Development of a Novel Curriculum for Pediatric Resident Promotion of Early Childhood Literacy

Margaret Shell Wood, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Early environment is critical to the development of young children’s language skills, school readiness, and health. Children from low-income families are exposed to a dramatically less rich language environment in those critical early years. Pediatricians play an important role in improving language environments through the promotion of shared reading between parents and children. One particularly effective way pediatricians promote reading is through the implementation of Reach Out and Read (ROR), a program that consists of provision of a free book at every well child visit between 6 months and 5 years of age, counseling families about shared reading, and literacy-rich clinic environments. ^ This project sought to address the training of new pediatricians (residents) in the implementation of ROR at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). Currently, training does not adequately reach all residents and few residents are fully implementing all the ROR components routinely. ^ To address this gap between current and ideal resident education, the investigators developed a new curriculum. This curriculum development followed a published six-step approach: first—problem identification and general needs assessment, second—targeted needs assessment, third—writing of goals and objectives, fourth—selection of educational strategies, fifth—implementation, and sixth—evaluation. These steps were conducted in collaboration with learners and faculty stakeholders at BCM. ^ This six step approach led to the development of a multi-component curriculum designed to reach all pediatric resident trainees at BCM. The curriculum consisted of broad goals and seven specific objectives pertaining to resident knowledge, attitudes, and skills surrounding promotion of early childhood literacy. The chosen educational strategies included small group discussion, video demonstrations, modeling of shared reading, checklists, reminders, direct observation with feedback, and self-reflection. Piloting of the curriculum occurred with pediatric residents, and a plan for evaluation was developed. ^ The development of this curriculum demonstrated that a structured framework can allow for design of a tailored curriculum with meaningful and measurable objectives. Ultimately this curriculum will provide efficient and effective education of all pediatric residents in the promotion of early childhood literacy. Ideally, this will foster increased shared reading and improved health outcomes. ^

Subject Area

Public health|Health education|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Wood, Margaret Shell, "Development of a Novel Curriculum for Pediatric Resident Promotion of Early Childhood Literacy" (2017). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10275368.