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Insights / Research BriefFeb 23, 2024

Making a Song and Dance About It: The Effectiveness of Teaching Children Vocabulary with Animated Music Videos

Ariel Kalil, Susan Mayer, Philip Oreopoulos, Rohen Shah
Big Word Club, a digital vocabulary learning program, increases students’ knowledge and retention of words included in the program.
Topics:  Early Childhood Education
Insights / Research BriefApr 11, 2023

Boosting Parent-Child Math Engagement and Preschool Children’s Math Skills: Evidence from an RCT with Low-Income Families

Susan E. Mayer, Ariel Kalil, William Delgado, Haoxuan Liu, Derek Rury, Rohen Shah
Information alone is insufficient for increasing low-income children’s math test skills or parental engagement in math activities. The provision of materials in concert with messaging to dissuade parents from procrastinating is effective at increasing scores and parental engagement, as are digital math apps.
Topics:  Early Childhood Education
Insights / Research BriefJan 19, 2023

Nudging or Nagging? Conflicting Effects of Behavioral Tools

Ariel Kalil, Haoxuan Liu, Susan Mayer, Derek Rury, Rohen Shah
Goal-setting messages led to an increase in parent reading time but had no effect on literacy skills, while reminder messages led to a decrease in literacy skills, despite no significant difference in reading time; also, technology may help boost reading skills of low-income children.
Topics:  Early Childhood Education
Insights / Research BriefOct 28, 2022

Parenting Promotes Social Mobility Within and Across Generations

James Heckman, Jorge Luis García
While most approaches to early childhood development (ECD) programs focus on finding the “best program” to implement, this paper focuses on common mechanisms and relationships that transport across environments to reveal the power of fostering parenting or parental investment as essential to effective ECD.
Topics:  Early Childhood Education
Insights / Research BriefJul 21, 2022

Engaging Parents with Preschools: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Ariel Kalil, Susan Mayer, Rohen Shah
Parents who received financial incentives and text message reminders were 28% more likely to attend a preschool event; the same parents were also more likely to attend unincentivized events.
Topics:  Early Childhood Education
Insights / Research BriefJun 23, 2022

Scarcity and Inattention

Ariel Kalil, Susan Mayer, Rohen Shah
When parents struggle financially or experience loneliness (financial and social connections scarcity), their attention to other responsibilities drops significantly, often resulting in poor decision-making that can exacerbate the problem and trap them in a “scarcity mindset.”
Topics:  Early Childhood Education
Insights / Research BriefNov 02, 2021

It All Starts with Beliefs: Addressing The Roots of Educational Inequities by Shifting Parental Beliefs

John List, Julie Pernaudet, Dana Suskind
Influencing parental beliefs about child development can be an important pathway to raising parental investments and reducing socioeconomic gaps in children’s skills; however, simple informational policies may not be sufficient.
Topics:  Early Childhood Education
Insights / Research BriefApr 12, 2021

What We Teach About Race and Gender: Representation in Images and Text of Children’s Books

Anjali Adukia, Alex Eble, Emileigh Harrison, Hakizumwami Birali Runesha, Teodora Szasz
Educators and caregivers are generally thoughtful about choosing books to read to their young children, or when selecting books for children to read themselves. They may look for books that entertain, educate, and otherwise incorporate values that they hold dear. However, if those values include race and gender diversity, they will have to search a little harder.
Topics:  Early Childhood Education, K-12 Education