Kaplan Launches Connect4Learning, a New, Interdisciplinary Prekindergarten Curriculum

Curriculum developed through funding from the National Science Foundation


Lewisville, N.C. – Kaplan Early Learning Company announced today the launch of an innovative approach to early childhood education that puts math and science at the forefront of learning. “Connect4Learning: The Pre-K Curriculum” is a research-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning that was developed by nationally recognized experts in early childhood education and through funding from the National Science Foundation.


The Connect4Learning (C4L) curriculum, available January, is exclusively sold through Kaplan Early Learning Company. A preview of the curriculum and its components will be revealed on November 18 at the National Association for the Education of Young Children annual conference in Orlando, FL. Principal investigators of the curriculum are Julie Sarama, PhD, University of Denver; Kimberly Brenneman, PhD, Rutgers University; Douglas Clements, PhD, University of Denver; Nell Duke, EdD, University of Michigan; and Mary Louise Hemmeter, PhD, Vanderbilt University.


After years of research and classroom testing, C4L’s principal investigators designed the curriculum to address growing concerns that the majority of pre-K instructional time is not balanced among literacy, science, math, and social-emotional domains. Preschool-age children have few opportunities to engage in foundational math and science learning. One study has found that a literacy-based curriculum teaches only 58 seconds of mathematics instruction in a 6-hour day. *Limited opportunities for early math and science learning are factors that can contribute to the United States falling behind other countries in math and science proficiency.


The C4L prekindergarten curriculum includes 6 units that address 140 measurable learning objectives and support children’s development of 10 fundamental cognitive processes. The learning objectives are fully aligned with the new Head Start Outcomes Framework and state early learning standards. C4L seamlessly integrates child-centered activities with teacher-led instruction. With its project-based approach and rich vocabulary use, C4L aligns with recommended practices to support dual-language learners and children from underresourced communities. Fundamental to the curriculum is the importance of play-based learning:


“Research tells us that children naturally explore and engage with content areas such as mathematics during their free play,” says Clements. “So we know that, when they are playing, they are acting out the foundations of their lessons from the classroom.”

Results from pilot programs using the C4L curriculum report that children achieve their learning goals beyond expectations, and teachers and parents have been surprised at how effectively the curriculum improves the children’s performances across all domains.


The C4L curriculum also includes:

  • Pre-K Teacher’s Handbook
  • Director’s Handbook for Pre-K or Principal’s Handbook for Pre-K
  • Pre-K Kit
  • Classroom Book Set, including custom texts written specifically for C4L
  • Formative Assessments
  • Computer Learning Games
  • Professional Development
  • How-to Lesson Videos
  • Online Portal, including professional-development offerings, classroom management tools, and math games

Learn more about C4L curriculums here: connect4learning.com/curriculum


*Farran, Lipsey, Watson, & Hurley, 2007.
** Ginsburg, Cooke, Leinwand, Noell, & Pollock, 2005


About the Authors


Julie Sarama, PhD

Kennedy Endowed Chair in Innovative Learning Technologies; Co-Executive Director, Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy; and Professor, University of Denver


Kimberly Brenneman, PhD

Program Officer for Education at the Heising-Simons Foundation; former research faculty at Rutgers University's National Institute for Early Education Research


Douglas H. Clements, PhD

Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning; Co-Executive Director, Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy; and Professor, University of Denver


Nell K. Duke, EdD

Professor, Literacy, Language, and Culture; faculty affiliate in the combined program in education and psychology, University of Michigan


Mary Louise Hemmeter, PhD

Professor, Special Education, Peabody College; Director of the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) at Vanderbilt University


About Kaplan Early Learning Company


Kaplan Early Learning Company is based in Lewisville, North Carolina, and provides products and services that enhance children’s learning. Since 1968, the company has delivered innovative products and services that support educators and caregivers worldwide in the creation of quality learning environments.