Virginia Buysse, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Dina Castro, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Abstract: The goal of this study is to develop and evaluate a professional development intervention designed to improve instructional practices related to literacy and language learning among Latino English language learners enrolled in North Carolina's More at Four Pre-Kindergarten Program. The More at Four program currently enrolls more than 12,000 four-year-old children who are considered at-risk for school failure, with approximately 20% consisting of Latino English language learners. A total of 60 More at Four pre-K teachers and 240 Latino children (a minimum of 4 children from each classroom) are being recruited for this study. Teachers will be randomly assigned to the intervention or control groups, with 30 teachers in each group. The intervention consists of (1) a series of 3 full-day institutes guided by a professional development curriculum and the LiteracyGames classroom curriculum adapted for ELL children, (2) onsite, individualized support from a consultant, and (3) opportunities for observation, reflection, and shared inquiry with other teachers through community of practice meetings. A battery of measures are being administered in early fall and late spring in treatment and control classrooms to examine changes in teaching practices, the quality of the literacy environment, and children's developmental growth over the course of the year.