At Pearson we combine our commercial purpose as an education and information company with a wider social purpose: to help people of all ages get on in their lives. This means that our greatest social impacts arise from our core products and services. To help us measure this impact we have committed to provide scientific validation for our education products. We've made good progress in this area over the past year. Here are some examples:
- In 2004 Pearson Education's School companies commissioned 21 independent scientific research studies to validate the effectiveness of its mathematics, reading and science products, all intended to meet the research design criteria of the US Department of Education's What Works Clearing house. By sponsoring these new independent studies, Pearson Education made a major commitment to provide scientific evidence to validate the effectiveness of all of our major programmes, aligning them with the No Child Left Behind education act.
- Pearson Knowledge Research, a part of the Pearson Knowledge Technologies acquisition in June 2004, is recognized for its groundbreaking research in developing innovative educational technologies, and is noted for its text understanding technology using meaning-based research, and for its automated essay scoring technology.
- LessonLab and the LessonLab Research Institute provide continuing education for teachers and school administrators through traditional and research-based distance learning programmes. For a three-year project funded by the National Science Foundation, scientists and researchers from LessonLab and California Polytechnic-Pomona, led by Dr. Kathleen Roth, are studying the impact of structured, collaborative analysis of science lessons on teacher learning. Using LessonLab's online, interactive video software platform and Cal-Poly's scientific expertise, they are providing teachers with science lesson videos and a set of online analysis tasks to guide them exploring the content and the pedagogy in science lessons.
- Currently in its first year and funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the Algebra Learning for All project will focus on the pre-algebra curriculum already in use from Pearson Scott Foresman in District 1 of Los Angeles Unified School District. Directed by LessonLab's Dr. James Stigler, the goal is to implement two professional development programmes to find practical ways to improve teachers' knowledge of mathematical content for its use in the classroom and students' mathematical achievement.
- With funding from numerous foundations, the acclaimed Waterford Institute developed the research-based Waterford Early Reading and Early Math and Science curricula. Distributed by Pearson Digital Learning, these programmes are validated by ten years of research, including published efficacy studies conducted by the Waterford Institute and other research organisations.
- Originally developed by research-based computer-aided instruction pioneer Dr. Patrick Suppes of Stanford University, SuccessMaker has a long history of proven success in schools and districts across the US and around the world. The SuccessMaker Enterprise digital courseware is scalable and research-based, aligned to state and local standards, and dynamically adapts to individual student learning levels. It is aligned with the instructional standards outlined by the International Reading Association and addresses five essential components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary development and reading comprehension. SuccessMaker gives educators the ability to forecast and manage achievement on high-stakes tests. Numerous research studies and successes demonstrate improved test scores, student performance and product efficacy.
- NovaNET is a computer-based, online courseware system that links educators with progressive technology and proven teaching methods. The NovaNET learning system is the culmination of more than 35 years of educational research and technological development that started at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Computer-based Educational Research Laboratory (CERL). Initially created with a grant for the National Science Foundation, the curricular materials completed under the grant are the foundation of what has grown into the NovaNET system - a computer-based learning system that offers an extensive online library of interactive instructional courseware, providing learners and teachers with access to thousands of hours of self-paced, mastery-based instruction.
- In September, Pearson Education launched the first formative assessment products designed to forecast student growth toward US state performance standards. Released for the 2004-2005 school year, the first two products in the Progress Assessment Series product line, PASeries Reading and PASeries Mathematics, use the scientific Lexile® scale for reading measurement and its new companion Quantile™ scale for mathematics to evaluate student progress.
- Pearson Assessments began marketing the BASI™ (Basic Achievement Skills Inventory) this past year. Developed in association with Achilles N. Bardos, PhD, co-author of the GAMA™ (General Ability Measure for Adults) test, the BASI series comprises multi-level, norm-referenced achievement tests for children and adults that may be group- or self-administered. Providing both comprehensive and survey versions, the BASI series helps present a complete evaluation of academic skills. These convenient tests yield standard scores, national percentile rankings, grade equivalency, age equivalency, and performance classification by learning objective without requiring individual administration or lengthy testing.
Normed during the 2002-03 school year and highly correlated to the leading individually and group-administered achievement and intelligence tests, the BASI series provides a current, valid, and reliable assessment tool.
Pearson Early Learning has collaborated with the most respected leaders in early childhood development to create assessment and research-based learning programmes for children from birth through age 12. They include:
- Opening the World of Learning is an integrated curriculum for pre-school that incorporates the latest research-based early literacy instructional strategies. Our award-winning Penguin, Putnam, Dutton, and Dorling Kindersley children's books are integrated into the programme to engage children in both fiction and non-fiction, and model conversations for teachers to foster learning new vocabulary and concepts.
- The Early Screening Inventory-Revised is a developmental screening for three to six year olds. It identifies children who may need special education services in order to perform successfully in school. Extensive research has shown the ESI-R to be both highly reliable and highly valid.
- The Ounce Scale is the first performance assessment tool developed for infants and toddlers. The Ounce Scale provides an interactive system of documentation, monitoring, and evaluation of development for Early Head Start programmes, early intervention programmes, (including children at risk for special needs or those with disabilities), and other home and centre based infant, toddler, and preschool childcare in the community. It provides a meaningful way to evaluate children's accomplishments, areas of difficulty, and approaches to learning. There is guidance to thinking about future goals so that family and caregivers can work together. Families and caregivers using the Ounce Scale learn to observe their children and to use this information to enhance relationships and support development.
- The Work Sampling System is a research-based performance assessment designed to assess children's learning and improve instruction from age three to 12. The Work Sampling System reflects current thinking in standards and assessment, and focuses on high standards of learning and instructionally meaningful, developmentally appropriate teaching. The programme provides insight into how an individual child learns and targets the following areas: Personal and Social Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematical Thinking, Scientific Thinking, Social Studies, the Arts, and Physical Development and Health.
- Get Ready to Read! is an easy-to-use, 20-question screening tool that helps pinpoint a child's readiness for learning reading and writing and provides activities to develop young children's readiness skills.
- Read Together, Talk Together is a reading programme for children from two to five years old based on dialogic reading. Built on research-based language and literacy activities, dialogic reading is a shared picture book reading experience in which adults read to children, prompt them with questions, expand on their answers, and praise their storytelling abilities. In dialogic reading, children and adults have a conversation about a book. The programme is also used for parenting education to support the parents' engagement in the children's education.
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