Doors to DiscoveryTM is a preschool literacy curriculum that uses eight thematic units of activities to help children build fundamental early literacy skills in oral language, phonological awareness, concepts of print, alphabet knowledge, writing, and comprehension. The program also contains instruction with early mathematical concepts.
Doors to DiscoveryTM fosters literacy-learning environments through storybooks and authentic discoveries. The program contains eight thematic units, referred to as "explorations." These cover topics such as nature, friendship, communities, society, and health. Each unit or "exploration' is available as a kit that includes various teacher resources.
Explorations include four Big Books that focus on fiction, nonfiction, mathematical concepts, and interactive oral language and vocabulary development. The activities are developmentally appropriate and engage children in differentiated learning centers that support literacy. The Literacy Learning Centers provide cross-curricular instruction and integration of play/imagination of children and teachers.
There are opportunities for parallel and integrated family learning activities that enrich, extend, and teach the curriculum.
Teacher support throughout the Discovery Guide fosters built-in professional development and "at-your-fingertips" resources. Additionally, the program is correlated to key national, state, and local guidelines, including: IRA/NAEYC position paper regarding predictors of literary success, High/Scope, and Creative Curriculum
Assessment strategies are integrated into the Doors to Discovery program. A separate Assessment booklet accompanies each Exploration, complete with rationale, research, blackline masters and assessment management ideas.
Assel, M. A., Landry, S. H., Swank, P. R., & Gunnewig, S. (2007). An evaluation of curriculum, setting, and mentoring on the performance of children enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Reading and Writing, 20(5), 463–494.
Christie, J., Roskos, K., Vukelich, C., & Han, M. (2003). The effects of a well-designed literacy program on young children’s language and literacy development. In F. Lamb-Parker, J. Hagen, R. Robinson, & H. Rhee (Eds.), The First eight years. Pathways to the future: Implications for research, policy, and practice. Proceedings of the Head Start National Research Conference (pp. 447–448). New York: Mailman School of Public Health, Colum- bia University.
Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research (PCER) Consortium. (2008, Chapter 6). Doors to Discovery and Let’s Begin with the Letter People. In Effects of preschool curriculum programs on school readiness (pp. 85–98). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
What Works Clearinghouse
Information on this entry was adapted from US Department of Education. (2013). Doors to Discovery. WWC Intervention Report. Retrieved from https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_doors_062513.pdf
Teachers are trained during professional development activities and with other resources like the Discovery Guide, a built-in professional development resource.