Early Childhood Curriculum Support:
Predicting, Listening, Observing, and Recording--
Integrating Technology

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Family Involvement

Final Report

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Welcome to ECCSPLORe-IT!

A Math, Science, and Social Studies Curriculum for All Young Children.

Photo of Young Girl on the Computer

ECCSPLORe-IT: Early Childhood Curriculum Support: Predicting, Listening, Observing, and Recording—Integrating Technology was funded in 1998 by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education. The purpose of the 4-year model demonstration project was to provide an effective, developmentally appropriate science, math, and social studies curriculum using technology (computers, adaptive peripherals, software) so preschool children with mild to moderate disabilities can enjoy success in school.

ECCSPLORe-IT's goals were

  1. to develop, implement, and demonstrate an effective, replicable model that integrated math, science, social studies, and computer software in the early childhood curriculum to ensure that children ages 3 - 5 with a wide range of disabilities have access to the benefits of integrated activities engaged in by young children without disabilities in normalized settings;
  2. to enhance the knowledge and skills of children's educational staff so they could effectively use technology to enhance math, science, and social studies activities;
  3. to disseminate information about the model.
  4. The ECCSPLORe-IT model is based on theoretical constructs related to constructive learning, curriculum integration, technology, and adult roles in children's learning. ECCSPLORe-IT used a wide range of interactive software to enhance children's development of concepts related to math, science, and social studies. While specific content and experiences were emphasized, ECCSPLORe-IT activities subsumed developmental domains and crossed content areas, including literacy, art, and music. Off-computer activities targeting math, science, and social studies skills complemented the software and other curricular offerings in the classrooms.

    Five teachers and their model development classes in three rural school districts in west central Illinois participated in ECCSPLORe-IT. Across 4 years, 170 children with disabilities and 17 children at-risk, their families, 5 teachers, and 21 educational support personnel participated. ECCSPLORe-IT curriculum activities led to significant improvements in children's cognitive (i.e., problem solving, critical thinking, decision making) skills, as well as in communication and social skills. Children demonstrated proficiency in using technology, increased attention to software applications, and showed increases in self-awareness, awareness of their surrounding environment, and engagement in ECCSPLORe-IT activities.

    All participating teachers improved competencies using computers and other technologies. Teachers reported an increased comfort level regarding technology use, and they all began creating computer-generated materials to supplement curricular themes. All five teachers improved on each of the 35 items of the staff competencies instrument, increasing competencies in math, science, social studies, and technology integration.

    ECCSPLORe-IT produced a curriculum, Young Children as Explorers: Interactive Learning Experiences that is available from the Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood. Ordering information is found at http://www.wiu.edu/thecenter/products_print.php

Ideas Graphic This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) PR#H324M980132. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.