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IES Grant

Title: The Effects of Strategy and Self-Regulation Instruction on Students' Writing Performance and Behavior: A Preventative Approach (Project WRITE)
Center: NCSER Year: 2006
Principal Investigator: Lane, Kathleen Awardee: Vanderbilt University
Program: Social and Behavioral Outcomes to Support Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 9/1/2006 to 8/31/2009 Award Amount: $1,431,137
Goal: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324B060018
Description:

Purpose: The purpose Project WRITE is to determine the impact of a modified Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) on the writing and classroom behavior of students at high-risk for Serious Behavior Disorders (SBD). Prior research has demonstrated that SRSD improves the writing performance of students with learning disabilities and other struggling writers, but its impact on the writing performance and collateral impacts on behavior for students at high-risk for SBD is not determined. The development of SRSD is particularly important for students at high-risk for SBD because they often require secondary interventions to supplement school-wide implementation of positive behavior supports (PBS).

Project Activities: Project Write proposes to (a) modify SRSD instructional procedures to meet the behavioral needs of second-grade students at high-risk for SBD who also have poor writing skills and (b) examine the feasibility and impact of implementing this program within the context of a three-tiered PBS model. Specifically, Project WRITE will work within schools' PBS model to identify the extent to which SRSD improves the writing skills of second-grade students at high-risk for EBD and low writing performance, and results in concomitant improvement in behavioral performance. Researchers will conduct three studies in up to 8 elementary schools located in rural Tennessee. In study 1, single-case methodology will be used to examine the impact of SRSD with two different genres for students with externalizing (n=12) and internalizing (n=12) behaviors. Studies 2 and 3 use randomized field trials with student-level randomization; study 2 will examine the modified curriculum with students with externalizing and internalizing behavior problems (similar to study 1) with instruction delivered individually; study 3 will repeat these procedures but add a group of students with typical behaviors, and the instruction will be delivered in small groups.

Products: Project Write expects to produce a fully developed version of the SRSD curriculum at the second-grade level that is suitable and successful with students at high-risk for SBD.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Project WRITE will be conducted in 8 elementary schools located in a rural district in Middle Tennessee. The district covers both suburban and rural areas with students representing a wide range of socio-economic strata. Diverse ethnic groups are represented and the district is committed to an inclusive approach to special education.

Population: Students with externalizing or internalizing behavior patterns (based Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (SSBD) scores) who also perform below the 25th percentile on the Test of Written Language - 3rd edition will be invited to participate in the intervention study. In study 1, approximately three students in each second-grade classroom in two schools who meet the criteria will be included (a total of 24 students). In studies 2 and 3, the process will be repeated in an additional 6-8 schools. For study 2, 80 second-grade students, at high risk for SBD who are poor writers and have externalizing (n=40) or internalizing behavior patterns (n=40) will be randomly assigned to SRSD instruction or a control group instruction. For study 3, the process will be repeated with 120 students who are identified as poor writers; a total of 40 of those students will have externalizing behavior problems, 40 will have internalizing behavior patterns, and 40 will have normal behavioral patterns.

Intervention: The intervention being tested is the Self-Regulated Strategy Development model (SRSD; Harris & Graham, 1987). The primary focus of SRSD is on teaching students strategies for completing academic tasks, but students are also taught knowledge and self-regulatory procedures (goal setting, self-monitoring, self-instructions, and self-reinforcement) needed to apply the target strategies and better understand the task. Instructional procedures for fostering motivation are embedded within the model. Trained research assistants will deliver the instruction.

Research Design and Methods: In study 1, single-case methodology will be used to examine the potential impact of SRSD with two different genres for students with externalizing (n=12) and internalizing (n=12) behaviors. In years 2 and 3, two studies (Study 2 and Study 3) will each use a pre-test post-test control group field trial involving random assignment of students to treatment or control groups to test the impact of the SRSD instruction. Study 2 involves only students at high risk for SBD who are poor writers and have externalizing or internalizing behavior patterns; Study 3 involves these children as well as students with normal behavioral patterns, but who are poor writers. In addition, SRSD will be delivered to each student individually in study 2, and to small groups of 3 (1 student with SBD with externalizing problem behavior, 1 student with SBD with internalizing problem behavior, 1 student with normal behavioral patterns) in study 3.

Control Condition: Students in the control condition will receive their regular writing instruction. In the participating district, this is a combination of process writing approach and traditional skills instruction.

Key Measures: Several different types of data will be collected; students' performance on a norm-referenced writing test and each instructed genre (story and persuasive writing), including examining the impact of instruction over time (i.e. maintenance). Generalization to two unstructured genres (personal narrative and informative writing) will be evaluated as well as the collateral impact of the treatment on students' academic engagement and disruptive behavior during their regular classroom writing time. Teacher and parent perceptions of problem behaviors, social skills, and academic competence will be collected. Furthermore, measures of intervention fidelity, social validity, and acceptability will be collected.

Data Analytic Strategy: Qualitative and quantitative analyses will be used to answer the research questions. A multiple baseline design across participants with multiple probes during baseline will be applied to the students participating in study 1, and researchers will examine stability, level, and trend during baseline, intervention, post-intervention and maintenance phases for the target writing and behavior variables. For the randomized trials in studies 2 and 3, data will be analyzed using random effects ANOVA in which children are considered as nested within their particular treatment group/tutor. Effects on writing measures as well as behavioral measures will be examined. Particular attention will be paid to any treatment group by time interaction as well as any evidence of a three-way interaction of time, treatment group, and behavioral group. Research assistant's treatment logs will also be examined to determine the curriculum modification needed and the effective or ineffective components of the intervention.

Publications

Book chapter

Sandmel, K., Huffman, K., Harris, K., Lane, K., Graham, S., Oakes, W., Kiuhara, S.A., and Steinbrecher, T. (2011). Success and Failure With Tier-2 SRSD for Timed-Writing Tests Among Second-Through Fifth-Grade Students With Writing and Behavioral Difficulties: Implications for Evidence-Based Practice. In T.E. Scruggs, and M.A. Mastropieri (Eds.), Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, Volume 24 (pp. 251–293). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing. doi:10.1108/S0735–004X(2011)0000024012

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Harris, K., Lane, K.L., Driscoll, S., Graham, S., Wilson, K., and Sandmel, K. (2012). Tier 1, Teacher-Implemented Self-Regulated Strategy Development for Students With and Without Behavioral Challenges: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Elementary School Journal, 113(2): 160–191.

Harris, K.L., Lane, K.L., Graham, S. Driscoll, S., Wilson, K., Sandmel, K., Brindle, M., and Schatschneider, C. (2012). Practice-Based Professional Development for Self-Regulated Strategies Development in Writing: A Randomized Controlled Study. Journal of Teacher Education, 63(2): 103–119. doi:10.1177/0022487111429005

Lane, K.L., Graham, S., Harris, K.R., Little, M.A., Sandmel, K., and Brindle, M. (2010). Story Writing: The Effects of Self-Regulated Strategy Development for Second-Grade Students With Writing and Behavioral Difficulties. Journal of Special Education, 44(2): 107–128. doi:10.1177/0022466908331044

Lane, K.L., Harris, K., Graham, S., Driscoll, S. A., Sandmel, K., Morphy, P., Hebert, M., House, E., and Schatschneider, C. (2011). Self-Regulated Strategy Development at Tier 2 for Second-Grade Students With Writing and Behavioral Difficulties: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 4(4): 322–353. doi:10.1080/19345747.2011.558987

Lane, K.L., Harris, K.R , Graham, S., Harris, K.R., Weisenbach, J.L., Brindle, M., and Morphy, P. (2008). The Effects of Self-Regulated Strategy Development on the Writing Performance of Second-Grade Students With Behavioral and Writing Difficulties. Journal of Special Education, 41(4): 234–253. doi:10.1177/0022466907310370

Little, M.A., Lane, K.L., Harris, K., Graham, S., Brindle, M., and Sandmel, K. (2010). Self-Regulated Strategies Development for Persuasive Writing in Tandem With Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Support: Effects for Second-Grade Students With Behavioral and Writing Difficulties. Behavior Disorders, 35(2): 157–179.

Sandmel, K., Brindle, M., Harris, K., Lane, K., Graham, S., Nackel, J., Mathias, R., and Little, A. (2009). Making It Work: Differentiating Tier Two Self-Regulated Strategies Development in Writing in Tandem With Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Support. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 42(2): 22–33.


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