CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

Efficacy and Implementation Evaluation of Zoology One

Decades of research have demonstrated that students who do not reach grade-level proficiency in reading in the earliest grades typically struggle to catch up, and many never do (Juel, 1988; Snow et al., 1991; Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997). A primary goal of the early years of schooling must be to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and habits that prepare them for lifelong literacy—that is, to effectively and efficiently help young children become readers. A growing body of research suggests that integrating literacy and science instruction facilitates improved learning in both areas (Guthrie et al., 2004; Pearson, Moje, & Greenleaf, 2010).

CPRE received a Goal 3 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to conduct a mixed-methods study of the impacts and implementation of an integrated literacy and science curriculum for kindergarten, Zoology One: Kindergarten Research Labs. Developed by American Reading Company, Zoology One is a daily, 120-minute curriculum that tightly integrates literacy and science in the first year of school.

CPRE’s study will include a multi-site cluster-randomized trial to assess impacts on students’ learning in reading, writing, and science. In addition, the study will include a mixed-methods implementation study and a cost study.  An estimated 2,400 kindergarten students, in 80 classrooms, will participate in the randomized trial over two school years. Long-term impacts will be assessed in first and second grades.

To implement this research, CPRE is partnering with the Office of Research and Evaluation at the School District of Philadelphia, and with Dr. Brooks Bowden at North Carolina State University. Dr. Bowden will implement the cost study.


Principal Investigator: Abigail Gray, CPRE

Co-Principal Investigators: Philip Sirinides, CPRE; Tonya Wolford, School District of Philadelphia; and Brooks Bowden, North Carolina State University


Start date: 
July 2016