Drs. Clancy Blair and Cybele Raver published results from their evaluation of an innovative kindergarten curriculum, the Tools of the Mind program, in the journal PLOS ONE. Read more about the study here.
The research, a randomized controlled trial involving 759 children in 29 schools in 12 school districts in Massachusetts, compared the effects of the Tools of the Mind program with typical kindergarten curricula on children’s educational and executive functions outcomes. Tools of the Mind embeds practice on executive functions into classroom routines, activities in literacy, math, and science aligned with the Common Core, and uses socio-dramatic play as a vehicle to build executive function skills.
When compared with children in Control classrooms, the study found that children in Tools of the Mind were better at focusing attention in the face of distractions and had better working memory; core aspects of executive functions, the neurological basis of self-regulation. These differences were even more pronounced in high poverty schools. Furthermore, these gains were associated with gains in achievement that carried into first grade, where students from Tools of the Mind classrooms achieved in reading and vocabulary at a faster rate than children from Control classrooms.
See the NYU press release here.