Full-Scale Development of Peg + Cat: Early Learning of Math through Media

September 1st, 2013 - August 31st, 2016 | PROJECT

This research and development project explores the mechanisms that initiate and support innovation in early childhood education, especially in combining informal learning via public media and technology with teacher and family interactions to maximize children's math learning. Deliverables include 27 episodes of Peg+Cat, an animated math adventure series on PBS, 8 related online games and apps, summer math institutes and school-year training for preschool/Head Start teachers, and complementary activities and resources to support parent's knowledge and practice and student's engagement, interest, and learning of foundational math concepts. The research agenda will test several hypotheses regarding the strategies to extend teacher's math content knowledge and pedagogy and parent/ caregiver's understanding and valuing of math. A key question will focus on how coupled learning opportunities (professional development for teachers, transmedia, and support for families) enable and sustain children's engagement and learning in math. Formative evaluation of the media components will use focus groups of 3-5 year olds to assure develerables are engaging and accessible. The summative evaluation by Rockman et al will focus on how well the project met its overall goals including the project implementation, and impacts on Head Start teachers, parents/caregivers, and preschoolers. The project's transmedia deliverables will reach millions of preschoolers through daily PBS broadcasts and online games and apps. Fifty Head Start teachers will participate in the two-year professional development program and will be using new content knowledge and pedagogy to teach 550 Head Start children in southwest Pennsylvania and engage their parents/caregivers. The Head Start infrastructure will provide further dissemination of the project's findings and resources.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

2014 Poster - Peg + Cat: Early Learning of Math Through Media
2016 Poster - Peg + Cat: Early Learning of Math Through Media
Video - Peg + Cat: Early Learning of Math Through Media (ELM2)
Peg + Cat Early Learning of Math Through Media Summative Evaluation

Team Members

Hedda Sharapan, Co-Principal Investigator, The Fred Rogers Company
Chris Rodgick, Co-Principal Investigator, The Fred Rogers Company
Cynthia Tananis, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Pittsburgh
Nancy Bunt, Co-Principal Investigator, Math and Science Partnership of Southwest Pennsylvania
Mallary Swartz, Principal Investigator, The Fred Rogers Company
Camellia Sanford-Dolly, Evaluator, Rockman et al


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1323485
Funding Amount: 1357321


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers | Pre-K Children (0-5)
Discipline: Education and learning science | Mathematics
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Games | Simulations | Interactives | Informal | Formal Connections | Media and Technology | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media