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IES Grant

Title: Testing the Efficacy of INSIGHTS for Promoting Positive Learning Environments and Academic Achievement in Nebraska: A Replication Study
Center: NCER Year: 2018
Principal Investigator: Nugent, Gwen Awardee: University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Program: Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Context for Teaching and Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (08/01/2018 – 07/30/2022) Award Amount: $3,299,957
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305A180290

Co-Principal Investigator: Rudasill, Kathleen

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to replicate an IES-funded efficacy study of INSIGHTS into Children's Temperament with a different sample and in a different context rural Nebraska. INSIGHTS is a temperament-based emotional and behavioral skills intervention with student, teacher, and parent components that has been found to improve the quality of kindergarten and 1st grade classroom environments in inner city schools and reduce disruptive behavior, improve attention skills, and improve reading and math achievement of economically disadvantaged children.

Project Activities: The researchers will randomly assign schools to INSIGHTS or a business as usual control condition and recruit three cohorts of kindergarten students and their families for participation over two years, with the INSIGHTS program implemented in classrooms and with families in the second half of kindergarten and again in the first half of 1st grade.

Products: Researchers will produce evidence of whether the positive effects of INSIGHTS for kindergarten and 1st grade teachers, families, and students in New York City can be replicated in rural Nebraska communities. The researchers will produce peer-reviewed publications along with working papers and briefs summarizing methods and lessons for practice shared through print, digital (i.e., web, email), and social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) channels.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The study will take place in rural areas in eastern and central Nebraska where poverty rates range from 30 to 50 percent and the majority of families are White, non-Hispanic.

Sample: Approximately 630 students (and their parents), 90 kindergarten teachers, and 90 1st grade teachers from 30 elementary schools will participate in this study.

Intervention: INSIGHTS is an emotional/behavioral skills intervention that gives children, parents, and teachers a framework for appreciating, supporting, and managing individual differences in temperament to optimize children's behavior and academic achievement. It is delivered to children once per week for 10 weeks in kindergarten and again in 1st grade during class time; teachers receive 2-day workshops and parents receive the intervention in 6 sessions over the same 10-week period.

Research Design and Methods: Researchers will use a cluster-randomized design with three cohorts of schools. In each cohort, they will randomly assign10 schools to receive INSIGHTS (treatment) or to continue with their typical practices after they recruit kindergarten participants and collect baseline data. There will be four subsequent assessment points: after intervention at the end of kindergarten, at the beginning of 1st grade, after the 1st grade intervention period, and at the end of 1st grade.

Control Condition: Schools in the control condition will continue with typical practice but will be offered INSIGHTS training and materials once all data collection is complete.

Key Measures: The researchers will use standardized instruments (e.g., the Woodcock-Johnson IV, the School-Age Temperament Inventory) and observational tools (e.g., the Classroom Assessment Scoring System - CLASS) to assess children's achievement, readiness, regulation, temperament, behavior, and family resources; teacher efficacy; and classroom quality. The researchers will use survey and observation methods, document reviews, and attendance logs to identify costs associated with implementation of INSIGHTS in rural Nebraska.

Data Analytic Strategy: The researchers will use linear mixed models to test the effects of INSIGHTS on students' classroom behavior and academic achievement; teachers' sense of efficacy and classroom quality; and parent involvement and self-efficacy. They will use multilevel structural equation modeling to test moderators of effects (e.g., school readiness, temperament). They will also test whether pre-post improvements in classroom environment quality and children's behavior, enhanced classroom quality, and better teacher self-efficacy are at least partial mediators of the effect of INSIGHTS on child academic outcomes.

Related IES Projects:
Testing the Efficacy of INSIGHTS in Enhancing the Academic Learning Context (R305A080512)

Does Early Intervention Benefit Social-Emotional and Academic Development in Middle School? A Follow-up Study of INSIGHTS (R305A160177)