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Posted by on Mar 5, 2019 in Blog, Curriculum, Teaching Strategies |

Researcher finds “Magic 8” preschool practices

Researcher finds “Magic 8” preschool practices

Researcer finds “Magic 8” preschool practices

This is the story of how a researcher finds “Magic 8” preschool classroom practices. In October 2017, Lillian Mongeau of the Hechinger Report told the story of a  scientist who took their research to the next level.



Negative Effects And Outcomes

It began in 2015 Vanderbilt researcher Dale Farran published the findings from her first study of the Tennessee state preschool program. That study resulted in disappointing findings. The preschool program had no effect or negative effects on children by third grade.

Rather than doing reasearch and just leaving it there, with children in mediocre settings she decided to get involved and do something about it! “Do you just say ‘we found these outcomes’ or do you roll up your sleeves and try to do something about it?” said Farran. She wanted better for the children in her care.



Increasing Positive Outcomes

Farran initiated a second study. Farran’s team collected data on teacher actions and student achievement in 26 preschool classrooms. The study of 840 children ran for two years from 2014 to 2016. From the data Farran developed eight critical actions teachers can take that can increase positive experiences. These “magic 8” actions, taken across curriculua, can improve outcomes and transform mediocre programs into high quality programs.


Reduce time spent in transition
Improve level of instruction
Create a positive climate
Increase time teachers listen to children.
Plan sequential activities
Promote cooperative interactions between children
Foster high levels of child involvement
Provide math opportunities

Learn more about the “Magic 8” here.