A new study by WestEd, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development and service agency, confirms the positive educational impact of the PBS KIDS series Odd Squad. The series, for children ages 5-8, airs at 4:30/3:30 pm Monday-Friday on KET and weekdays at 6:30/5:30 am and Saturdays at 10/9 am on KET2. The series is also available on demand through the PBS KIDS app.
First-graders’ knowledge of algebraic thinking, as well as of numbers and operations, increased significantly during the study in which the children, their families and their teachers used digital and hands-on resources from the series Odd Squad. Materials used in the classroom by teachers and participating children, and at home by children and their families, included television episodes, online games, video clips and hands-on activities.
Teachers used episodes and related resources from Odd Squad in their classroom instruction. At home, parents were encouraged to watch an Odd Squad episode with their child, then discuss it and do an activity together about the math content in the episode.
- Over the course of the study, students’ overall knowledge of mathematics in the domains of numbers and operations and algebraic thinking increased significantly
- In sub-categories of mathematical knowledge, students showed significant and positive pre- and post-changes on their knowledge of skip counting, pattern recognition, and simple addition and subtraction
- Children who were exposed to the PBS KIDS transmedia resources outscored their comparison group peers
- Parents’ awareness of their children’s mathematics development significantly increased over the course of the intervention.
The study, “Odd Squad: Learning Math with PBS KIDS Transmedia Content at School and Home,” was conducted on behalf of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the PBS Ready To Learn initiative. More information is available at CPB.org.
This research study is the sixth WestEd study that has analyzed and found positive effects on early learning from PBS KIDS’ television, hands-on activities and interactive content. Previous studies have demonstrated the learning impact of other PBS KIDS series, specifically, Peg + Cat, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Sid the Science Kid and Curious George.