Early Childhood Research

Early Childhood Research

Research plays a central role in building our knowledge of early childhood literacy teaching and learning. Through the National Early Literacy Panel’s work, the National Institute for Literacy explored thousands of studies to help explain what we know now about what young children need to learn to become successful readers later. 

Datasets created by the National Early Literacy Panel are accessible to researchers for replication and secondary analysis through Child Care & Early Education Research Connections by searching on the exact phrase “National Early Literacy Panel.”  To learn more about the Panel’s findings and download copies of the executive summary and full report, click here.

Much more remains to be learned about early childhood literacy. The Panel identified gaps in the research in the course of its work. In September 2008 the National Institute for Literacy began to develop a set of recommendations to inform a future research agenda on early childhood literacy. Data from the NELP Report was analyzed and interviews were conducted with members of the NELP to identify the research and knowledge gaps uncovered during the literature review.

A roundtable of independent childhood literacy experts also was convened in February 2009 to discuss these and other gaps in the research base and to make suggestions for future research. The members included:

  • Dr. Diane August, Research Scientist and Educational Consultant, Center for Applied Linguistics
  • Dr. Susan Burns, Associate Professor of Education, George Mason University
  • Dr. Margarita Calderon, Senior Research Scientist/Professor, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University
  • David Dickinson, Professor, Peabody School of Education, Vanderbilt University
  • Dr. Linda Espinosa Associate, Professor of Education, University of Missouri
  • Dr. Peter Mangione, Co-Director, Center for Child & Family Studies, WestEd
  • Dr. Craig Ramey, Director, Georgetown Center on Health and Education, Georgetown University
  • Dr. Kathleen Roskos, Professor of Education, John Carroll University
  • Dr. Carol Vukelich, Director, Delaware Center for Teacher Education, University of Delaware

The results of the roundtable meeting and the interviews with the NELP panelists can be found in the final report Technical Report: Recommendations for Future Early Childhood Literacy Research PDF Format