Hamilton develops achievement boosting instruction program

Associate professor Claire Hamilton and Paula J. Schwanenflugel of the University of Georgia have developed K-PAVE, a kindergarten vocabulary instruction program that has been shown to have positive impact on the vocabulary and academic achievement of kindergarten students.

The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance recently released a report on a randomized control trial conducted by REL-Southeast in the Mississippi Delta to test the impact of Kindergarten PAVEd for Success (K-PAVE) on students’ expressive vocabulary. The report’s results included findings that kindergarteners who received the K-PAVE intervention were one month further ahead in vocabulary development at the end of kindergarten compared with their peers who did not receive the intervention. The study also found that K-PAVE training had a positive impact on teachers’ instructional practices.

"We were very excited by the results of this independent study,” said Hamilton. “At the end of their kindergarten year, students in the K-Pave classrooms were more advanced in their spoken vocabulary and general academic knowledge than students whose teachers did not use this program."

This study was the first independent test of the effectiveness of the K-PAVE vocabulary intervention, using a rigorous randomized design, and testing the intervention as it is implemented in multiple school districts.

K-PAVE is designed to promote kindergarten students’ vocabulary development through frequent, interactive book reading, explicit vocabulary instruction, and teacher-child conversations built around enhanced use of vocabulary.