Development and Evaluation of a School Readiness Curriculum for Pediatrics Residents

MedEdPORTAL. 2020 Sep 29:16:10976. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10976.


Introduction: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pediatricians promote school readiness with children and families. To our knowledge, no published resident-focused curricula addressing school readiness are currently available. We sought to fill this gap by developing and evaluating a school readiness curriculum for pediatrics residents.

Methods: We conducted a literature review and targeted needs assessment of pediatrics residents. We then developed a school readiness curriculum and piloted it over several months, adjusting it iteratively each month. The final curriculum was delivered to 34 primarily first-year pediatrics residents over 11 months and included three self-guided observations at local preschools using a templated observation guide, followed by a 1.5-hour in-person facilitated workshop with three components: a PowerPoint presentation, a discussion about preschool observations, and a case study with hands-on developmental questionnaire practice. The curriculum was evaluated with preintervention, immediate postintervention, and 2-months delayed postintervention surveys.

Results: Our curriculum successfully increased pediatrics residents' knowledge regarding the correct definition of school readiness and appropriate management plan for school readiness concerns, confidence discussing school readiness and addressing families' school readiness concerns, and behavior raising the topic of school readiness with families during well child checks.

Discussion: A school readiness curriculum had a beneficial effect of increasing pediatrics residents' knowledge, confidence, and behavior addressing school readiness in clinical encounters, meeting a priority of the AAP.

Keywords: Curriculum Development; Curriculum Evaluation; Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics; Pediatrics; Preschool; Program Evaluation; School Readiness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Schools
  • United States