Abecedarian: The Ideas, the Approach, and the Findings
This is a history and practical guide about The Abecedarian Project, an early education experiment launched in 1971 and then replicated in multiple other studies. The Abecedarian Approach is evidence-informed and "total child" in the way it promotes learning and positive academic and social outcomes for children who begin life "at risk" due to social or biological factors. The Abecedarian Project is a landmark study conducted in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with 111 children born into extremely impoverished life circumstances. The intervention involved intensive learning and social-emotional supports, starting in infancy and continuing until at least kindergarten entry, for children and their families. For the first-time ever, this book brings together all of the key details of this scientific and educational project so that community leaders, educators, policymakers, and parents know exactly what the "Abecedarian Approach" means. This book provides a down-to-earth blueprint for how to use and adapt the Abecedarian Approach for different groups of children and families living in many diverse communities in today's rapidly changing world. The book emphasizes how to actively engage young children and their families so that children receive the full range of enriching, growth-promoting experiences they need to be well-prepared for school entry and later achievement in academic and personal-social areas. The Abecedarian Approach has been used successfully in center-based care, home visiting programs, family day homes, and public school pre-K settings. Today, the Abecedarian Approach is one of the few evidence-based, proven programs that integrates basic principles of human learning and development into a fun, affordable, and effective approach to early childhood education.
Reviews for the book include:
"For the first time, by the foremost scholars and originators of Abecedarian, we have a top-notch, thorough review of its efforts and accomplishments that is both comprehensive and comprehensible. Laden with the extraordinary insight and vision that characterizes Abecedarian itself, this volume retells the inside story of America's leading effort to implement and evaluate our nation's premier program for young children and families. Practitioners, policy makers, and scholars will find this an outstanding, eminently usable, and indispensable recapitulation of what we thought we knew???.but didn't really!!! It's the inside "take" on a national effort in which we all should take great pride." ---Sharon Lynn Kagan, EdD, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy; Co-Director, National Center for Children & Families; Professor Adjunct, Yale Child Study Center, Yale University
"Abecedarian: The Ideas, the Approach, and the Findings is a book of enormous historical and contemporary significance because it clearly provides the "why" and the "what" behind the findings of Abecedarian's remarkable success in helping children thrive. It is must reading for every early childhood educator and for all who care about children's futures." --Ellen Galinsky, President, Families and Work Institute; Author, Mind in the Making
About the Authors
Craig T. Ramey, Ph.D., is the originator and founding principal investigator for the Abecedarian Project, Project CARE, and the Infant Health and Development Program. He currently holds the positions of Distinguished Research Scholar of Human Development at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Professor of Psychology at Virginia Tech, and Professor of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Craig Ramey is a lifespan developmental psychologist.
Joseph J. Sparling, Ph.D., is currently a Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Honorary Professorial Fellow, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia. He is an early childhood educator and one of the original authors of the LearningGames® and Partners for Learning curricula used in all of the Abecedarian approach research projects.
Sharon Landesman Ramey, Ph.D., formerly served as Director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and joined the large, multidisciplinary research team engaged in the studies presented in this book. She is now a Distinguished Research Scholar at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Professor of Psychology at Virginia Tech, and Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.