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IES Grant

Title: Evaluation of a Classroom Management Training Program for Middle School Teachers
Center: NCER Year: 2013
Principal Investigator: Herman, Keith Awardee: University of Missouri, Columbia
Program: Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Context for Teaching and Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (8/1/2013-7/31/2017) Award Amount: $2,998,403
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305A130143

Co-Principal Investigator: Reinke, Wendy

Purpose: In this efficacy study, researchers tested whether CHAMPS (Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation, Success), a program for promoting classroom management skills in middle school teachers, improves student engagement, behavior, and academic achievement. A secondary aim was to explore factors such as teacher burnout and school climate that may influence teachers' implementation of CHAMPS practices. Although CHAMPS was developed decades ago and has been implemented in dozens of states with thousands of teachers, its effects on teacher and student outcomes have never been independently evaluated in a controlled trial.

Project Activities: Researchers randomized teachers in middle schools (sixth to eighth grade) into the CHAMPS condition or a business-as-usual control condition based on the teacher's lowest academic level regular class in core content courses. The researchers collected data on student academic and social behavior prior to intervention, post intervention, and in the spring of the following school year. They also measured teacher classroom practices four times during the school year.

Key Outcomes: The main findings of this study are as follows:

  • CHAMPS teachers reported greater self-efficacy, were more likely to praise their students, and gave their students more opportunities to respond than teachers in the comparison group.
  • CHAMPS classrooms were better organized and more positive and emotionally supportive than control classrooms.
  • Students in CHAMPS classrooms were more focused, completed more of their classwork, and spent more time focused on schoolwork than students in comparison classrooms.
  • Students in CHAMPS classrooms did better on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) state Communication achievement test, with effects partially mediated by improvements in time spent on-task. There were no differences between the groups on the MAP Math achievement test.
  • Students in CHAMPS classrooms had better math Problem Solving scores on the Stanford Achievement Test-10 (SAT-10) than students in comparison classrooms. There were no differences between the groups on the SAT-10 Reading Comprehension.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Participating teachers and students came from nine middle schools in two large urban districts in Missouri.

Sample: A total of 102 classroom teachers and 1450 of their students, most of whom were African-American and economically disadvantaged, participated in the study.

Intervention: CHAMPS uses social learning and behavioral principles to promote positive teacher-student interactions and help teachers structure their classrooms in ways that prompt responsible student behavior. The CHAMPS acronym (Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation, and Success) is used as a guide for teachers as they define behavioral expectations for students around specific instructional approaches. For example, during writing students remain in their seats (the Movement expectation) and do not talk with classmates (the Conversation expectation). Classroom management skills are introduced and practiced through group training that includes video-based modeling (viewing and discussing brief vignettes of actual teacher-student interactions) and opportunities to role play similar scenarios and to give and receive feedback about effective classroom practices.

Research Design and Methods: The researchers recruited and randomly assigned four cohorts of teachers to one of two conditions (treatment or control). Treatment teachers received 3 days of CHAMPS workshop training followed by monthly coaching sessions for one school year. A subset of students in each teacher's lowest academic-level regular class were assessed in the fall (pretest) and spring (posttest) of the intervention year, and in the spring of the year following intervention to test for sustainability of effects (students were included in the follow up year if they remained in the same district). Teachers in both conditions were assessed at these same time points, and CHAMPS teachers were assessed in the fall and spring for an additional year to measure sustainability of CHAMPS' practices and factors that support implementation.

Control Condition: Teachers assigned to the control condition received the standard teacher continuing education program offered by the school district (business as usual), and then were offered to be trained in CHAMPS following completion of their cohort in the study (wait-list-control).

Key Measures: The researchers assessed student academic achievement using the Stanford Achievement Test 10th Edition (SAT-10) and school records (grades, state standardized test scores, office discipline referrals, and suspensions). Teachers rated student engagement, social skills, and classroom behaviors using the Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation-Revised (TOCA-Revised) and the Direct Behavior Rating-SIS. The researchers observed the classrooms using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System-Secondary (CLASS-S) and the Multi-Option Observation System for Experimental Studies (MOOSES). Students reported on their beliefs about classroom supports for autonomy and relatedness, the relevance of school, and classroom engagement. Teachers reported on teaching efficacy, knowledge of classroom management practices, parents' involvement in education, and burnout (the Maslach Burnout Inventory).

Data Analytic Strategy: To determine the main impact of the intervention, the researchers conducted three-level hierarchical linear models (HLM), in which students (level 1) are nested within teachers (level 2) and teachers are nested within schools (level 3), using SAS PROC MIXED to examine the overall treatment effects on student behavior and academic outcomes. Analyses included student age, gender, free and reduced lunch status, special education status, grade, and race as covariates along with cohort and baseline scores on targeted outcomes. To investigate possible mechanisms of change, they conducted a series of Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVAs) to examine proximal intervention effects on teacher beliefs (self-efficacy) and practices (implementation fidelity, classroom atmosphere, positive to negative ratio, and use of opportunities to respond).

Publications and Products

Book chapter

Herman, K.C., Reinke, W.M., Thompson, A., and Faloughi, R. (2015). Universal Prevention to Support Children's Mental Health in Schools. In A. Grills, and M. Holt (Eds.), Critical Issues in School-Based Mental Health: Evidence-Based Research (pp. 190–202). New York: Routledge.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Floress, M.T., Beschta, S.L., Meyer, K.L., and Reinke, W.M. (2017). Praise Research Trends and Future Directions: Characteristics and Teacher Training. Behavioral Disorders, 43(1), 227–243.

Floress, M.T., Jenkins, L.N., Reinke, W.M., and McKown, L. (2018). General Education Teachers' Natural Rates of Praise: A Preliminary Investigation. Behavioral Disorders, 43(4): 411–422.

Herman, K. C., Reinke, W. M., Dong, N., and Bradshaw, C. P. (2020). Can Effective Classroom Behavior Management Increase Student Achievement in Middle School? Findings From a Group Randomized Trial. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication.

Huang, F.L., Lewis, C., Cohen, D.R., Prewitt, S., and Herman, K. (2018). Bullying Involvement, Teacher-Student Relationships, and Psychosocial Outcomes. School Psychology Quarterly, 33(2): 223–234.

Jenkins, L.N., Floress, M.T., and Reinke, W. (2015). Rates and Types of Teacher Praise: A Review and Future Directions. Psychology in the Schools, 52(5): 463–476.

Kilgus, S.P., Van Wie, M.P., Sinclair, J.S., Riley-Tillman, T.C., and Herman, K.C. (2019) Developing a Direct Rating Behavior Scale for Depression in Middle School Students. School Psychology, 34(1): 86–95.

King, K.R., Lembke, E.S., and Reinke, W.M. (2016). Using Latent Class Analysis to Identify Academic and Behavioral Risk Status in Elementary Students. School Psychology Quarterly, 31(1): 43–57.

Lewis, C.G., Herman, K.C., Huang, F.L., Stormont, M., Grossman, C., Eddy, C., and Reinke, W.M. (2017). The Utility of Single-Item Readiness Screeners in Middle School. Journal of School Psychology, 64, 1–16.