National Study Validates PATHS® Curriculum in Preschool

July 18, 2014



NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds that the PATHS® Curriculum improves preschool teachers’ efforts to deliver quality instruction in social and emotional learning, and that children’s behaviors improve as a result.

The randomized study, examining best practices in 17 Head Start programs in 10 states, found that
teachers in PATHS® preschool classrooms are “expected to display higher levels of social-emotional instruction.” The study was conducted by MDRC, a nonprofit nonpartisan education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect the poor.

“This independent study demonstrates that our schools can improve the quality of social and emotional instruction, and when that happens it leads to improved behavior, learning and attention in children,” said Dr. Mark Greenberg, chair of PATHS® Education Worldwide, a training organization that administers the PATHS® Curriculum. “We appreciate the work of the MDRC researchers and will use their detailed findings to further refine the PATHS® approach.”

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), evidence-based instruction in social and emotional learning can both reduce problem behaviors, improve relations with peers and adults, and increase academic achievement.

MDRC found that teachers who used the PATHS® Curriculum showed significant improvements in their social and emotional instruction and use of higher-order thinking strategies with students. Moreover, teachers reported that preschool children participating in the PATHS® Curriculum showed significant improvements in positive social behaviors and learning behaviors.

Additionally, preschool children participating in the PATHS® Curriculum were more likely to succeed in kindergarten. According to the study, fewer than one percent of children who participated in the PATHS® Curriculum were expected to be retained, or held back, versus seven percent of children who did not participate in the curriculum. Overall, MDRC noted: “The findings indicate that PATHS met its goal of improving the building blocks of children’s social development in the preschool year.”

For more information, the MDRC report can be found online at:

About PATHS® Education Worldwide: Based in Nashville, Tenn., PATHS® Education Worldwide trains educators on the use of the PATHS® and PreK/K PATHS® curriculum kits and supporting materials, which are published and distributed exclusively by the Channing Bete Company, Inc. On the Web:


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