Penn Child Research Center

EPIC: Evidence-based Program for the Integration of Curricula

The Evidence-based Program for the Integration of Curricula (EPIC) is a comprehensive early childhood program specifically designed for preschool children from an underserved, minority urban population. Developed and scientifically validated through a federal grant from the Interagency School Readiness Consortium (IRSC), EPIC takes an intentional, systematic and intense approach to skill development, assessment, family involvement, and professional development in early childhood education. EPIC maximizes early learning by using a child-centered approach that draws on all of the resources surrounding the child: classroom, home, and learning community. The comprehensive EPIC program includes:

  • A scientifically-based, developmentally-appropriate curriculum that integrates early mathematics, language, literacy, and learning behaviors into one cohesive, coordinated set of learning experiences that are reinforced at home through a strong connection to families.
  • A built-in, scientifically-based, formative assessment of skill development that allows teachers to measure progress and tailor instruction to individual patterns of development. 
  • A learning community model of professional development that supports teachers’ mastery of the program and promotes sharing of best practices and leadership development based on tested distributed leadership principles. 

For more on EPIC:
EPIC Research Brief [pdf], by John Fantuzzo, Vivian Gadsden, and Paul McDermott.

Plant a Seed: A New Head Start Curriculum Improves the Odds for Preschoolers
Penn GSE News, Fall 2008

McDermott, P. A., Fantuzzo, J. W., Waterman, C., Angelo, L. E., Warley, H. P., Gadsden, V. L., & Zhang, X. (2009). Measuring preschool cognitive growth while it's still happening: The Learning Express. Journal of School Psychology, 47(5), 337-366. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2009.07.002

The Educational Well-Being of African American Boys: A Philadelphia Story of Challenges and Possibilities
Albert M. Greenfield Memorial Lecture summary. Watch a video of the lecture, here.