Date of Award
Master of Design (MDes)
This thesis project recommends a communication strategy for the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development (OCD). It supports OCD in the development of evidence-based communication that targets state policymakers about early childhood issues. The proposed strategy assembles a set of communication materials and heuristics to help OCD educate and inform Pennsylvania legislators about child policy issues statewide. The strategy uses scientific evidence—the latest studies on pre-kindergarten care environments and neuroscientific research on early childhood development—in order to accurately depict the current state of early childhood care in Pennsylvania, as a means of encouraging legislators to make informed policy decisions. The strategy consists of a set of audience-specific, visual-verbal communication guidelines, along with specific recommendations for the timing of communication and selection of content. It serves as a template that can be used to address state lawmakers for a wide range of communication projects. The strategy is shaped by several factors: OCD’s focus on evidence-based communication practices, an understanding of the current science behind early childhood development, research on the target audience’s communication practices, and the shared intention to create a lasting yet flexible set of materials for OCD’s use in addressing early childhood policy issues.
Gatts, Erica, "From Science to Policy: a strategy to communicate the science of early childhood to Pennsylvania policy makers" (2012). Theses. Paper 39.