DSC Research Scales

Child Development Project

Starting in the early 1980s, working with elementary schools in an expanding set of school districts across the country, we created the Child Development Project (CDP)—a research-based, multi-faceted school-change program focused on creating caring, supportive learning environments that foster students' sense of belonging and connection to school. The CDP program incorporated cooperative learning approaches, classroom and schoolwide community-building activities, engaging curriculum, and an emphasis on literacy development. Rigorous evaluations showed CDP to be effective at fostering students' academic, ethical, social, and emotional development—findings which brought CDP significant national recognition:

Download either our Elementary or Middle School Student Scales (pdf).

Over the last 20 years, we developed and validated our measures of students’ social, emotional, ethical, and academic development, plus measures of involvement in high-risk behavior.

Over time, we refined the components of CDP. These are now offered as distinct yet complementary modules: Making Meaning for reading comprehension and Caring School Community for community-building.

Making Meaning is a K–6 reading comprehension program that provides instruction and practice in key comprehension strategies and uses collaborative partner and group work to build students' abilities to communicate respectfully, work together responsibly, think deeply, and build their understanding of text.

More about Making Meaning.

The Caring School Community program is a K–6 program that builds community in the classroom, across grades, schoolwide, and with families.

More about Caring School Community.