Between January and April 2017, a large, urban school district participated in an evaluation of Puberty: The Wonder Years, their puberty education programming for grades 4, 5, and 6. The goal was to learn if the curriculum 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 using the 2015 edition of the curriculum. 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.
Student surveys were designed to measure changes in students’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills resulting from participation in Puberty: The Wonder Years™. Students in each class completed a pre-survey prior to participating in the Puberty: The Wonder Years lessons and a post-survey following completion of the Puberty: The Wonder Years™ lessons. The surveys were matched using a unique code generated by each student, and only matched pre- and post-surveys were included in the evaluation results.
These are a few of the lessons that were learned from doing this evaluation of Puberty: The Wonder Years:
- 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.
Puberty: The Wonder Years Evaluation Resources
- Student Assessment Surveys (pre- and post-tests)
- Teacher Survey
- Evaluation Infogram
- Evaluation blog
- Evaluation interview with Beth Perez, Health Education Specialist, Lansing School District