New Century Education Foundation traces its roots to the Appleton-Century-Crofts publishing group, founded in 1825 by D. Appleton. In the late 1800s, New Century became a recognized publisher of text books in both English for American distribution, and Spanish for Latin American distribution. The Century Schoolbook typeface was designed by the company to convey large amounts of information on the page while remaining clear and easy to read for students. The New Century Dictionary, a two volume edition became one of the premier reference books of the late 19th and early 20th century. The New Century Encyclopedia became equally recognized.

The New Century Magazine was a leading publisher of literary works as well as academic papers in science and history. The publishing house’s many notable authors included Henry James in literature, Edith Wharton in art and design, and Charles Darwin in science. By the mid 20th century, the company had become a leading academic publisher in the field of educational psychology, including the works of B.F. Skinner, Robert Glaser, Jean Chall, and many other seminal researchers in education.

In 1974, New Century Education was divested to its division manager, Charles Walther, who maintained the personal relationships with the published authors. New Century published and distributed early forms of individualized instruction, such as Robert Glaser’s Individualized Prescriptive Instruction Math. Early interactivity was achieved with special pens and workbooks. Answers marked correctly appeared in green and incorrect answers appeared in red. Reel to reel tapes provided sound. In the late 70’s, Walther recognized that many of the educational concepts proven to accelerate learning in the lab could be implemented in classes much more effectively on personal computers. To design the new products, Walther coordinated many of the leading researchers in their filed, including Robert Glaser at the Learning Research Development Center, B.F. Skinner, Jean Chall, and Helen Popp at Harvard, Fred Keller at Columbia Teachers College, George Spache at Florida State, Ralph Heimer at Penn State, Peter Rizza at Princeton Center for Education, Lawrence Mace at UCLA, and many, many more. Computer based, adaptive diagnostics were developed with the help of John Carroll, a leading researcher at Educational Testing Service. See Scientifically Based By 1986, an early version of the reading curriculum had been developed, and in 1991 the mathematics curriculum was introduced. Since then, other contributors have helped refine New Century’s products.

Refinements are based on the results from the company’s dedicated research in measuring the efficacy of its products in the field with varied student populations. Importantly, New Century adopts new technology only where it enhances teaching and learning, and not simply because new “bells and whistles” are exciting or entertaining. Researchers, including Marzono in the U.S. and others at Oxford in England confirm that “too many bells and whistles” actually detract from learning. New Century’s continued development toward learning, and not to distraction, is validated in randomized, controlled studies conducted by independent researchers at leading universities, and the findings are consistent. Students who use New Century as part of the instructional regimen outperform those who do not by statistically significant margins. Similarly, students who use the software more outperform those who use it less. See Research Proven