Kindergarten Research

Focusing on the Efficacy of Teaching Advanced Forms of Patterning on Kindergartners’ Improvements in Reading, Mathematics, and Reasoning Ability.

Robert Pasnak, Julie K. Kidd, and Patrick E. McKnight

Cognition and Student Learning Research Grant Program R305A170114

Project Officer: Dr. Erin Higgins

Institute of Education Sciences
U. S. Department of Education

Drs. Robert Pasnak, Department of Psychology, CHSS, Julie K. Kidd, College of Education and Human Development, and Patrick McKnight, CHSS are engaged in the second year of a three-year project supported by an IES grant, R305A170114 from the Cognition and Student Learning Research Grant Program. The project was designed to test the feasibility of improving student's academic achievement by teaching them age-appropriate concepts that some children are slow to develop. This project is being conducted in kindergarten classrooms of the Alexandria City Public School system.

Under the capable guidance of senior site managers, Deborah Gallington and Lauren Strauss, the project is designed to raise both reading and mathematics scores by improving children’s abstract thinking.

After delays caused by the cooperating school district's multi-layered approval system, the first year’s research was conducted successfully. Children were pretested on patterning and multiple achievement and executive functioning measures. A random stratified group assignment was conducted by an independent analyst. Instruction of each group was conducted in counterbalanced order and fidelity checks conducted regularly. Statistical analyses showed that patterning posttest scores were significantly reflected in posttest mathematics and early literacy scores. The same approach was followed in year two with an early start in all schools. Instruction and fidelity checks are in progress, with the expectation of optimum results this spring.

The grant also supported the completion and publication of the following papers and presentations.

Pasnak, R, Thompson, B. N. Gagliano, K M.., and Righi, M. T. (in press ) Complex patterns for kindergartners. The Journal of Educational Research.
Gadzichowski, K. M., Peterson, M. S., Pasnak, R., Bock, A. M., Fetterer-Robinson, S. O. J. M., & Schmerold, K. L. (2018). A place for patterning in cognitive development. Psychology, 9, 2073-2082.
Pasnak, R. (2018) To pretest or not to pretest. Biomedical Journal of Scientific and Technical Research, 5, 1-3. doi:10.26717/BJSTR.2018.05. 001185
Bock, A. B., Cartwright, K. B., McKnight, P. E., Patterson, A. B., Shriver, A. S., Leaf, B. M., Mohtasham, M. K., Vennergrund, K. C., & Pasnak, R. (In press). Patterning, reading, and executive functions. Frontiers in Psychology, 25,
Mohtasham, M. K., Patterson, A. B., Vennergrund, K. C., Chen, E. S., and Pasnak, R. (2018) Emotional competence, behavioural patterning, and executive functions. Early Child Development and Care, 188, 1-10. doi:10.1080/03004430.2017.1403434
Pasnak, R. (2017) Empirical studies of patterning. Psychology, 8, 2276-2293. doi:10.4236/psych.2017.813144
Mohtasham, M. K., Patterson, A. B., Vennergrund, K. C., Chen, E. S., & Pasnak, R.(2019, March). Socio-Emotional Knowledge, Executive Functions, and Patterning. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development. Baltimore, MD.
Pasnak, R., Kidd, J. K., Gallington, D., Strauss, L. I., Patterson, A. B., Lyu, H.., Hassan, M. Z., & Choe, J. Patterning, Executive Functions, and Achievement. Paper presented at the 90th annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association. New York, NY
Pasnak, R., Gagliano, K., Righi, M. & Strauss, L. I. (2018, April) Teaching Patterning to Kindergartners. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Center for Scholastic Inquiry, April, Savannah, Georgia.
Patterson, A. & Pasnak, R. (2018, March). Predictors of First Graders' Arithmetic Strategy Choices. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington D.C.