Abecedarian: The Ideas, the Approach, and the Findings

ridley
Craig T. Ramey, Joseph J. Sparling, & Sharon Landesman Ramey
2012

Abecedarian: The Ideas, the Approach, and the Findings 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 care 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 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

“Over the past few decades, the findings from the Abecedarian Project have been so useful in educating legislators and the business community about the importance of high quality programs and supports for young children and their families. Now, educators and researchers get to hear the whole story surrounding the approach and research. If policymakers, including legislators and school board members, would read and act upon what they learn from this book, our youngest, most vulnerable children would all have a chance to be successful in life. A MUST READ for all of us!”

Kathy R. Thornburg, PhD, Director, Center for Family Policy & Research, University of Missouri

Related Project(s):
Abecedarian Project
Available here: Sociometrics Corporation
Citation: Ramey, C. T., Sparling, J. J., & Ramey, S. L. (2012). Abecedarian: The ideas, the approach, and the findings. Los Altos, CA: Sociometrics Corporation.