
The “Doing What Works” site, offers a user-friendly interface to quickly locate teaching practices that have been found effective by IES, the Department’s research arm, and similar organizations. In addition, it cites examples of possible ways, although not necessarily the only ways, teachers and designers of teaching materials may use this research to help students reach their academic potential.
“If we want every student reading on grade level by 2014, we must make sure that educators have access to information about best practices in early childhood literacy,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. “By sharing effective teaching practices, the Doing What Works website helps improve classroom instruction and give all children the chance to achieve their potential.”
The content on Early Childhood Language and Literacy focuses on two recommended practice areas: develop phonological awareness skills; and utilize interactive and dialogic reading practices to improve language and literacy skills.
Content on the site is organized into three areas:
- Learn what works – to help understand the research base behind the practices.
- See how it works – providing examples of schools and classrooms engaged in those practices, including engaging videos. And,
- Do what works – enabling users to gain access to examples of tools and templates in order to improve their practices.
Similar resources, in areas such as school restructuring and mathematics instruction, will added to the site in the near future.
The Department’s Office of Planning, Evaluation & Policy Development leads the “Doing What Works” site. Other offices and programs within the Department also assist in the initiative.