Often, a great deal of effort and money is involved in
selecting a preschool curriculum for classroom use.
The curriculum is given to the teachers, along with some advice or
professional development regarding how to use it. Then what?
Many teachers will simply continue to teach the same content in the same
ways they have always taught. Other
teachers will try to use the new curriculum but find it difficult and give
up. Sometimes a carefully selected
curriculum will be discarded because it didn’t ‘work’ – that is, student
outcomes did not improve. But, did the
curriculum not work or did the teachers not implement the curriculum?
The term implementation
fidelity refers to the extent to which a curriculum is used in the way it
was originally intended to be used.
The implementation fidelity checklist for ScienceStart! is
now available for anyone to use. This
checklist contains 8 sections:
Teacher Style and Classroom Climate
Support for the Development of Language and
Coherence and Integration
The Science Cycle
Only Sections 6, 7, and 8 are specific to the
ScienceStart!/LiteraSci Preschool Curriculum.
Sections 1 through 5 are appropriate standards for all preschool classrooms – what should the classroom contain, how
can the teacher create a climate for learning, what are the characteristics of
good teaching to support the development of language and literacy skills.
In addition to being used as a classroom observation tool, this checklist can also be used by
teachers as a guide for setting up the classroom. Teachers can use the checklist independently
or with a classroom mentor to reflect on and guide their interactions with