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IES Grant

Title: Evidence-Based Interventions for Severe Behavior Problems: Classroom Management and Academic Tutoring (CMAT)
Center: NCSER Year:
Principal Investigator: Wehby, Joseph Awardee: Vanderbilt University
Program: Unsolicited and Other Awards: Special Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 10/1/2004 to 9/30/2008 Award Amount: $4,296,580*
Award Number: H324P040013
Description:

Funded through the Office of Special Education Programs prior to the establishment of NCSER.

Co-Principal Investigators: Craig Kennedy, Jennifer McComas, Kevin Sutherland

Purpose: This project will address a question of fundamental importance to behavior management practices and policy: Does a comprehensive intervention that combines effective classroom management practices and academic tutoring result in students with severe problem behaviors demonstrating decreased levels of aggressive and disruptive behavior and increased levels of academic achievement when compared to students who receive services provided by public schools? The specific aims of this project, which utilizes a multi-site research team, are to (a) evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention combining classroom management strategies, self-evaluation activities, and academic tutoring; (b) analyze the public school strategies for addressing severe problem behavior; (c) identify barriers to the implementation of effective classroom management strategies; and (d) compare the costs associated with implementation of the proposed intervention and current public school policies.

Project Activities: This project will address the following questions:

  1. How efficacious is the Classroom Management + Academic Tutoring model for students in self-contained classrooms in reducing severe behavior problems, increasing adaptive/prosocial behavior, and improving academic performance?
  2. How efficacious is the Classroom Management + Academic Tutoring model for high-risk students in general education classrooms in reducing severe behavior problems, increasing adaptive/prosocial behavior, and improving academic performance?
  3. What student attitudes and behaviors, if any, differentiate general and special education classrooms and impede adaptive functioning, and what is the effect of intervention on them?
  4. What other factors moderate treatment effects and to what extent?

Products: The expected products from this study include:

  1. Manuals developed, distributed, and specifically designed to highlight the roles of teachers, parents, school, and medical personnel in implementing this integrated approach;
  2. In-service materials developed and shared with local school systems; and
  3. Articles summarizing project findings submitted to professional journals as well as professional organizations' and advocacy groups' newsletters for access by researchers and practitioners.

Purpose: This project will address a question of fundamental importance to behavior management practices and policy: Does a comprehensive intervention that combines effective classroom management practices and academic tutoring result in students with severe problem behaviors demonstrating decreased levels of aggressive and disruptive behavior and increased levels of academic achievement when compared to students who receive services provided by public schools? The specific aims of this project, which utilizes a multi-site research team, are to (a) evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention combining classroom management strategies, self-evaluation activities, and academic tutoring; (b) analyze the public school strategies for addressing severe problem behavior; (c) identify barriers to the implementation of effective classroom management strategies; and (d) compare the costs associated with implementation of the proposed intervention and current public school policies.

Setting: This project takes place in three large primarily urban districts in Tennessee, Minnesota, and Virginia. The schools serve a high proportion of minority students and students eligible for free or reduced lunch.

Population: Participants include students in self-contained special education classrooms for students classified with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) and students in general education classrooms who are at-risk for academic failure and EBD. Students in general education classroom are chosen if they rank in the lower 20% of class for academic achievement and upper 20% for behavior problems. Approximately 360 students and their teachers in grades K-3 will be selected to participate; it is anticipated that approximately 60% of the students will be in self-contained classrooms and 40% of the sample will be general education students. The sample will include approximately 30 schools, with 1 self-contained classroom per school with up to 9 students per class, and 2 general education classrooms per school with 2 students randomly chosen per class from the pool of eligible students in the class.

Intervention: The intervention, Classroom Management and Academic Tutoring (CMAT), is a 2-year classroom-based intervention aimed at improving teachers' classroom behavior management practices and student academic performance. The classroom management component instructs teachers in classroom management techniques designed to improve classroom behavior, including use of a peer contingency game (The Good Behavior Game). Academic tutoring is used to improve students' academic performance. The tutoring occurs for 90 minutes per week and uses Horizons Fast Track, an accelerated direct instruction reading program aimed at work attack, letter printing, spelling, and sentence writing. Tutoring is also supplemented by Scholastic's Guided Reading program of fluency training via repeated reading strategy, preceded by modeling. Finally, there is sustained classroom observation/consultation by project staff to aid with implementation and fidelity, model desired classroom management and reading instruction practices, provide ongoing feedback, and sustain teacher motivation.

Research Design and Methods: Schools (N=30) will be randomly assigned to intervention and control conditions. Schools will be matched on key variables (e.g., school size, free/reduced lunch status, similar grades of self-contained classrooms, etc). Classrooms (both general and special education) will be designated as intervention/control classrooms dependent upon school designation. General education classrooms are randomly selected within schools and are matched to the grade level of self-contained classrooms. Assessments will occur at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and follow-up 1 year after the end of the intervention.

Control Condition: A "business as usual" control condition is used.

Key Measures: The researchers will collect information across a variety of domains including contextual and covariate information such as student and teacher demographics, school profiles (e.g., school-wide management procedures), and household profiles completed by parents. At the student level, information will be collected about behavior at school, behavior at home, level of classroom engagement, academic achievement, self-concept and self-efficacy. In addition, classroom/school level outcomes will include measures and observations of classroom-levels of engagement and disruptive behavior and measures of teacher burnout. Data on costs associated with implementation and sustainability of the program will also be collected.

Data Analytic Strategy: Analyses associated with intervention impact and moderators of impact will use hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). HLM will be used to assess impact of intervention for special and general classes separately. One important potential moderator is exposure to treatment, so the researchers intend to analyze full samples of general and special education students (i.e., intent to treat analysis) as well as complete the analyses only with those who completed the full intervention package. Equivalence of groups will be determined through univariate analyses of group equivalence on dependent measures, and any variables with significant differences will be included as covariates in analysis of the relevant outcome(s). Furthermore, qualitative content analysis of teacher data on implementation will be used to identify key themes and grounded theory methodology will be used to identify emergent themes related to the intervention implementation. Descriptive information about cost data will also be completed.

Publications

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Johnson, L.D. Wehby, J.H., Symons, F.J., Maggin, D.M., Partin, T.M., and Sutherland, K.S. (in press). Improving the Adoption and Integrity of Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices: Integrating Teacher Preference Into Intervention Selection Using Preference Trails. Journal of Special Education.

Maggin, D.M., Wehby, J.H., Moore-Partin, T.C., Robertson, R., and Oliver, R.M. (2009). Supervising Paraeducators in Classrooms for Children With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Beyond Behavior, 18: 2–9.

Maggin, D.M., Wehby, J.H., Moore-Partin, T.C., Robertson, R., and Oliver, R.M. (2011). A Comparison of the Instructional Context for Students With Behavioral Issues Enrolled in Self-Contained and General Education Classrooms. Behavioral Disorders, 36(2): 84–99.

Moore Partin, T.C., Robertson, R., Maggin, D.M., Oliver, R.M., and Wehby, J.H. (2010). Using Teacher Praise and Opportunities to Respond to Promote Appropriate Student Behavior. Preventing School Behavior, 54(3): 172–178.

Moore, T.C., Wehby, J.H., Hollo, A.C., Robertson, R.E., & Maggin, D.M. (2014). Teacher reports of student health and its influence on school performance. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 24, 112–122. doi:10.1177/1098300713482975

Oliver, R.M., Wehby, J.H., and Nelson, J.R. (2015). Helping Teachers Maintain Classroom Management Practices Ssing a Self-Monitoring Checklist. Teaching and Teacher Education, 51: 113–120. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2015.06.007

Wehby, J.H., Maggin, D.M., Moore Partin, T.C., and Robertson, R. (2012). The Impact of Working Alliance, Social Validity, and Teacher Burnout on Implementation Fidelity of the Good Behavior Game. School Mental Health, 4(1): 22–33. doi:10.1007/s12310–011–9067–4

Nongovernment report, issue brief, or practice guide

Oliver, R.M., Wehby, J.H., and Reschly, D. (2011). Teacher Classroom Management Practices: Effects on Disruptive or Aggressive Student Behavior. Oslo, Norway: The Campbell Collaboration. doi:10.4073/csr.2011.4

* The dollar amount includes funds from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and NCSER.


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