Evaluation of Puberty: The Wonder Years™
Indicates Positive Student Outcomes
What Was Evaluated?
Between January and April 2017, a large, urban school district participated in an evaluation of their puberty education programming using Puberty: The Wonder Years™. The school district wanted to learn if their puberty education program helped students increase knowledge, develop positive attitudes, and practice the skills needed to navigate puberty in a positive manner.
Thirty-two classes of fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students participated in Puberty: The Wonder Years™ lessons. The lessons were taught by an experienced health education teacher who presented the lessons as a guest in the regular classroom teachers’ classes. The teacher kept an implementation fidelity log to identify any modifications in the delivery of the lessons. Due to time limitations, some lessons were omitted entirely, and others were combined.
Students in all grades were taught the puberty education lessons in coed classes as per the district policy. The students self-reported that they were 49% boys, 46% girls, and 5% gave no legible answer for their gender.
How Was the Evaluation Done?
Students in each class completed a pre-test prior to participating in the Puberty: The Wonder Years lessons and a post-test following completion of the Puberty: The Wonder Years™ lessons. A total of 1,295 pre- and post-tests were completed; however, only the 764 matched pre- and post-surveys were included in the evaluation results.
Data from the pre- and post-tests was analyzed by an independent evaluator to look at statistically significant differences in student learning across the grades and between boys and girls.
What Was Learned from the Evaluation?
“Puberty: The Wonder Years Evaluation Infogram” provides highlights from the evaluation. Please review and share it with parents, educators, and administrators who are interested in puberty education.
These are a few of the lessons that were learned from doing this evaluation:
- Teaching puberty education, using Puberty: The Wonder Years™, is worth the time and effort. It resulted in statistically significant increases in student knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are needed to navigate puberty in a safe and healthy manner.
- Time constraints and conflicting priorities in schools are a major factor in how puberty education is taught. When lessons are not taught or are condensed, students do not gain the full set of important knowledge and skills they need.
- Teacher implementation is key to ensuring that students learn the content and the skills needed to positively navigate puberty. Using implementation fidelity logs provide the context for understanding evaluation outcomes.