Research Agenda

At South Side Early Learning, we are committed to leading the partnerships, best practices and performance that maximize a child’s first 2,000 days. We believe that engaging in meaningful research that pushes the fields of early education and child development forward are critical to fulfilling that vision.

We look to engage in research that explores four domains of practice: data utilization, professional development, classroom environment and teaching practices and family engagement. Learn more about ongoing research at SSEL below.


PLAYSPACE by South side Early Learning

At South Side Early Learning, we want to revolutionize early learning by leading the partnerships, best practices and performance that maximize a child’s first 2,000 days. Playspace allows our educators and community members to think of ways we can improve the way children to live, learn and grow. 

Teachers at SSEL are able to submit ideas to our Program Committee on ways they believe we can innovate curriculum, classroom practice, workforce/professional development, and family/home engagement. We then work with our partners, thought leaders and researchers to try and bring these ideas to life right here at our school by piloting the project with our teachers. 

ABC Study: Best Practices in Alphabet Instruction

Researcher: Dr. Shayne B. Piasta, Ph.D.

Did you know that alphabet knowledge is the basic building block for early reading? Children who learn the forms, names, and sounds of letters during early childhood are less likely to experience reading difficulties later in school. 

Surprisingly, we know very little about how to best support young children’s alphabet learning. Should we teach uppercase letters first or teach both uppercase and lowercase letters? Should we teach letter names before teaching sounds? Should we start with easier or more difficult letters? Does multisensory teaching result in better learning? How can we teach letters in fun, engaging ways? 

Researchers at OSU’s Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy want to put all children on the path to reading success. We are conducting research to identify evidence-based practices for providing alphabet instruction. We have developed a series of alphabet lessons and accompanying activities. Now, we are conducting a pilot study with children who could benefit from supplemental alphabet instruction. 

For more information on this study, please contact Shayne B. Piasta, Ph.D., Associate Professor - Department of Teaching & Learning at the Ohio State University.


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