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IES Grant

Title: A Conceptual Replication of BEST in CLASS: An Efficacy Study of BEST in CLASS-Elementary
Center: NCER Year: 2018
Principal Investigator: Sutherland, Kevin Awardee: Virginia Commonwealth University
Program: Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Context for Teaching and Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (07/01/2018 - 06/30/2022) Award Amount: $3,296,798
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305A180182

Co-Principal Investigator: Conroy, Maureen

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to replicate findings of previous research conducted on the BEST in CLASS classroom-based intervention by testing the efficacy of BEST in CLASS — Elementary (BEST in CLASS-E).The BEST in CLASS is an intervention composed of several practice elements that target increasing the quantity and quality of specific teacher behaviors with high-risk focal children to prevent and reduce the occurrence of their chronic problem behaviors. Although the BEST in CLASS intervention has demonstrated efficacy with preschool-age children at risk for emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD), its efficacy with students in early elementary school remains untested.

Project Activities: Teachers will receive training in BEST in CLASS-E followed by 14 weeks of practice-based coaching (implementation). Researchers will collect pretest and posttest measures in the fall and spring, respectively. They will study four classrooms each year for four years (16 total), that will be randomly assigned to receive either the intervention or to be the business-as-usual control.

Products: Researchers will produce evidence of the efficacy of the BEST in CLASS-E intervention for approximately 192 teachers and 576 students in grades K-2. Researchers will also provide annual updates to families, teachers, and administrators, present findings at conferences, and produce peer-reviewed publications.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Teachers and students in this study will come from 16 public urban, suburban, and rural elementary schools in two school districts from Virginia and Florida. Both districts are ethnically diverse.

Sample: The sample will include 192 K-2nd grade teachers and 576 students and their families.

Intervention: BEST in CLASS-E BEST in CLASS-E is a Tier 2 classroom-based intervention that increases teachers' use and quality of delivery of efficacious behavioral and instructional practices in order to reduce focal students' problem behaviors, increase positive teacher-student interactions, improve teachers' sense of self-efficacy, enhance the quality of teacher-child relationships, and improve the classroom environment. Additionally, BEST in CLASS-E includes a home-school partnership component. Teachers in the BEST in CLASS-E intervention group will receive a BEST in CLASS Teacher Manual, and attend a one-day workshop designed to introduce teachers to all seven teacher learning modules. Following the training, teachers will receive 14 weeks of individual manualized practice-based coaching from a trained coach that will provide them with guidance and support in learning to implement the BEST in CLASS-E practices in their classrooms and the home-school partnership component. Students in the treatment group will receive the BEST in CLASS-E intervention delivered by trained classroom teachers and families will receive the BEST in CLASS-E home-school partnership intervention.

Research Design and Methods: The researchers will use a multi-site cluster randomized design to examine the effect of BEST in CLASS-E on child, teacher, and family outcomes in four elementary schools per year. Classrooms will be blocked by grade level within school and then randomly assigned to either the treatment or the business-as-usual comparison group. Teachers will be trained in the BEST in CLASS-E intervention in the fall and will then implement the program via practice-based coaching for 14 weeks. Collection of pretest and posttest measures on students, their families, and teachers will occur at three times. Time 1 assessments will occur in the fall and will consist of baseline measures of social and behavioral competence, academic skills, family involvement, teacher-student interactions, and classroom quality. Time 2 assessments will occur immediately following the 14-week implementation and will include all measures from Time 1 as well as teacher and caregiver social validity measures. Coaching alliance measures will be collected at weeks 4 and 12 of intervention delivery. Time 3 assessments will be conducted at least one month after the completion of intervention implementation, and will consist of direct observations of teachers' and focal students' social and behavioral functioning and teacher-student interactions.

Control Condition: The comparison group will engage in business-as-usual academic and behavioral instruction provided by regular education teachers in grades K-2nd.

Key Measures: A comprehensive assessment plan is proposed including child outcome measures (e.g., Social Skills Improvement System Rating Scales, Woodcock—Johnson III Brief Battery), family outcome measures (i.e., family engagement and involvement), teacher outcomes (self-efficacy, student-teacher interactions and relationships), classroom atmosphere (Classroom Assessment Scoring System - CLASS), and implementation and integrity measures, including teacher and coaching integrity, dosage, and alliance.

Data Analytic Strategy: Researchers will use multilevel modeling to analyze the effects of BEST in CLASS-E on student, family, and teacher outcomes, and will test hypothesized mediators (e.g., teacher-student relationship quality) within the same multilevel framework.

Related IES Projects: Promoting Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence in Young High-Risk Children: A Preventative Classroom-Based Early Intervention Model (R324A080074)

Efficacy of the BEST in CLASS Intervention for Young Children at High Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (R324A110173)

BEST in CLASS-Web: A Web-Based Intervention Supporting Early Childhood Teachers' Use of Evidence-Based Practices with Young Children at Risk for Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (R324A160158)

BEST in CLASS-Elementary: A Preventative Classroom-based Intervention Model (R305A150246)